Posts Tagged ‘YORUBA LANGUAGE IS 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.

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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).

SAVE YORUBA LANGUAGE BY BRIBING YORUBAS TO SPEAK YORUBA WITHOUT MIXTURE WITH ENGLISH AS THEY ARE DOING NOW BY HAVING “BEST YORUBA SPEAKER” CONTESTS” WITH BIG MONEY PRIZES!- YES EVEN IN TRINIDAD,BRAZIL YOU TOO CAN SAVE YORUBA! -USA BLACKS CAN LEARN YORUBA AND HAVE THEIR CHILDREN TAUGHT YORUBA TOO!

February 21, 2012


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THE DEATH OF YORUBA LANGUAGE?
« on: November 15, 2008, 04:31:59 PM »

The death of Yoruba language?
By Yeye Akilimali Funua Olade
“Kilo happen? Ma worry. Mo understand. Kosi problem. Mo sorry gan. Ma expect me. Ke e nice day” – (a GSM conversation)
Surely this is not Yoruba that this man is speaking? Definitely not! Yet everyday Yoruba speaking people are killing Yoruba like this. Is this the new (English) pidgin for Yorubaland, joining other sections of the country, who have spespamed in killing their own Nigerian language by using mainly “pidgin” in the name of “communicating” with other groups? Oyinbo culture has brought Nigerian culture to its knees in so many ways – now a foreign language seeks to kill our own God-given languages, using Nigerians as the executioners! Eewo!
That English, the ready-made weapon of British-American cultural imperialism, is not just trying to destroy African languages, but is attacking all other languages worldwide, I agree. Ojoogbon Akinwunmi Isola, the newly-appointed Chair of Oyo State Arts and Culture Board, related to me during a discussion with Ojoogbon Babatunde Fafunwa, the problem the French are having with English. He stated that the French government had recently warned all French broadcasters to stop polluting French with English, as is now popular in general French conversation, or face dismissal. But I doubt whether the French would think of slaughtering their language to the extent that Yorubas daily have begun to do.
The greatest tragedy in Yorubaland today however regarding language is the dominating trend to speak only English to their children, making it their first language, then sending them to private nursery school, who only teach in English and causing Yoruba children to value English above all other languages! (After all their WAEC will not be in Yoruba, one highly-educated Yoruba man told me!) And see the result! In effect,that child has become an Oyinbo child and no longer a Yoruba child.What are the grim onsequences of this disturbing trend? The first problem that will result is a change in that child’s behavior with respect to discipline and respect for his parents and others.. The English-speaking child will never become great in creativity nor in leadership in the Nigerian context; he or she can never become the President of Nigeria for example. Is it possible to have a Nigerian President who cannot speak his Mother-Tongue effectively? These English-speaking children will rudely use English to disrespect all and sundry (after all English does not have pronouns of respect for anybody). Hear them saying “Shut up Daddy! – Give me back my candy!” in an authoritative way. And hear this one told by Oloogbon Ishola – an semi-literate (in English)) parent says to his child, “Say hello to Daddy”. The child replies “Ye ‘llo Daddy”. Olodumare! Yoruba children now do not know proper Yoruba and even as a result of this mixture do not know the real Yoruba words for “ma worry”, “check result” etc.. Ask them or some of their parents and they will tell you they don’t know the original Yoruba for the popular phrases that many literate and non-literate leaders and followers commonly use throughout Yorubaland.
As a Black-American, who has come back to her Yoruba roots these past 26 years in Nigeria, I want to break down in tears over this “iyonu”! How can Yorubas kill their own language? What sort of curse is this? Obviously the curse of european-american imperialism/colonialism/slavery! As a result I have declared “War Against Destroying Our Nigerian Languages” from today. And it must start from Yorubaland. Are not the Yorubas the “wisest and the greatest”? As everything good seems to start from Yorubaland in Nigeria, “let it be so”.
I am appealing to all full-blooded Yoruba, as of today to consciously seek not to mix English with their Yoruba. Yoruba leaders must slowly speak, watching their tongues, not to include any English words inside their Yoruba. It has gotten to a state where such leaders cannot avoid mixing English as they speak Yoruba and their every sentence includes whole English phrases! The late Yoruba leader, Oloye Bola Ige was a pure Yoruba language speaker and other Yoruba leaders should follow his example. This is a “War Against English words entering Yoruba”!
All clubs and organisations in Yorubaland should hold bi-annual and annual Yoruba Speaking Competitions for the “Best Yoruba Speaker”, with heavy monetary prizes (N20,000 plus) to get Yorubas to consciously practice speaking Yoruba without any English mixture. Yoruba broadcasters are guilty of promoting this deadly trend. Yoruba stations must have quarterly courses in Correct Yoruba Speaking for they are one of the biggest offenders of mixing heavily English into Yoruba. In schools Yoruba teachers must stress the importance of not mixing Yoruba. All private schools in Yorubaland must be required to have classes in Yoruba language from nursery through secondary school levels. There is a “famous” private school in Lagos, owned by Lebanese (or is it Syrians), which does not teach Yoruba on the secondary school level, as required by law. Law enforcement is necessary with frequent unannounced inspections on this crucial issue. And any student who fails to pass Yoruba in Yorubaland must not be allowed to graduate!
The Yoruba Press must be commended for indeed holding the banner high and not polluting Yoruba with English, especially Alaroye.Alalaye, Ajoro, Iroyin Yoruba, Akede must also continue the struggle to save Yoruba language. More effort however must be made to eliminate “pasito”, professor ,”dokita” words as most of them have genuine Yoruba words that can be enlisted and popularised among their readers. Aworerin must be resurrected by Alaroye, for use in all schools in Yorubaland as it was in the ’50s to inculcate love of Yoruba language among children. Yoruba departments in Nigerian and foreign universities must start churning out more research on modernising Yoruba for technical, scientific and other vocabulary and making it available through special courses for the media and the general Yoruba public.
Tiwantiwa(uk.groups.yahoo.com/group/tiwantiwa),created by Sister Molara Wood in London,must be commended for keeping the purity of the Yoruba Language intact.More Yoruba websites are needed on the worldwide web.
Yoruba writers must begin to write and publish bilingual publications.For any publication they publish in English, its Yoruba equivalent must be done. In the same book (Yoruba-from the front, turn upside down, English from the back) is one way to do it or in a title simultaneously released. More books, magazines, other publications like club histories, year books must be published in Yoruba. (Do you know that Alaroye sells many more copies than English newspapers in Yorubaland?) For example why is a prominent Yoruba Club issuing their history in English? If they must have English, then it must be a bilingual edition, in Yoruba from the back. Who but Yoruba should promote publications in Yoruba? We must stop promoting a foreign language over our own God-given language.
Yoruba music too, has been assaulted by Yoruba artists, unknowingly killing Yoruba language. The mixture of English has reached a new high in Fuji. Yoruba Gospel has started mixing English inside Yoruba songs within Yoruba cassettes, adding along side complete English songs! Olodumare! Such artists must be warned – no more killing of the language in this manner. If it is English you want then put that on an English cassette. Do not replace our God-given Yoruba in a Yoruba music cassette!
Yoruba movie practitioners are perhaps the biggest offenders and must take up this challenge to save Yoruba language. English mixing should absolutely be banned in all Yoruba films. I have not researched the topic but I suspect that Hausa, is probably the most unpolluted language in Nigeria, and in all their films that I have seen there is no English there at all.
The beauty of the Yoruba language must be showcased by having more Yoruba Cultural Festivals to be held by all clubs and organisations in Yorubaland annually. Odua’s People Congress and other enforcers of law and order in Yorubaland must be in the vanguard, not only by stressing among its members that Yoruba should not be polluted but by holding bi-Annual Yoruba Speaking competitions for the “Best Yoruba Speaker”. They must lead the way in correct Yoruba speaking and have literacy classes for all their members to learn to read in Yoruba and encourage them to speak Yoruba in the home to their children: Yoruba must become again the first language of Yorubas at home and abroad.
All legislatures in Yorubaland should switch to using Yoruba as the first language of communication for their deliberations. If English has to be listed at all it can be the second language of communication!
Finally a private, Yoruba school system must be set up. These schools will teach all subjects in Yoruba from nursery up to the university eventually. If it must be like a “mushroom school”, starting with nursery school first and adding class by class this must be done. This Yoruba Academy can be supported extensively by Yorubas abroad, eventually having board houses were Yoruba children from abroad can join their counterparts here, including all “classes of children, street children etc.) This Yoruba Academy will inculcate Yoruba culture into our children also. With the help of our Yoruba scholars we can build on Ojoogbon Babatunde Fafunwa’s successful “Mother-tongue Education” project at University of Ife in the 60s. Afterall, even UNESCO has proven that Mother-tongue Education is the best for all children.
Let Yoruba Language not die! God has given the Yoruba race a language to be proud of, anywhere in the world (there are at least 60 million or more Yoruba speakers throughout the world). Let’s not destroy it with our own mouths! Let us pass it on in its richness to our children, daily in our home. Let us proudly speak it daily, read it daily, champion it daily. Yorubas cannot remain great without our language. And let us be in the vanguard of saving all Nigerian/African languages.
Biu, Ogoni, Urhorbo, Igede, Ogoja, Ebira, Idoma, Efik, Tiv, Langale, Tangale,Ikwerre,Kagona, Kutep, Oron, Legdo, Bubiaro, Esan, Afima, Itsekiri, Ijaw, Edo, Ikenne, Joba, Gwari, Ibo, Igala, Hausa, speakers are you listening?
*Mrs Olade is the Chief Librarian of African Heritage Research Library, Adeyipo Village via Ibadan.

