Posts Tagged ‘AFRICAN LANGUAGES ARE DYING’

NGUGI WANTS TO SAVE AFRICAN LANGUAGES! =TO DO THAT YOU MUST START SPEAKING ONLY YORUBA-OTHER AFRICAN LANGUAGES IN THE HOME TO YOUR CHILDREN! =THEN YOU MUST NOT MIX YOUR LANGUAGE WITH ENGLISH AS THE YORUBAS HAVE DONE AND COMPLETELY DESTROYED YORUBA-BLACKS IN THE DIASPORA WHO LOVE YORUBA LANGUAGE MUST LEARN TO SPEAK IT TO RE-TEACH YORUBAS AT HOME WHO NO LONGER SPEAK REAL YORUBA!!!

July 25, 2012


Wednesday, July 25, 2012
NGUGI FIGHTS TO SAVE AFRICAN LANGUAGES AND WE MUST TOO! STOP MIXING YORUBA WITH ENGLISH!-SPEAK YORUBA,YOUR AFRICAN LANGUAGES IN THE HOME TO YOUR CHILDREN ONLY!
from the PUNCH NEWSPAPER,NIGERIA
Ngugi laments dying African indigenous languages
Ngugi laments dying African indigenous languages
July 24, 2012 by Segun Olugbile 6 Comments
Popular author, Prof. Ngugi Wa Thiong’o, has lamented the rate at which Africans are abandoning their indigenous languages for foreign languages, saying this trend is tantamount to self-enslavement.
Wa Thiong’o said this on Monday while speaking at the second edition of the Read Africa initiative of the United Bank for Africa Foundation to promote reading culture among pupils in Lagos.
According to him, most Africans are neglecting their indigenous languages in preference for foreign languages, noting that this trend was dangerous for the sustenance of Africans and their traditions.
He noted that Africans who have the mastery of other people’s languages at the expense of their own indigenous languages have subjected themselves to “second slavery.”
The Kenyan writer, who teaches at Yale University, added that those who were proficient in their indigenous languages and added mastery of other foreign languages had truly empowered themselves.
The writer of the popular Weep Not Child, warned Africans against killing their indigenous languages, noting that the consequences of this would be too much to bear.
“For me, enslavement is when you know all the languages of the world but you don’t know your own language. Empowerment is when you know your own language and you add other languages to it. We should promote our languages. We should encourage our children to speak our own language,” he said.
The author, who was accompanied to the formal inauguration of the second edition of the Read Africa by his 17-year-old son, Thiongo Ngugi, said he stopped writing in English Language about 10 years ago, to spearhead this campaign.
“I stopped writing in English Language 10 years ago because Africa is our base and we must not lose our base and our indigenous languages. Since then I have been writing in Nkiyu language and I later do translation myself or I look for somebody to do it for me,” he said.
Addressing the audience including pupils and top officials of UBA led by the Group Managing Director, Mr. Phillip Odoza, the writer called for the development of young African writers.
He, however, told the pupils that they should cultivate a robust reading culture if they hoped to become good writers.
“Reading is an integral part of imagination and without reading your imagination will shrink. It’s like food, when you don’t eat, your body will shrink and when you don’t feed your spirit with religious books, your moral value will shrink,” he said.
Wa Thiong’o, who said he wrote his first two books within his first two years in college, urged the students to start writing now.
“See yourself as a person first before you see yourself as a student and don’t think you are too small to write, start now,” he said.
Earlier, the Chief Executive Officer of the UBA Foundation, Miss Ijeoma Azo, had explained that the foundation would distribute Wa Thinog’o’s Weep Not Child freely to all secondary school pupils across Africa to promote reading.

