Endangered languages take to the airwaves: A reader urges various Nigerian governments to act!

August 18, 2012

Arts & Culture

Submitted on 2012/08/18 at 7:10 am

How nice if our National Broadcasting Commission would take a cue from this and “do something before (the languages all) die” (apologies J J Rawlings.)
Let one tell the other; perhaps someone who needs to hear would hear.



Submitted on 2012/08/18 at 8:59 am | In reply to TO.

Thanks, TO.

THAT would be a cheap but very effective way of stemming the tide of the major Nigerian languages disappearing.

For the benefit of my non-Nigerian readers, Nigeria has four or five major languages, i.e. a Yoruba does not understand a word of what an Ibo says nor does the Ibo; ditto an Edo/Hausa, etcetera. There are also many dialects within a language group, i.e. an Ijebu/Ondo/Ekiti/Akoko can all speak Yoruba – with variations – but they all have different dialects.

May be the Southwest or Southeast but the Yoruba-Southwest, especially, as it is the most ravaged and guilty part of Nigeria should start this. Radio is cheap as earlier mentioned and this does not need any so-called “regional integration” to get going, i.e. with the Action Congress Party-controlled states are at daggers drawn against the lone Labor Party Ondo State, each can be successful in using the medium to fight the scourge without “cooperating” with any other state.

Now that you’ve suggested it, I will go ahead and start with a public letter after which one can make other effort.

Your suggestion brings to mind the jaw-jawing I had done in many essays and through the Ede Yoruba Group led by Late Papa [Medical] Dr. Smith for almost a decade on Yoruba as a disappearing language until my kid came along and actually did something about it: the speakyoruba app now download-able from the apple store. Just like that!

I thank you very much for this wonderful suggestion and will post it so that others can read it.

Regards, as always.

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