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Re: THE DEATH OF YORUBA LANGUAGE?
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2008, 09:58:00 PM »

This is certainly a bold article Yeye Olade (I hope you don’t mind me addressing you this way) . One thing that has greatly impressed me in London where I lived for a long time is that for most Chinese and Indians, their language remains the language of communication at home and this is enforced . Yet their children perform extremely well in schools and always better than most other children. It struck me that if they are able to maintain this abroad ,they must certainly be more aggressive about protecting their culture at home. Unfortunately we have no such custom and it is now considered “progressive” to westernise everything that we do with the result that our children don’t know who they are anymore – and this I submit is responsible for the high level of crime these days .

In traditional Yoruba life it is unthinkable for anyone to be jobless and a thief condemns his/her entire family to be ostracised almost forever.When a thief is caught , the questions go beyond the need to know whose child he/she is , but it must also be found out which town they came from – they are all publicly humiliated so much that they often leave their town to live very far away in new places where they are not known. In traditional Yoruba life if you couldn’t get an easy white collar job you go to the farms or commit yourself to the family crafts (blacksmith , drummer / drum maker, hunter etc.) or a variation of such, but nowadays we see young “graduates” decked up in faded suits and worn shoes searching all over for jobs that do not exist. But things have changed quite horribly these days.I know for certain that in Britain at least, these family crafts are protected from extinction by government patronage , but in our case the intention seems to be to bury them as “heathen” , or “savage” crafts on the persisting instructions of our colonial masters.

Though in these days and especially when juxtaposed with the race to catch up with technology , efforts to recover our culture could certainly be a hard sell , it is still a laudable project . It will take a lot of commitment and also a lot of money which unfortunately is not at a premium these days .in the interim there is a lot that can be achieved through the efficient use of current technology and this is what this website (Yorubaland) is all about. The objective is to gather interested parties from all over the world and make it possible to persuade them to commit into such projects as you have described; and it is my hope that this approach will succeed .

About 20 years ago, I read “The Water House” by Antonio Olinto – and it completely blew me away.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0881841374?ie=UTF8&tag=yorubaland-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0881841374
This book, which I consider the Yoruba/Brazilian equivalent of Alex Haley’s “Roots” tells the story of slaves sent to Brazil and then coming back to make their home in Lagos and environs . As a matter of fact the book told me more about Lagos than I ever knew , and it was originally written in Portuguese (Geesi). Therefore, as much as we need to preserve and generate literature in the Yoruba language , it is also essential to be able to issue translations of such books into other languages – especially English , Spanish and Portuguese which are the major languages of Yoruba people in the Diaspora. In our race to preserve our culture at home, we must also not alienate our brothers and sisters abroad ; they also need to share of the gains.

My intelligence report presently shows me that twice as much people visit this web site from Eastern Europe, where there isn’t a lot of Yoruba presence, than from any other country in the world – which shows that we are on a good start. If there is anyone who also wishes to assist in the efforts of taking Yoruba to the front stage in world cultures do contact me as follows :
Olurotimi Ogunjobi , Director
Center for Exposition Of Yoruba Arts And Culture (Yorubaland)
mail@yorubaland.org
Telephone : 234- 7028777368
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YORUBAS!-SPEAK YORUBA TO YOUR CHILDREN ONLY IN THE HOUSE AND SAVE YOURSELF FROM BAD AKATA/WILD OYINBO CHILDRENYINBILO CHIL

March 7, 2011

from yeyeolade.blogspot.com

Thursday, March 03, 2011
SPEAK YORUBA TO YOUR CHILDREN AND SAVE YORUBA LANGUAGE!

http://www.nigeriavillagesquare.com/articles/guest-articles/where-is-tunde-adegbola-our-linguistic-heritage-is-dying.html

05
Jan
2011 Where is Tunde Adegbola? Our linguistic heritage is dying!

Luqmaan K. O. Babalola
January 05, 2011
More from this author
Where is Tunde Adegbola? Our linguistic heritage is dying!