Read 168 times

Tope July 24, 2012 at 3:53 am
When i was in secondary school we were told not to speak yoruba in school or we will pay a fine of 10 naira, but as for me i spoke yoruba and when taking to my class teacher because i refuse to pay i will tell her jokely that does the chinese speak english in school or does italy speak yoruba or english in school and she will just laugh and realise me.
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Chidi July 24, 2012 at 5:14 am
And this applies also to going back to the only assurance of our daily bread – farming! Remember the age old song: Iwe kiko, lai si oko (ati ada), ko i pe o!
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Albert July 24, 2012 at 5:30 am
Yes it is very good to speak our native language
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Bamigboye Ilesanmi T. July 24, 2012 at 10:24 am
it is gud to preserve our native language, Africa is our father land not foreign country, let’s embrace our language b/4 wil think of official lang.
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Kingsley Fergie July 24, 2012 at 9:08 pm
An excellent Author with a well designed and narrated food-for-thought,very useful 4 some of us who are not married yet
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Kingsley Fergie July 24, 2012 at 9:10 pm
I am proud of James Ngugi Wa Thiongo,i read his book in my JSS3 Literature Days,where I charactered Njoroge in d school play,always close a Mwihaki;Weep Not Child,Weep Not,My Darling,With these kisses let me remove ur tears,d ravening clouds shall not yet overflow ,they shall not yet possess the sky;Nigeria must copy from this advice,not as our children do these days,by going 2 cosmopolitan cities,and 4getting their very roots dat made them.Of Course,Europeanization,Civilization,has made d afrocentric man nuts,bt its a food -for-thought especially for some of us who are not married,yet!
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Yeye Akilimali Funua Olade July 25, 2012 at 11:56 am
AFRICANS ARE KILLING THEIR LANGUAGES FIRST BY MIXING THEM FREELY WITH ENGLISH,AS THE YORUBAS HAVE DONE AND COMPLETELY FINISHED THE LANGUAGE,AND TWO BY NOT SPEAKING THEIR MOTHERTONGUE IN THE HOME TO THEIR CHILDREN! THIS MUST STOP! A VERY GOOD SOLUTION IS TO HAVE BEST YORUBA SPEAKER CONTESTS BY ALL SCHOOLS,CLUBS AND BUSINESSES SO THAT CASH PRIZES WILL BE GIVEN PEOPLE WHO CAN SPEAK THEIR MOTHERTONGUE WITH OUT MIXING! AS ANAMBRA STATE HAS DONE ALL AREAS MUST HAVE BILLS TO PRESERVE THEIR LANGUAGES FROM PRIVATE SCHOOL LEVEL UP!

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FFROM ALLAFRICA.COM
Nigeria: I Prefer Indigenous Literatures – Wa Thiong’o
By Yemi Adebisi, 15 January 2011
Comment
Lagos — Ngugi Wa Thiong’o is distinguished professor of English and Comparative Literature and director of the International Centre for Writing and Translation at the University of California at Irvine. A Kenyan writer of Gikuyu descent, Ngugi is the author of various novels such as Weep Not Child (1964), The River Between (1965), A Grain of Wheat (1967) and Petals of Blood (1977). In 1980, Ngugi published the first modern novel ever written in Gikuyu called Devil on the Cross. Ngugi’s critical works include Homecoming (1972), Detained: A Writer’s Prison Diary (1981), Decolonizing the Mind (1986) and Moving the Center (1993). As a novelist, playwright and critical thinker, Ngugi has dealt with the concerns most affecting his native Kenya including issues of colonialism, nationalism and post-colonialism.
He has severally recommended to African writers to develop indigenous literature. His claim is that African writers need to write in African language in order to project her rich culture to the whole world. No wonder he prefers to read literatures written in his local language, Gikuyu.
In his response to what his thoughts are about contemporary fiction in Kenya and the more recent texts in Gikuyu that have had an impact on him, he said, “There are several writers who now write in Gikuyu. Ms. Waithira Mbuthia is very prolific. But so is Gitahi Gititi, now a professor of English, but writing in Gikuyu. Mwangi Mutahi is another who has published three novels in Gikuyu. There is also Gatua wa Mbugua, a poet and a scientist. He has just completed and successfully defended a scientific thesis written entirely in Gikuyu for the Department of Crop Science at Cornell. There are many more. Most of these writers are contributors to the Gikuyu language journal, Mutiiri, originally based at New York University, but now at the University of California Irvine.”
During the late 70’s, his commitment to art and community led him to form communal theatre groups in villages, which showcased some of his most indicting plays. These works portrayed the political corruption of post-colonial life in Kenya and the people’s struggle to define an identity despite years of harsh political and social transitions. In 1977, Ngugi was arrested for his involvement with the communal theatres. While in prison, Ngugi reflected on the urgency in forming a truly African literature and at the same time wrote Devil on the Cross on prison- issued toilet paper. He subsequently would abandon English for his native Gikuyu for all his future novels. After being released from prison, Ngugi lost a university position and his family suffered from constant harassment. In 1982, Ngugi left Kenya and has been in exile ever since. Ngugi Wa Thiong’o is the recipient of numerous awards including the Paul Robeson Award for Artistic Excellence, Political Conscience and Integrity (1992); Gwendolyn Brooks Center Contributors Award for Significant Contribution to the Black Literary Arts (1994); Fonlon-Nichols Prize (1996); and the Distinguished Africanist Award by the New York African Studies Association (1996).

