A First for isiXhosa and SA Chess
The Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs (DCAS) and author Watu Kobese launched the first isiXhosa chess book in Cape Town on 7 July 2015. Kobese is one of the country’s foremost players, holding the title International Master, and having represented South Africa many times. The launch coincided with the South African Chess Open, currently being played at the Cape Sun Hotel.
Officials from Chess South Africa and Chess Western Province also attended the event. Various speakers emphasised the many benefits of youth playing chess from a young age, for example, mathematical skills, critical thinking, and learning to understand one’s emotions.
Kobese said, “I hope that this book will assist in popularising chess so that it is not seen as a foreign sport”. He thanked DCAS for helping him to complete the project, as well as the Western Cape Provincial Language Forum for developing new isiXhosa terminology for chess.
Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport Anroux Marais said the book will help to encourage more people to play chess. “This book contributed to the development of isiXhosa through new terminology. It is a powerful way to prove that isiXhosa can be used in any domain,” she said.
Developing a winning nation requires supporting participation in sport and recreation at all levels. The publication of this book by DCAS and its partners aims to improve participation in chess throughout the Western Cape, BETTER TOGETHER.