I had my first child in 1999. The little boy was growing up in an English speaking Yoruba family. My elder brother one day said to me: e je ki omo yin gbo Yoruba a. His message was quite clear, but the vogue then in Lagos was (and still is) English language and it was a pride even if your child cannot say a word in Yoruba or any other mother tongue. I did not see anything wrong in that until sometimes back around 2003 (I do not remember precisely), a fine gentleman, Tunde Adegbola, was at the Science Lecture Theatre of our university (of Ilorin) with a campaign for the resurgence of African languages and their integration into modern ICTs. I cannot recall from his talk but have culled from his webpage that the “core objectives of the African Languages Technology Initiative (Alt-i) encompass the need to make modern ICTs relevant to African Languages. As we go further into the information age, more and more human communication will be mediated by machines, and this will raise the demand, not only for humans to communicate through machines but also to communicate with machines. There is no reason whatsoever why we should be made to do this in English. In order to achieve these modes of communication in African languages however, there is a need to supplement the present objectives of the study of linguistics in African universities. Within the contexts of the linguistics of African languages, we need to develop frameworks and theories that can be passed on to and used by practitioners in Human Language Technology (HLT). To this end, Alt-i is involved in developing the relevant human and other intellectual resources to facilitate this process.”
I however recall that Tunde noted that regrettably many African languages are creeping into extinction and are being replaced by the Oyinbo language of the poorest and most disgusting standards. While appreciating Tunde’s efforts and initiatives on the ICT issues, it is the possibility of the African languages going into extinction that is of great concern in this piece. Let me be particular about the Yoruba elites of today. These are a people gradually consigning their language to dustbin of history. Many homes, even at home in Nigeria, no longer know Yoruba as a medium of communication. In fact they do not feel anything wrong with saying “my son does not speak Yoruba”. Some of them will say “he understands but cannot speak it”. They pride not only in speaking English language but in not being able to speak Yoruba. Sad and indeed very sad! Pathetic and too damn shameful! I have patiently studied issues about this unwholesome trend. I have asked questions: why the drift towards English language (and consequent abandonment of the local language even at homes) and what gains there are (if any) in the drift. The objective is not to advocate a change of our lingua franca, but to call attention to issues needing awareness: the fact that our local languages must necessarily be preserved and valued.
I have discovered that the people’s thinking is that since English is our official language as a nation and that it must be passed at credit level at the WASCE/SSCE before admission into any higher institution in the country, then the better if parents begin to speak it to their children right from home, nay right from birth. I do not know and have not found any better justification for the trend. Maybe some others may think speaking English language makes you fashionable, I do not know. But the thinking that speaking a language affords an opportunity for a pass in an examination is too damn shallow, only driven by zeal and never by knowledge. Think about it: a language spoken to a growing child is acquired by the child as indigenous language. He does not understand the technicalities of the language – just like our forefathers speak their various dialects and were unable to even read their “i” if stood before them like the (Nigerian) electric pole. It is for this reason that village school children who never heard English language spoken in their homes but have the rare opportunity of being well trained in its structures, may often do well and better than their city counterparts, whose adopted first language is the Queen’s. And needless to say there is not any good result from this approach to learning our national language. And how can there be? When, unspeakably laughable, the English language being spoken in many Yoruba homes today is not the type that can pass anyone in any examination, not even the school leaving certificate examination as it is evident in our nation’s educational system today.
I remember Tunde seized the audience when he started reeling out versions of English language of his own tribe – the Yoruba people of Nigeria. The large theatre was rent with crackling laughter as he mentioned something like (I do not remember precisely): “go and open the door down”, “don’t play rough play o”, “it is two, two naira”, “be going o” and “go and work your work”. Even the uneducated are convinced they have to try. They are encouraged not to feel shy, to just try and speak English language even if heavens will fall. What about the half-educated? Ha! It is real drama if you have an opportunity to listen. Isn’t it funny how our people think? Should you have a chance to see the written English language of our students in the tertiary institutions, you would definitely wonder if anything has been achieved via this approach to learning, nay if more harm than good has not been done. Many can no longer write formal letters or what used to be known as “application letters”. In fact asking them to write a report is close to asking them to climb up the firmaments. This is in spite of the fact some of them speak the Queen’s language almost naturally, having been nurtured in an elite home.
That everyone is in so much romance with a foreign language (or English, in particular) has its connotations. One, we are losing our native language and, two; we may not be gaining any as a people. Maybe we are inventing a new English language is the best that can be said of us. And there shall be no thanks for that – not from the Queen, whose language is being bastardized by a people ashamed of their identity, nor the identity-conscious people of Yoruba origin. Even if perfection is attained in a foreign language, it shall not suffice for us to reduce our mother tongue to mere figments of history. So where is Tunde Adegbola? Let him speak out loud against this drift. Let him seize every opportunity to tell the people to identify with their own. Let him make use of all media and concerned individuals to carry on the campaign for the renaissance of the Yoruba language. Let the government support this cause. Let individuals also lend their hands in their little ways – speaking the language and encouraging it at least. I have joined in the cause. I talk to people about it. I speak it except when otherwise necessary – maybe officially. I remember particularly mentioning it in a mosque class, emphasizing that there should not be so much preference for a language over the other to the extent of almost strangulating one. The Qur’an mentions that difference in tongues of humankind is a sign from their Lord. So let no one language submerge or consume the other. A people whose language is lost is a people whose identity is lost.
For the sake of information, we must know that the mother-tongue preservation campaign transcends any race. Peoples of the world are becoming conscious of the danger of losing a heritage as important as the tongue. I had a privilege of visiting the Republic of Ireland and found the Irish complaining of losing their Irish language to the English during the colonial era – I never knew the Irish were also colonized by the English. They are also making serious effort at bringing back to life their lost heritage. We must also know that the many nations of the world which pass on knowledge by the medium of the native languages are not made backward by that. Or what can anyone say of China, Germany, Japan, Korea, Russia and others, who do scientific researches and communicate their results in their languages. These nations have not lagged a bit due to their choice of medium of communication. Rather, doing this has facilitated their processes of learning. We can do same if given proper consideration. I had a rare opportunity of seeing that there are scripts (the Japanese for example) that run vertically, top to down, simply because they are not lost. The diversity enables much more appreciation of our make as humans and the nature. I must repeat, however, that changing our national language is not what is being advocated in this article. Rather the advocacy is that, at the least, our local tongues must not be allowed to give way. We must encourage learning them in every way we can. I have however heard people complain about the content of Yoruba language as a discipline in our tertiary institutions – that those fetishes of the Yoruba culture are being taught as part of language training! I have seen students rejecting studies in Yoruba language for this singular reason. I think this should be discouraged to enable more and more individuals to pick interest in learning the language. Our policy makers should leave fetish to the its people and allow our language to be studied by all interested.
The Hausa people of northern Nigeria here deserve a commendation for their tenacity with their linguistic heritage. They demonstrate real affection for their language every place and every time. How marvelous a people! They go even a step further, extending love and affection to aliens who speak their language. I am not sure, but I am disposed to believing the Hausa people will speak their native tongue, at least, in their homes even in foreign lands. This is an attitude that is commendable and preserving of the Hausa culture and tradition. It is in sharp contrast with the attitude of the Yoruba people to their own. They show grave disdain to tribesman who chooses to communicate with them in Yoruba! Sometimes they bully: “speak in English, please!” Sometimes you don’t need to be told you have to speak English language before them, their countenances tell you straight you have to change your language to English especially when you visit their offices. I remember a school friend said to me he cannot marry a woman whose English is not sound. Why? Everyone in his family speak English, even the grandparents, so could not imagine his woman not being able to communicate with family members (who are Yoruba) in fine English! What a people!
I should mention on the last note that the day Tunde gave his talk, I got home and said to my wife: “kosi oyinbo siso ninu ile yi mo”. She thought I was joking until I told her about Tunde’s campaign and reminded her of her own “don’t play rough play o”. She then surrendered. I made it a point of duty not to speak English language except officially so much so that people ordinarily assume, with my choice of language and cultural appearance, I am not likely to be educated. I am happy with that and I feel fulfilled, rather than wearing the emblem of a different people. Unfortunately, I must confess, I have not fully recovered from the loss of many years (until 2003) as I still struggle to find the choice words in my rich Yoruba language. As for “owe” (proverbs) and “asayan oro”, the creams of the Yoruba language, many would really need deliverance as the Pentecostals would say. This is the extent of the damage to our linguistic heritage! Yoruba ro o nu o.
Luqmaan K. O. Babalola teaches Pure Mathematics at the University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria.
kobabalola@gmail.comkobabalola@gmail.com This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ,babalola.ko@unilorin.edu.ng babalola.ko@unilorin.edu.ng This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
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posted on 01-07-2011, 11:58:39 AM
Prof penkelemess
Re: Where is Tunde Adegbola? Our linguistic heritage is dying!
Prof,

thought-provoking.