IGBOS HAVE BEAT YORUBAS TO THIS ONE! -E BI IYANJU OMO IGBO! -YORUBA RUNU!-ALL AFRICAN LANGUAGES MUST HAVE LAWS LIKE THIS TO KEEP THEIR LANGUAGES FROM DYING AS THEY ARE NOW!

March 5, 2012

Nigeria: Igbo Language Law Debuts in Anambra
By Chukwujekwu Ilozue, 7 June 2010

Onitsha — Principals of secondary schools in Anambra State who promote pupils from Junior Secondary School III (JSS III) to Senior Secondary School I (SSS I) without the pupils passing Igbo language are to be removed from their positions and fined N5,000, for each of the pupils so promoted.

Also, any state or privately owned tertiary institution in the state which is found not to have established an Igbo language department or made Igbo language a mandatory general studies course by September, 2011 shall pay a fine of N100,000 for every month in which the offence continues.

These are some of the punishments prescribed by the newly enacted law, which is cited as Igbo Language Enforcement Law, 2010, which came into force on May 11, 2010.

It would be recalled that Governor Peter Obi signed the Bill into Law on the day he launched Suwakwa Igbo (speak Igbo) designed to enhance wide usage of Igbo language to save it from extinction.

At the public signing of the Bill into Law Obi also announced the stoppage of corporal punishment to students who speak Igbo in schools in the state and announced that Igbo Language would henceforth be compulsory in all the categories of educational institution in the state just as English and Mathematics are.

Among other things, the law prescribes that Igbo language as a subject must be passed by an Igbo student before he can be promoted from JSS III to SSS I in all secondary schools in the state; every state or privately owned tertiary institution in the state must establish an Independent department of Igbo language a mandatory general studies course in the institution and that any state or privately owned tertiary institution within the state and which is found not to have established an Igbo language department, or made Igbo language a mandatory general studies course in accordance with the provisions of the relevant sections by September, shall be liable to a fine of N100,000 for every month in which the offence continues.

Also, a head of the relevant department who finds a staff of that department dressed in Western attire in contravention of the provisions of a particular section of the law shall send that staff home to change into an Igbo traditional attire.

Also, from the commencement of the law, every Wednesday in every week shall be observed as Igbo day. That means that every staff of the state public service shall dress in Igbo traditional attire and all businesses and transactions in all offices and departments of the public service, including proceedings in the legislative chamber shall be conducted in the language.

However, the law excludes some professional bodies like judicial officers and nurses which are bound by the law.

The explanatory note of the law states that it is meant to ensure and enforce such level of fluency and vibrancy in the usage of Igbo language as befits its status as one of the three officially recognized indigenous languages of Nigeria pursuant to the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 such that the language will once more be proudly spoken and written by Ndigbo in Nigeria and the Diaspora, and used for broadcasts in reputable international media.

Recently, Governor Obi also promised to build Chief Chiedozie Ogbalu Igbo Language School that will cost the government N50.5 million for specialized and holiday programmes in Igbo.

YORUBA FILMMAKERS MUST STOP DESTROYING YORUBA BY MIXING IT INTO YORUBA FILMS!-WHAT OTHER LANGUAGE GROUP WOULD DO SUCH A DESTRUCTIVE THING!-SAVE YORUBA LANGUAGE!-DEMAND THAT YORUBA FILMMAKERS STOP DESTROYING YORUBA LIKE THIS!-FROM THE VANGUARD NEWSPAPER,NIGERIA

October 18, 2010

FROM yeyeolade.blogspot.com
original from
vanguardngr.com

Film to the rescue of indigenous languages
The Arts Oct 17, 2010

For Nigerian indigenous languages to be preserved and saved from total extinction, there is an imperative need for the government at all levels to encourage the production of indigenous language films reports, Benjamin Njoku.

This was the observation of over 300 film makers, scriptwriters, directors, stakeholders and industry operators who gathered in Akure, Ondo State capital last week, for this year’s edition of the annual, Behind the Screen festival of indigenous languages, now known as, Festival of Indigenous African Language Films.

