Language is the expression of our culture and our land. We cannot have one without the others. We cannot describe our culture and our land if we do not have language. (Queensland Indigenous Languages Advisory Committee, 2006 )
Ndebele is a Bantu language that belongs to the Nguni group of languages. The language is spoken by the Matabele people of Northern South Africa and Southern Zimbabwe. The Ndebele language is a dialect of the Zulu language spoken in South Africa. This holds true because the Ndebele people of Zimbabwe historically descended from the Zulu in KwaZulu, South Africa.
The onlindendebele dictionary aims to contribute towards the preservation of our Ndebele language. It is through language that we convey our ideas. All the accumulated knowledge, value systems, aspirations, beliefs, history and identity find expression through language. Language constitutes an important piece of a person’s multiple identities. Therefore losing a language will core out a nation and reduce it to a nation without a heart and soul (Alexander 2005).