I hope we get a lively debate going on this.

will try to contribute my little bit later.

THANKS

gerd meuer

posted on 01-07-2011, 22:38:05 PM
Nigeria on my mind
Re: Where is Tunde Adegbola? Our linguistic heritage is dying!
The fact that English is a mandatory requirement for admission into institutions of higher learning is a travesty in our academic philosophy. I remember a school mate who was an engineering major in my school days decades ago, before the explosion of cultism, before the degradation of scholastic standards, whose inadequate score in English prevented him from securing admission to a University. His situation was noteworthy because he had passed the subjects most pertinent to his major (physics, chemistry and maths) with flying colors. Many other brilliant scholars of the time were equally victimized.

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TUNDE ADEGBOLA IS SAVING YORUBA LANGUAGE!

YORUBAS MUST STOP MIXING YORUBA WITH ENGLISH WORDS AND DESTROYING IT! “MAMA”,”DADDY”,KINI NICE DAY,KO SI PROBLEM ,WITH EVERY SENTENCE FILLED WITH ENGLISH WORDS HAS MADE YORUBA NOW PIDGIN!! SAVE YORUBA LANGUAGE!-YORUBA IS DYING!-A DALU YORUBA KO DARA O!

February 28, 2011

http://www.tribune.com.ng/index.php/arts-a-review/17856-yorubas-must-ensure-the-survival-of-their-language

Arts & Review
‘Yorubas must ensure the survival of their language’

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Written by Adewale Oshodi Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Yeye Akilimali Funua Olade, a Black American, left the United States in 1978 for Nigeria to embrace the Yoruba way of life. In this interview with Adewale Oshodi, the Chief Librarian of African Heritage Research Library (AHRC) at Adeyipo village, Ibadan, speaks on what made her to leave the United States, why she embraced the Yoruba culture, and why she has not visited America since she left 33 years ago. Excerpts:

[Yeye Akilimali Funua Olade]

Yeye Akilimali Funua Olade
You are a Black American who relocated to Nigeria in 1978, but don’t you think that it is rather ironic that you chose to come to Africa, when Africans themselves are struggling to migrate to America?
Any black person who is in the white man’s country is a slave to white people, and by the time I was 19, I said my children would never be slaves to white people, because in reality, we were their slaves, and that is how they still treat black people till today. There is no freedom for black people, and the way they treat us is just so bad, and I decided that my children would grow up in Africa. So, by 19, I had decided that I was coming to Yorubaland because I was told by Black Americans who were practising Yoruba religion that Yoruba is the best culture in the world, as well as the best language. So that was when I decided that my children were going to grow up with the culture and speak the language, and they would never be slaves to white people.

So, in 1978, I arrived in Nigeria. Then, my children were very young and I told them they must stop speaking English in the house and speak only the Yoruba language. So they spoke Yoruba. They call me Iya mi (my mother) because I told them I didn’t want to hear any word of English in the house, like mummy, and all other words that Yorubas are using to mix and destroy the language. I didn’t allow it. Now, my children are grateful for being brought up in the Yoruba culture. Even though they are back in America, they said the culture has really helped them. It has given them a sense of belonging. Now, I am confident that one day, they will also return to Yorubaland.

You are in Nigeria now, but how often do you visit America?
I have not gone back for once because I don’t want to be anybody’s slave. I just want to be me. I love my freedom here. The racism is still very strong in the white man’s country, especially in America. So, since 1978, I have been here. I have been enjoying Yorubaland. I have never suffered for once here like I suffered while in America. I am respected by the people around me.

You speak the Yoruba language fairly well..
I don’t speak it fairly well; I must tell you the truth, and that is the only problem I have with Yoruba people. If you don’t learn to speak the languagequickly,they stop trying to teach you,say you never can learn it and speak to you in english! So in that regards, they are yet to cooperate with me but I am pledging to speak only Yoruba by

Now, one of the problems we are having with the language is that Yoruba parents encourage their children to speak only the English language. What do you have to say to this?
That is how they are destroying the language, and they will be slave to English and white people forever. Once you take up another man’s language, you will become a slave to the real owners of the language.

What do you find interesting in the Yoruba culture?
Yoruba culture is the best in the world. Yorubas were in Egypt. The culture is the most developed in Africa, and that means it is the best in the world; I must tell you that the white culture is not developed. The Asian culture is also developed, but nothing compares with the African culture.

Do you still maintain contacts with your friends in America despite leaving there 33 years ago?
Of course, we are still very much in contact. I tell them everyday why they should return home to Africa. Africa is home to blacks all over the world. I tell them I am ready to help get them settled, and a lot of them are ready to come now because the racism is just so bad, and because I have coped really well here for 33 years, they say it means the place is not that terrible.

Since you came, was there a day you regretted your decision to relocate to Africa?
Not even once. The black man should be in the black man’s land. There is no way a black person can be happy in a white country. No matter how rich the black man is; no matter how successful he is, he is still not respected. They can pick him up anytime and say he robbed a bank, and then get him jailed without any evidence of him committing any crime. Those Nigerians who are abroad, majority of them are only working for the money, so after a while, they will raise some money, put up a structure back at home and then return when they feel they have achieved a degree of financial success.

And you were not discouraged by the lack of infrastructure, the lack of electricity, among other things, coming from a country that has everything?
First of all, freedom is the most important thing in life. If you have never been free, like the blacks in America, and you come to a place where you are free, will you be talking about electricity? Although there are some Black Americans who come here, and they dwell on the lack of infrastructure, but that is not for me. I want my children to be free. Everything is here for me. I cherish the culture, the language, and the respect people give me. Everywhere I go, I am respected. A black is not respected in America. Some people even wonder how I can be living in the village. But for me, freedom comes first.

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.

YORUBA LANGUAGE IS DYING!-NEW BOOK ON ISSUES IN YORUBA RELIGION/LANGUAGE/CULTURE BY ROTIMI OGUNJOBI

September 30, 2010

FROM yeyeolade.blogspot.com

YORUBA CULTURE-A NEW BOOK ON ISSUES FACING THE CULTURE/RELIGION-INCLUDES MY ESSAY “THE DEATH OF YORUBA LANGUAGE?”

