Ormiston teenager shares his Gaelic experiences on TV show

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A GAELIC-speaking teenage girl from Ormiston shares her experiences growing up in a Gaelic school in a new program to air on BBC ALBA on Monday.

Tawana Maramba (pictured), who lives on Wildflower Crescent, appears in Trusadh: Afro-Gàidheil – Afro-Gaels, a documentary that follows Cass Ezeji, a Gaelic-speaking singer with Scottish and Nigerian roots. Throughout the program Cass explores her relationship to Gaelic culture and history.

She meets with Gaelic speakers of African and Caribbean descent to discuss how they connect to the language and culture while speaking with experts to uncover Gael’s role in the slave trade.

Tawana, 19, talks about her upbringing in a Gaelic school and how she loves to sing in Gaelic. She also teaches Gaelic singing.

Tawana’s parents are from Zimbabwe and taught him the Shona language, a Bantu language of the Shona people of Zimbabwe.

Tawana was born in Edinburgh and moved to Ormiston two years ago. She also has a strong connection to Zimbabwean culture.

She attended Tollcross Primary School in Edinburgh, which provided the only Gaelic primary education in Edinburgh and Lothians.

Tawana remained there until the opening of a new Gaelic primary school in Bonnington, Leith, called Bun-sgoil Taobh na Pàirce.

Subsequently, she attended James Gillespie High School, also in Edinburgh.

Tawana runs an after-school club at Bun-sgoil Taobh na Pàirce, teaching Gaelic to pupils.

She said: “I feel like some people are reacting like, ‘Oh, you speak Gaelic?!’ But I’m pretty proud of it.

“It plays a huge role in my life. There are a lot of things I wouldn’t do without Gaelic. I’m grateful that I can speak Gaelic.

Trusadh: Afro-Gàidheil – Afro-Gaels airs on BBC ALBA on Monday at 9 p.m. and will be available on BBC iPlayer for 30 days.

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