The Hwange community is worried that their language may disappear completely due to a lack of qualified Nambya teachers.
The Nambya language was elevated to Ordinary and Advanced Level examination level beginning in 2015.
Before that, only Ndebele and Shona were recognised as examinable indigenous languages in schools.
However, research done by The Citizen Bulletin shows that there are few teachers who speak the language.
As a result, learners in Hwange are choosing Ndebele, not their native Nambya.
Gabriel Shoko, one of the custodians of the Nambya culture, said that a lack of qualified Nambya teachers is making it difficult to elevate the Nambya language. Said Shoko:
I blame the responsible authorities for this. The Nambya language, like any other language, needs a professional teacher to educate the learners.
We appreciate the establishment of Hwange Teachers College and we are hoping that the college will also produce teachers who are not going to help in digging the grave of the Nambya language.
Onita Sibanda, a parent with a child learning in one of the schools in Hwange, said:
I would have preferred my child to learn Nambya as a subject but what disheartened me is that most teachers who are teaching Nambya cannot even construct a simple sentence in the language.
My daughter who was in the third grade once had homework in the Nambya subject which was sent via WhatsApp.
Parents asked the teacher to explain the homework but that teacher failed to construct a sentence and explain her homework.
Instead, she confirmed that she did not even know Nambya.
Nambya is one of the indigenous languages spoken mainly in the Hwange district and in some parts of Binga in northwestern Zimbabwe.
The language is recognised in the Zimbabwean Constitution alongside 15 others.