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Perspectives of Yorubaland: Compendium of Writings about Yoruba Arts and Culture
By Rotimi Ogunjobi

Perspectives of Yorubaland:
Compendium of Writings about Yoruba Arts and Culture
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Rotimi Ogunjobi
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xceedia – tee publishing, 2010 – Art – 128 pages

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Selected pages
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
References
References
Contents
The Lost Kingdom
7

The Place of Susan Wengers Art in Yorùbá Religion
13

Ethical Insights from Odu Ifá
36

Exploring Art and Spirituality In The Yorùbá Culture
41

Metaphysics and Gender in an African Ritual Play
48

Exploring Ile
62

The Batá Drums
71

Ìbéjì Custom in Yorùbáland
81

The Death Of Yorùbá Language?
89

ODU EJI OGBE Ori Chant
97

The Leopard and Chimera A fable
101

Appendix
128

Copyright

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2010
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abundantly Orisa African art Afro-Cuban añá animals art and religion Art In Yorùbá artist batá drums Beier bless me abundantly bulging eyes carved ceremonies child Chimera Cuba dance dead deaf fish deities divine English Eredo exhibition feast festival Gèlèdé goddess gods/goddesses human ìbéjì children ìbéjì figures Ibitokun’s Igbo igede Ile-Ife Ita Yemoo jee n sowo Kehinde king king’s father king’s palace Lawal Leopard Leopard’s head Leopard’s wife let me labor monuments mother mask myths National Museum NCMM Newark Museum Nigeria Obatala Odu Ifá Ogboni Olabimtan Olodumare Olokun Oranmiyan Orisa ma jee Orunmila Osogbo Osun groove palm-oil parents people’s performance religious ritual river sacred sacrifice Sango Santería shrine songs sowo asenu Orisa spiritual stew Susanne Wenger symbols Taiyewo tattoo told town Ori koo traditional Ulli Beier Wenger’s art worship Yorùbá art Yorùbá belief Yorùbá culture Yorùbá language Yorùbá religion Yorùbá Speaking Yorùbáland
Bibliographic information
Title Perspectives of Yorubaland: Compendium of Writings about Yoruba Arts and Culture
Author Rotimi Ogunjobi
Editor Rotimi Ogunjobi
Edition illustrated
Publisher xceedia – tee publishing, 2010
ISBN 9784983710, 9789784983716
Length 128 pages
Subjects Art / General
Reference / General
CLICK ON TO MY ARTICLE IN THIS BOOK HERE:

books.google.co.ke/books?isbn=9784983710…
Posted by YEYE AKILIMALI FUNUA OLADE at 1:59 AM

“THE DEATH OF YORUBA LANGUAGE?-YORUBA IS DYING-YORUBAS ARE BUSY MIXING/DESTROYING THE LANGUAGE WITH ENGLISH-AT YORUBA WEDDING CEREMONIES,CHURCHES,PRIVATE SCHOOLS ETC.-STOP KILLING YORUBA LANGUAGE:YORUBA RUNU!

July 3, 2010

FROM speakyoruba.blogspot.com

LEARN YORUBA LANGUAGE-THE MOST BEAUTIFUL LANGUAGE!

Saturday, July 3, 2010
“THE DEATH OF YORUBA LANGUAGE?”-BY YEYE AKILIMALI FUNUA OLADE(ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GUARDIAN NEWSPAPER,2005
((originally first published in the guardian newspaper)

She is the Chief librarian of the African Heritage Research Library,and in this article, makes a case for Yoruba language

THAT English, the ready-made weapon of British-American cultural imperialism, is not just trying to destroy African languages, but is attacking all other languages worldwide, I agree. Ojoogbon Akinwunmi Isola, related to me during a discussion with Ojoogbon Babatunde Fafunwa, the problem the French are having with English. He stated that the French government had recently warned all French broadcasters to stop polluting French with English, as is now popular in general French conversation, or face dismissal.

The greatest tragedy in Yorubaland today, however, regarding language is the dominating trend to speak only English to their children, making it their first language, then sending them to private nursery school, who only teach in English and causing Yoruba children to value English above all other languages! (After all their WAEC will not be in Yoruba, one highly*educated Yoruba man told me!) And see the result! These English-speaking children will rudely use English to disrespect all and sundry (after all English does not have pronouns of respect for anybody). Ask them or some of their parents and they will tell you they don’t know the original Yoruba for the popular phrases that many literate and non-literate leaders and followers commonly use throughout Yorubaland.

As a Black-American, who has come back to her Yoruba roots these past 26 years in Nigeria, I want to break down in tears over this “iyonu”! How can Yorubas kill their own language? What sort of curse is this? Obviously the curse of european-american imperialism/colonialism/slavery! As a result I have declared “War Against Destroying Our Nigerian Languages” from today. And it must start from Yorubaland. Are not the Yorubas the “wisest and the greatest”? As everything good seems to start from Yorubaland in Nigeria, “let it be so”. Full-blooded Yoruba, as of today should consciously seek not to mix English with their Yoruba. Yoruba leaders must slowly speak, watching their tongues, not to include any English word inside their Yoruba.

It has gotten to a state where such leaders cannot avoid mixing English as they speak Yoruba and their every sentence includes whole English phrases! The late Yoruba leader, Oloye Bola Ige was a pure Yoruba language speaker and other Yoruba leaders should follow his example. All clubs and organisations in Yorubaland should hold bi-annual and annual Yoruba Speaking Competitions for the “Best Yoruba Speaker”, with heavy monetary prizes (N20,000 plus) to get Yorubas to consciously practice speaking Yoruba without any English mixture. Yoruba broadcasters are guilty of promoting this deadly trend. In schools, Yoruba teachers must stress the importance of not mixing Yoruba. All private schools in Yorubaland must be required to have classes in Yoruba language from nursery through secondary school levels. And any student who fails to pass Yoruba in Yorubaland must not be allowed to graduate!

The Yoruba press must be commended for indeed holding the banner high and not polluting Yoruba with English. More effort, however, must be made to eliminate “pasito”, “professor”, “dokita” words as most of them have genuine Yoruba words that can be enlisted and popularised among their readers. Yoruba departments in Nigerian and foreign universities must start churning out more research on modernising Yoruba for technical, scientific and other vocabulary and making it available through special courses for the media and the general Yoruba public. Yoruba writers must begin to write and publish bilingual publications. For any publication they publish in English, its Yoruba equivalent must be done. In the same book (Yoruba-from the front, turn upside down, English from the back) is one way to do it or in a title simultaneously released. More books, magazines, other publications like club histories, year books must be published in Yoruba. Yoruba music too, has been assaulted by Yoruba artists, unknowingly killing Yoruba language. The mixture of English has reached a new high in Fuji. Yoruba gospel has started mixing English inside Yoruba songs within Yoruba cassettes, adding along side complete English songs! Olodumare!

Such artists must be warned—no more killing of the language in this manner. If it is English you want then put that on an English cassette. Do not replace our God-given Yoruba in a Yoruba music cassette! Yoruba movie practitioners are perhaps the biggest offenders and must take up this challenge to save Yoruba language. English nixing should absolutely be banned in all Yoruba films. I have not researched the topic but I suspect that Hausa, is probably the most unpolluted language in Nigeria, and in all their films that I have seen no English there at all. The beauty of the Yoruba language must be showcased by having more Yoruba Cultural Festivals to be held by all clubs and organisations in Yorubaland annually.

Odua’s People Congress and other enforcers of law and order in Yorubaland must be in the vanguard, not only by stressing among its members that Yoruba should not be polluted but by holding bi*Annual Yoruba Speaking competitions for the “Best Yoruba Speaker”. They must lead the way in correct Y oruba speaking and have literacy classes for all their members to learn to read in Yoruba and encourag them to speak Yoruba in the home to their children: Yoruba must become again the first language of Yorubas at home and abroad. A private Yoruba school system must be set up. These schools will teach all subjects in Yoruba from nursery up to the university eventually. If it must be like a “mushroom school”, starting with nursery school first and adding class by class this must be done. This Yoruba Academy can be supported extensively by Yorubas abroad, eventually having board houses were Yoruba children from abroad can join their counterparts here, (including all “classes of children, street children etc.) This Yoruba Academy will inculcate Yoruba culture into our children also. With the help of our Yoruba scholars we can build on Ojoogbon Babatunde Fafunwa’s successful “Mother-tongue Education” at University of Ife in the 60s. Afterall, even UNESCO has proven that Mother-tongue Education is the best for all children.