The festival, which held between October 3 and October 9, at Owena International Hotels, Akure saw the participants drawn from different parts of the country urging the government at all levels to consider the option of giving Nigeria’s indigenous language films a boost as a way of preserving such languages as well as saving them from total extinction as presently being threatened by global statistics.

They also asked the government to begin to pay more attention to the motion picture industry, which according to them, has not only brought global recognition to the country but also, is capable of becoming a veritable alternative to oil economy.

Professor Tunde Babwale, Director-General of the Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilisation(CBAAC) who chaired the occasion posited the need for government to support film makers, noting that indigenous language films are critical to the development of any nation. He lamented the steady relegation of these languages, arguing that out of the 500 languages spoken across the ethnic groups in the country, only 84 of them are still in use.

Arguing further, Professor Babawale whose parastatal co-sponsored the event said the use of African indigenous films is also a means of propagating African tradition, culture and norms. “Promotion of our indigenous languages are the manual of development. There is no better way to market our country and our culture other than through film. It has a two fold ways of communication ; audio and visual.” he emphasized.

On CBAAC partnership with Remdel, organisers of the annual festival, Professor Babawale said, Remdel shares similar vision with CBAAC. “This is not our first partnership we were part of the festival last year. We want to use this film festival to project African culture and we also want to use it as an opportunity to show that our language can help in enriching our faith. We believe that there no better way to preserving our cultural heritage than the instrumentality of langauge.”Professor Babawale further stressed.

In her good will message, the wife of the Ondo State Governor, Mrs Olukemi Mimko, while commending the organisers of the 6-day event for taking the lead and for the bold step which would also bring the state to limelight urged parents and guidance to endeavour to teach their wards how to speak the local languages. She observed that despite the fact that “film serves as a medium of correcting societal ills, communication, relaxation and dissemination of information, it has equally found its way into our very existence such that the politicians are now using the film makers to achieve their political ambition.”

The First Lady however took a swipe at the state of th industry, lamenting the rate at which producers churn out obscene movies.

She observed that most of the movies are gradually eroding the rich cultural values of Nigeria, most especially the Yoruba culture, which she said, lays much emphasis on moderate dressing.

While advocating the need for the film makers to control the content of their works, the First Lady said obscene scenes are gradually eroding the qualitative works of the industry. She therefore urged the relevant agency saddled with the content check of the films to put in place a strict measure that would sanction producers who shoot obscene films.

Delivering a lecture entitled “Like Father Like Son: Random Reflection on Yoruba Society and the Yoruba Video-Films”, Professor Wole Ogundele, the Director-General of the Centre for Culture and International Understanding, Osogbo, Osun State, concluded that given the danger of extinction faced by African indigenous languages, any positive attempts and strategies to ensure their survival and preservation should be encouraged without any further delay.

According to the erudite Professor, who has a wide and varied knowledge of the film industry, in the absence of a vigorous language literature, the video-film remains one artistic form that is keeping the language alive in the creative and intellectual arena.

“Many African languages, including Yoruba which is spoken by millions of people along the West African coast, are already in danger and will become a threatened language.If it is the indigenous language films that will rescue our languages from that tragedy of eventual extinction, then, rather than crucify the film makers, let us salute them.” he concluded.

Other keynote speakers at the event, included Femi Odugbemi, film maker, who spoke on “The future of Film Distribution in Nigeria”, Mr Dele Oni, General Manager, NTA, Akure, Mr Dele Odule, ANCOP president,Mr Alex Eyengho, Mr Greg Odutayo, president, NANTAP and Dr. Gbemisola Adeoti, who also delivered paper on, “Advancing the role of Women in Politics using the film medium” amongst other speakers.

HOW TO SAVE NIGERIAN LANGUAGES BY THIS DAY NEWSPAPER,NIGERIA,JUNE 2010

June 24, 2010

from allafrica.com
original one -This Day newspaper

This Day (Lagos)
Nigeria: Saving the Local Languages

21 June 2010

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editorial

Lagos — One of the strongest effects of western civilization is the gradual but steady erosion of the culture of the people, especially of former colonies. There is no where this has been demonstrated more than in the language of the people.

With western education came the fad of speaking the “whiteman’s language”. In Nigeria for instance, the ability to speak the English language was then, the most ready proof of “belonging” to a social class, high and above the local platform of those considered as mere natives. School children were then forbidden from speaking their local languages in the classroom. Offenders were punished for speaking vernacular. Over the years, this malaise has worsened.

