Zimbabweans have stood in solidarity as they celebrate the new Member of the Scottish Parliament for the North East, Maggie Chapman who took her oath in Shona, one of the country’s 16 languages to show she still has links to the country of her birth.
Born and raised in Zimbabwe, Maggie Chapman said she is trying to bring a little bit of Africa into the Parliament chamber.
“I am not a native speaker but it is a language of my country of birth so l am bringing a little bit of Africa into the Parliament chamber. l expect it will be the first time the oath is done in Shona .
“My mom still lives in the house l was born in, so it is still very much home, if you can have two homes.” She said.
Zimbabweans, mostly Shona speakers were thrilled about the unusual gesture and took to social media.
Below are some of the extracts taken from twitter, as people praised Maggie Chapman:
“Zimbabwean born, Maggie Chapman takes her Scottish Parliament affirmation in Shona after being elected as a Member of the Scottish Parliament. 41 year old Chapman grew up in Harare where her dad was the Music Director at the school of music and her mother was a hospital nurse.” Senior journalist Hopewell Chin’ono said.
“Beautiful to hear Zimbabwean-born Scottish politician & lecturer,Maggie Chapman Scottish Green Member of the Scottish Parliament take her oath of office in chiShona, one of Zimbabwe’s venecular languages. I hope to see this normalized in Ireland.” Joy Tendai said.
“Scottish MP took her oath in Shona. Super proud of Maggie Chapman.” Tawanda Chivese said
“Well done Maggie Chapman you put shona on a grand stage. I hope the other languages of the nation will get similar recognition.” Damba Snr said.
British Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Melanie Robinson had this to say, “Lots of people here in #Zimbabwe talking about this moment. Maggie Chapman – really great to hear Shona being spoken in Holyrood!”
Maggie Chapman, born 27 June 1979, is a Zimbabwean born Scottish politician and lecturer who is a Scottish Greens Member of the Scottish Parliament representing North East Scotland. The Greens are the junior partner in the governing coalition.