Let Yoruba Language not die! God has given the Yoruba race a language to be proud of, anywhere in the world (there are at least 60 million or more Yoruba speakers throughout the world). Let’s not destroy it with our own mouths! Let us pass it on in its richness to our children, daily in our home. Let us proudly speak it daily, read it daily, champion it daily. Yorubas cannot remain great without our language. And let us be in the vanguard of saving all Nigerian and African languages. Biu, Ogoni, Urhorbo, Igele, Ogoja, Ebira, Idoma, Efik, Tiv, Langale: Tangale, Kagona, Kutep, Oron, Legdo, Bubiaro, Esan, Afima, lsekiri, Ijaw, Edo, Ikenne, Joba, Gwari, lbo, Igala, Hausa, speakers are you listening?

http://www.tribune.com.ng/16062007/arts.html
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06-16-2007 11:46 AM#2vince
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Death ke?!Iro o!Agbedo!
Eledumare teaming up with Orunmila will never let it happen!
Eewo orisha!
Ko gbodo shele!
Ka ma ri!
Long live,yoruba language and all the other african lingos,ojare!
DS ON YOUTUBE.

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06-16-2007 11:54 AM#3vince
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The writer is a little bit too optimistic,though.Speaking yoruba without polluting it….sorry,supporting it with ede geesi in this modern times,is a bit dificult o!But i can understand where he/she is coming from,and going to.
Now here is something really strange(just in case none of you have observed it yet),when you try to “speak” 100% yoruba,you’ll mostly find the going very tough,but start writing it and you find it a lot easier!Now,that’s weird!How can one be able to write a language in it’s pure form,while one finds it so tough to speak it?
Maybe somebody can explain that to me.

My final parting salvo is this,”Kolo metality is still very much alive and kicking.Africans are still playing the i-want-to-belong-in-a-whiteman’s-world game as if their lives depend on it.”

Don’t be surprised to discover that quite a number of africans unconsciously harbour the belief that the more western you are,the closer you are to entering the kingdom of heaven.No english name,no visa to heaven.No ability to speak english,and the gates of heaven will remain closed on you for eternity.
It is a neverending struggle to “fit in”, for the black race.Pathetic.
DS ON YOUTUBE.

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06-16-2007 12:41 PM#4praizes2000
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Yoruba cannot remain great without our language.

True talk my sista, i hope we will all learn especially the so called rich men that prefer private school for their kids.

What happened to afasefetepe, afahonferigipe my Yoruba langage that i learnt in my school (Naija) in those days.
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06-16-2007 01:08 PM#5kolinzo
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This writer is not lying at all o. Yoruba Language is not the only language gradually goint into extinction but the Yoruba local dialects as well. Kolo mentality has a lot to do with this. However, I have taken it upon myself to play my part of the Yoruba language preservation -which means Yooba would be the first language for my unborn child. What parts are you guys going to take?
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06-16-2007 02:10 PM#6Peaches
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tough one. My friend only a few weeks ago baptized her daughter: Mirabelle! I just wondered what was wrong with Motunrayo or Modupe or something like that. Shame!
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06-17-2007 06:53 AM#7vince
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Originally Posted by kolinzo
This writer is not lying at all o. Yoruba Language is not the only language gradually goint into extinction but the Yoruba local dialects as well. Kolo mentality has a lot to do with this. However, I have taken it upon myself to play my part of the Yoruba language preservation -which means Yooba would be the first language for my unborn child. What parts are you guys going to take?
If i ever start making movies,99% of them will be in naija lingos,and a lion share will be in my own native tongue,yooba.That will be my own preservation contribution.
And no foreign name for my pickin,as well.
DS ON YOUTUBE.

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06-17-2007 03:31 PM#8Tiron
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Yes, we all have a part to play in keeping our indigenous languages alive.

I have an unusual and uncommon Yoruba first name. When I first started in my professional field, students and fellow colleagues used to smile whenever I introduced myself to a new group. No one EVER forgot/forgets my name.

My children, though UK born and bred, also have Yoruba names. They also understand some Yoruba. I speak it to them diluted with English in most cases I admit!

I have this British Naija friend called Shola. She gets mad whenever some of her “Asan” Naija friends or English colleagues/friends pronounce her name “Show-u-lar”. In fact, it was one of the reasons why she fell out with an “asan”, plum-in-her-mouth, friend of hers recently.
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06-17-2007 04:36 PM#9gqbabe
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http://www.tribune.com.ng/16062007/arts.html
i agree wif the text in purple but i think the text in bold is bullcrap!
http://r.yuwie.com/partypeoplepresents – Get paid to browse!!!

Lord – Forgive Us Our Trepasses As We Forgive Those Who Trespass Against Us
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06-18-2007 08:16 AM#10vince
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Originally Posted by gqbabe
i agree wif the text in purple but i think the text in bold is bullcrap!
I think it is in order.A concrete,even draconian steps like that need to be taken to preserve that precious gift from God to us,yoruba language.
The british did it to us with their language and left us to continue to do it to ourselves(no english,no graduation).
So why can’t the yorubas do it for the sake of preserving their own language in yorubaland?
Bullcrap,it is not.IMHO.

I just think that those sleeping yoruba intellects need to wake up from their slumber and get down to updating and upgrading yoruba language to fit the modern era.
Telling modern yorubas to start speaking old yoruba is very unfrealistic.The language needs to be modernised to fit our era.
How they set out to do this is their headache.Shebi they are the intellects.
DS ON YOUTUBE.

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06-18-2007 11:51 AM#11Gen Sani Abacha
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Originally Posted by vince
If i ever start making movies,99% of them will be in naija lingos,and a lion share will be in my own native tongue,yooba.That will be my own preservation contribution.
And no foreign name for my pickin,as well.
That’s why I have made a commitment to write fiction in Yoruba as well as English!
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06-18-2007 11:54 AM#12Gen Sani Abacha
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Originally Posted by vince
I think it is in order.A concrete,even draconian steps like that need to be taken to preserve that precious gift from God to us,yoruba language.
The british did it to us with their language and left us to continue to do it to ourselves(no english,no graduation).
So why can’t the yorubas do it for the sake of preserving their own language in yorubaland?
Bullcrap,it is not.IMHO.