Today, fewer and fewer people are able to speak, let alone write their native languages. If some indigenous languages have suffered poor orthographical development, that should not affect the ability to speak it. But modern day children, especially those in the urban centres now consider their mother tongue as a linguistic anathema.

This and other issues inform former Executive Secretary of National Universities Commission (NUC), Professor Munzali Jibril’s warning that unless deliberate measures are taken to preserve and promote Nigerian languages, they stand the risk of going extinct. Already, some languages have “died”, with nobody speaking them anymore.

According to Prof. Jibril, 45 per cent of the world’s population speak only five languages: Chinese, English, Hindi, Spanish and Russian, just as the top 100 languages of the world are spoken by 95 per cent of the world’s people. The remaining five per cent speak over 6,000 languages, with some languages having just about 100 or even less speakers. This, to say the least, is worrisome.

That Nigerian languages are dying is no longer news. The present generation of children are hardly able to understand or communicate in their mother tongues. The craze for the English Language has long become a kind of status symbol. This is even worse among the children of the elite and urban dwellers. Worse still, is the adoption of pidgin English in most cities as the unofficial lingua franca. The blame for this loss is largely on the parents, some of whom are also unable to speak their native languages, and so find it difficult to train their children in their native tongues. Left unchecked, what that means is that generation after generation in such family lineage will miss out on the mother tongue, with the grave and telling effect of a steady but gradual disconnect with the native language.

It is in a bid to rescue the languages from extinction that the Federal Ministry of Education introduced the policy of ensuring that at least, one or two major Nigerian languages are taught in schools. Almost two decades after, this has not quite improved the health of native languages. Prof Babatunde Fafunwa, former Education minister had also directed, at the time, that teachers should give instructions in native languages as a way of building and developing the local languages. But most of the languages are shallow and poorly developed. That has restricted their use as medium of instruction. Worse still, several words in the English Language have no exact equivalent in the native language. For example it may not be easy to find the Yoruba or Igbo equivalent of the word “Chlorine” or “mega watts”?
Relevant Links

* West Africa
* Nigeria

But despite the challenges, Nigerian languages can be revived, at least in the spoken form, until more scholarly attention is devoted to their orthographical development. The place to kick-start this is at the home. Children in their early formative years have Tabula Rasa brain, literally meaning blank memory, on which parents must make initial linguistic imprints.

This is achievable even before the children attain school age. Conscious efforts must be made by parents to speak their native languages to their children, who in turn will grow to cherish the language and pass same on to their children, thereby sustaining the life of the languages. The regulated exposure of the children to Language lessons in the school is not enough to achieve the resuscitation of Nigerian languages. Parents must embrace the habit of speaking the local languages to the children. And the time is now.

THIS YORUBA GROUP WANTS TO SAVE YORUBA LANGUAGE !-FROM THE GUARDIAN NEWSPAPER,AUG. 2008

November 22, 2008

from nguardian.com

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Group advocates for proper use of Yoruba language
By Gbenga Adetunji

A SOCIO-cultural group, which is at the vanguard of protecting the Yoruba heritage, Egbe Ifesemule ati Ilosiwaju Yoruba, is set to host a competition on proper use of the language in composing songs, writing drama scripts and broadcasting. The event, which is billed to attract a number of broadcasters, artistes and singers, begins in November at the premises of Lagos Television (LTV 8), Ikeja, Lagos. Chief Jubril Ogundimu, who is chairman of the organising committee of the group, said that the competitions would promote the speaking of the Yoruba language among its people, especially children who are becoming lost to the language and also uphold the honour and dignity of the race and tradition in Africa and the Diaspora. Ogundimu stated that the group noticed that there is great decline in the use of the language, “and today all manners of words are springing up in the name of slang that have greatly eroded the standard of the language. “It is against this backdrop that our organisation has come up with a programme to re-orientate and re-educate the populace on the proper use of the language. According to him, the first step in this advocacy is to organise contest among the major users of Yoruba language in the area of music, broadcast and theatre practice, who have the medium of mass communication as their reach to the larger society. It is our belief that once these users of the language are enlightened on the didactic and its aesthetic use, then we are more than half way through to the development of the proper use. He, however, stated that the effort of the organisation is to create a platform for meeting minds of the commercial users of Yoruba language through competition that is fully supported by notable scholars and stakeholders in Yoruba language.


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