Professor Sozinho Francisco Matsinhe hails from Mozambique where his carreer in Lingustics started at Eduardo Mondlane University. He proceeded for further studies at the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania and later went to the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, to obtain a PhD in Linguistics with special reference to Bantu languages.
After working for many years, as a research officer, in the Department of Curriculum Research and Design at the National Institute for the Development of Education (INDE), in the Ministry of Education in Maputo, Mozambique, in 1992, he joined the Department of African languages, University of South Africa (UNISA) in Pretoria, to teach Linguistics, with special reference to Morphology, Syntax, Phonology and Phonetics of Xitsonga.
In 2001, the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA) commissioned him to conduct a situation analysis and establish the nature of problems affecting the development of indigenous languages and multilingualism in Southern Africa region, focusing on Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe, and make recommendations on how best OSISA could contribute meaningfully to different options identified. Apart from establishing contacts with scholars and decision-makers, this project has provided him with a unique opportunity to gain insight into the stage of development, promotion and use of indigenous languages in those countries. Upon the completion of the task at OSISA, he returned to UNISA in 2003.
In 2009, Professor Matsinhe was appointed Executive Secretary of the African Academy of Languages (ACALAN), a specialized institution of the African Union based in Bamako, Mali, whose mandate is to work with the member states of the African Union towards the development of policies conducive to the establishment of linguistic equity and partnership in Africa between the former colonial languages and African languages that allow the development of these languages and the majority of Africans to unlock their potential and participate actively in the development and integration of Africa.
He has lectured in Brazil, Canada, China, Portugal, Spain, and the USA and in many African countries. For instance, between October 1999 and February 2000, Professor Matsinhe was a visiting researcher at the Centre for African Studies in Barcelona; and in 2008, he was a visiting scholar at the Graduate School of Linguistics, National University of Taiwan in Taipei. Furthermore, he has served as external examiner for the University of Botswana; University of Dar es Salaam; Kenyatta University in Nairobi; University of Zimbabwe and for Africa University in Mutare, Zimbabwe.
Professor Matsinhe’s research has focused on the theoretical linguistics with special reference to African languages; the politics of languages, bilingualism and mother education with special reference to African languages, and the interplay between language and development. He has published widely in peer-reviewed journals dealing with those topics. Apart from his mother tongue Xitsonga, Professor Matsinhe can communicate effectively in English, French, Kiswahili and Portuguese.