I just think that those sleeping yoruba intellects need to wake up from their slumber and get down to updating and upgrading yoruba language to fit the modern era.
Telling modern yorubas to start speaking old yoruba is very unfrealistic.The language needs to be modernised to fit our era.
How they set out to do this is their headache.Shebi they are the intellects.
They have already been on it for the past 30 years. Check out Prof Longe’s efforts towards a Yoruba language publication of the mathematical theories underpining computer science. He did this back in the early 1980s. Someone else also published a dictionary of Engineering physics in Yoruba, that was in the early 1990s. You should try to find out the activities/publications and research of the Yoruba Studies Association of Nigeria(Egbe Ilosiwaju Imo Ijinle Yoruba Naijiria).

ciao
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06-18-2007 02:56 PM#13vince
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Originally Posted by Gen Sani Abacha
They have already been on it for the past 30 years. Check out Prof Longe’s efforts towards a Yoruba language publication of the mathematical theories underpining computer science. He did this back in the early 1980s. Someone else also published a dictionary of Engineering physics in Yoruba, that was in the early 1990s. You should try to find out the activities/publications and research of the Yoruba Studies Association of Nigeria(Egbe Ilosiwaju Imo Ijinle Yoruba Naijiria).

ciao
All their efforts since all that time has little influence on the yoruba acaedemia,talkless of on the common man.And that is the sticking point.
These yoruba studies association,does it have a website?I am keen to link up.
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06-18-2007 03:32 PM#14gqbabe
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when i was younger, my mom used to yab me tht when God was creating me He put cotton buds in my ear cos other than english i dnt understand any other language. Now if it is made compulsory that you pass yoruba to graduate, then some1 like me wld never graduate. Or if tht person managed to pass, then they’d not be able to communicate wif non-yorubas, as the likelihood of them understandn another language is negligible!
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06-19-2007 04:25 AM#15Gen Sani Abacha
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Originally Posted by vince
All their efforts since all that time has little influence on the yoruba acaedemia,talkless of on the common man.And that is the sticking point.
These yoruba studies association,does it have a website?I am keen to link up.
Remember Prof Akinwunmi Isola, the author of Oleku the book and the scriptwriter of the film ? He is part of that cadre of academics. They have a lot of input into the teaching syllabus of Yoruba language. They also act as consultants sometimes for major Yoruba movies. They also advise government on language policy(although the govt doesn’t seem to take any notice of their advise!).
I don’t the Yoruba Studies Association has a website, neither do their sister organisation, the Yoruba Teachers Association of Nigeria.
UP ISI-EWU!! UP NIGERIA!!!

YORUBA LANGUAGE IS DYING! EVERYDAY YORUBAS ARE BUSY REPLACING IT WITH ENGLISH,MIXING IT IN THEIR SPEAKING,PRAYING,YORUBA WEDDING CEREMONIES,EVERYWHERE THEY ARE KILLING IT! YORUBA ACADEMY TO THE RESCUE!

April 19, 2010

nigeriabestforum.com

SOYINKA, FAFUNWA, OTHERS HEAD YORUBA ACADEMY
Written by furtune Education Mar 30, 2010

Soyinka, Fafunwa, others head Yoruba Academy
By Gbenga Adeniji, Published: Tuesday, 30 Mar 2010

Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka; former Minister of Education, Prof. Babatunde Fafunwa; Prof. Bolanle Awe; lecturer and playwright, Prof. Akinwunmi Isola, and many other distinguished indigenes of Yoruba land are to serve as members, Board of Trustees of The Yoruba Academy, whose governing organs will be inaugurated in Ibadan, Oyo State, on Wednesday.

The centre was conceived at the Yoruba Retreat held at the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture, Ibadan in October, 2007.

According to a statement issued on Tuesday by the National Publicity Secretary of Afenifere Renewal Group, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, the organs to be inaugurated are; the Board of Trustees and Governing Council.

Also, the event is expected to attract distinguished sons and daughters of Yoruba land both at home and in the Diaspora.

Other members of the Board of Trustees are Mrs. Francesca Emmanuel; Prof. Wale Omole; Gen. Alani Akinrinade (rtd); Justice Bolarinwa Babalakin; Prof. Olabiyi Yayi; Mrs. Jumoke Anifowose; Mr. Wale Oshun; and the Democratic Peoples Alliance governorship candidate in Lagos State in 2007, Mr. Jimi Agbaje. The Chairman of the Board is Fafunwa.

Besides, the statement added that members of the Governing Council include Prof. Wale Omole, who is the chairman; Dr. Tunde Adegbola; Chief Adebayo Faleti; Dr. Charles Akinola; Prof. Mobolaji Aluko, Mr. Kayode Samuel, Dr.Wale Adebanwi, Mr. Tola Mobolurin, Miss Yetunde Sekoni, Mr. Dipo Famakinwa, Prince Oye Oyewumi, Dr. Iyabo Bassir, Dr. Sola Olorunyomi; Mr. Tunde Kelani, Mr. Francis Ojo; Prof. Kunle Lawal; and Dr. Tunji Olowolafe.

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FROM chidioparareports.blogspot.com

Monday, March 29, 2010
News Release: Yoruba Academy for inauguration
[Yoruba Art]

The Yoruba Academy, which was conceived at the Yoruba Retreat, held at the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan in 2008 becomes real with the inauguration of the Governance organs in Ibadan on Wednesday, March 31, 2010.

Billed for the Academy’s House at 25, Dejo Oyelese Street, Old Bodija Estate, Ibadan at 11.00am prompt, the event attracts who-is-who in the Yoruba nation-homeland and Diaspora.

The two organs for inauguration are the Board of Trustees and Governing Council make up as follows:

Members of the Board of Trustees:
1. Professor Babatunde Aliyu Fafunwa – Chairman
2. Professor (Mrs.) Bolanle Awe
3. Professor Wole Soyinka
4. Mrs. Francesca Emmanuel
5. Professor Akinwunmi Isola
6. Professor Wale Omole
7. General Alani Akinrinade
8.Justice Bolarinwa Babalakin
9. Professor Olabiyi Yayi
10. Mrs. Jumoke Anifowose
11. Hon. Wale Oshun
12. Mr. Jimi Agbaje

Members of the Governing Council:
1. Professor Wale Omole – Chairman
2. Dr. Tunde Adegbola
3. Alagba Adebayo Faleti
4. Dr. Charles “Diji Akinola
5. Mr. Tola Mobolurin
6. Miss Yetunde Sekoni
7. Mr. Dipo Famakinwa
8. Prince Oye Oyewumi
9. Dr. Iyabo Bassir
10. Dr. Sola Olorunyomi
11. Mr. Tunde Kelani
12. Engr. Francis Ojo
13. Dr. Tunji Olowolafe
14. Professor Kunle Lawal
15. Mr. Kayode Samuel
16. Dr. Wale Adebanwi
17. Professor Bolaji Aluko

‘Yinka Odumakin
For: The Yoruba Academy
Posted by Public Information Project Management(PIPROM) at 9:02 AM

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from newstarng.com

Yoruba Academy to the rescue PDF Print E-mail
Written by OLAIDE OYELUDE
Monday, 05 April 2010 02:57

NEWS STAR

On Wednesday, March 31, a very unique event that signified very sincere and pragmatic steps towards protection and preservation of Yoruba race and heritage took place in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital. The event was the inauguration of the Board of Trustees and Governing Council for the Yoruba Academy. Emeritus Professor Olu Akinkugbe was the chairman at the occasion witnessed by notable personalities in the Yorubaland including Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Dimeji Bankole, former Governor of Osun State, Chief Bisi Akande and Speaker, Oyo State House of Assembly, Hon. Moroof Atilola, among others.
The Yoruba Academy is an independent, non-profit governmental organization created as a multi-disciplinary institution, charged with the task of bringing together everyone committed to the best traditions of the promotion of modern democratic life and ensure the preservation of Yoruba language, culture, social practices, values and institutions. The Academy is also committed to engaging in, encouraging and funding research and systematic reflections on the history, culture, position and future of the Yoruba in the context of Nigeria and in a globalizing world, towards helping to create and sustain freedom for all and life more abundant.
The Yoruba Academy is borne out of concern that the race is being relegated in virtually all spheres of life especially in such areas as education, commerce and business. A retreat was subsequently organized in 2007 by a group of Yoruba professionals and activists. The retreat which took place in Ibadan was attended by Yoruba political leaders, business men and women with the aim of charting a way forward for the Yoruba. One of the outcomes of the retreat was a declaration that a Yoruba Academy is needed to ensure renaissance of Yoruba culture, capture the soul of its youth and re-establish the pride of the Yoruba race and increase its capacity to contribute to the international community. The Yoruba Academy subsequently opened office in Ibadan in August 2008.
Activities of the Academy focus on such programmes as children and youth, resource repository/database, Research into such indicative focus areas including Yoruba culture, Yoruba religion and divinity, Yoruba language and linguistics, science and technology in Yoruba, Yoruba jurisprudence, as well in Yoruba strategic development studies, among others.
Expectedly, the event attracted comments and suggestions. Speaker Bankole urged the Academy to look into the areas the Yoruba are lagging which they used to play leading roles before, especially in education, banking and information management. His words: “The race before the Academy is not a one hundred metres race. It is indeed a long distance race and I believe the Academy needs to pursue it with vigour and zeal so that our future generation will be proud of our race. In the last 10 years, it seems the Yoruba have been relegated from the leading role they used to play in the areas of education, business and commerce and even in information management. These are the things the Yoruba Academy has to face so that we may have a better future.”
Speaking on the importance of the Academy, Professor Akinkugbe said: “The idea of the Yoruba Academy has become very critical, to further the need for the promotion of self-confidence, a strong Yoruba identity to develop our intellectual capacity and colour, to propel our minds, body and spirit, to identify with the urgent need to preserve and continue to nurture who we are, as well as being able to assert our Yorubaness without reservations about our history not living merely on our past glory.”
Fafunwa also noted that: “Yoruba is a complete race and the Academy is out to promote all aspects of the Yoruba including our culture, our enterprises, our uniqueness and so on. Yoruba as a language, ranks sixth among the world spoken languages after English language, French, Arab, Spanish and Portuguese. Yoruba should not be relegated to the background for whatever reasons. Is it the complete gentlemanness of the Yoruba or the Yoruba flair for fair hearing before deciding on any issue? Is it the beauty of Yoruba language or its versatility? We should bequeath a worthy legacy that our future generation will be very proud of.”
In his contribution, the chairman of the Governing Council, Prof. Omole, said: “The Yoruba Academy is not partisan. Rather the Academy is to protect the interests of all Yoruba irrespective of their political leanings, religious persuasions and business interests. All that the Academy is out for is to ensure that Yoruba either now or in the future, continue to enjoy the pride of place while our culture, our heritage which makes us unique, are protected and preserved for the sake of the present and future generations. Yoruba are a proud people and the Academy will strive to make us discover that pride again.”
The 12-member Board of Trustees(BOT) for the Academy former Education Minister, Professor Aliyu Babatunde Fafunwa as chairman. Other trustees are General Alani Akinrinade, Mrs Jumoke Anifowose, Professor Bolanle Awe, Justice Bolarinwa Babalaki, Mr. Jimi Agbaje, Mrs Francesca Emmanuel, Professor Akinwunmi Isola, Professor Wale Omole, Hon. Wale Osun, Professor Wole Soyinka and Professor Olabiyi Yayi. The BOT is a team of eminent Yoruba persons from diverse professions, representing the Yoruba in Nigeria and in the Diaspora. The Board is expected to provide strategic direction and set the agenda for the Academy. It also ensures that the activities of the Academy remain mandate-focused while it also safe-guards independence of the Academy.
Former Vice Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Professor Wale Omole, is the chairman of the Academy’s 17-member Governing Council. Other council members include Dr. Wale Adebanwi, Dr. Tunde Adegbola, Dr. Charles ‘Diji Akinola, Professor Bolaji Aluko,Dr. Iyabo Basir, Alagba Adebayo Faleti, Mr. Dipo Famakinwa, Mr. Tunde Kelani, Professor Kunle Lawal, Mr. Tola Mobolurin , Engineer Francis Ojo, Dr. Sola Olorunyomi, Dr. Tunji Olowolafe, Prince Oye Oyewunmi, Mr. Kayode Samuel and Ms Yetunde Sekoni.
Just like BOT, members of the Governing Council are drawn from professionals with significant relevant skills and experience to guide the management of the Academy. The Council is responsible for the overall governance of the Academy while it sets up, empowers and mandates committees of the Academy as required. The Council is also responsible for the maintenance of programme integrity while it equally provides strategic direction for the management and operations of team of the Academy. The Council also provides support and external linkages while at the same time, provides ‘custodian, stewardship and accountability’ roles in the Academy.
No doubt, the younger generation of Yoruba looks up to the sustenance of an enviable legacy of a race that the future generation will equally be proud of.

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FROM tribune.com

Yoruba Academy: Fighting the cause of the Yoruba people

| Print | E-mail

Written by Segun Taiwo

Recently, members of the Board of Trustees and Governing Council of the Yoruba Academy were inaugurated in Ibadan. Segun Taiwo, who was at the event, reports on the resolve of the body to advance the understanding and appreciation of Yoruba history, language, culture and civilisation.

[From right, Justice Bolarinwa Babalakin; Chief Bisi Akande and Professor Bolanle Awe, during the inauguration of members of the Board of Trustees and Governing Council of the Yoruba Academy in Ibadan last week. Photo: Tunde Babajide.]

From right, Justice Bolarinwa Babalakin; Chief Bisi Akande and Professor Bolanle Awe, during the inauguration of members of the Board of Trustees and Governing Council of the Yoruba Academy in Ibadan last week. Photo: Tunde Babajide.
In a bid to promote the Yoruba language, social practices, norms, values and institutions, Yoruba leaders have come together to form the Yoruba Academy, with the recent inauguration of the body’s Board of Trustees and Governing Council members in Ibadan.

Concerned about the rate at which Yoruba values and institutions are being relegated to the background, the body will ensure the preservation of the Yoruba language, social practices, norms and values, through research and systematic reflections on the history, culture, position and future of the Yoruba in the context of Nigeria and in a globalising world.

Also, in a bid to meet its objectives, the Academy will welcome individuals and organisations interested in the development of the Yoruba as a distinct ethnic entity.

In his opening address at the inauguration, the chairman of the event, Professor Oladipo Akinkugbe, expressed confidence that the Academy would restored the glory and pride of the Yoruba people.

Prof. Akinkugbe, who lamented the present state of the Yoruba nation, then called on all Yoruba people, irrespective of political, social or educational differences, to come together and salvage the situation.

While also speaking, the highest ranking Yoruba man in the current political dispensation, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Dimeji Bankole, lamented that Yorubas were no longer in the scheme of things in the country.

Citing the area of education and communications as example, Hon. Bankole said it was unfortunate the woeful performance of students from the South West in their final school certificate examinations, while saying the race has also lost its grip on the electronic and print media in the country.

“It is, therefore, a good development that the Yoruba Academy is being inaugurated to put the race in its rightful position in the country,” the Speaker said.

Other eminent Yoruba personalities at the event, also spoke on the need for the Yoruba people to retake its place in the scheme of things in the country, and in the world at large.

A former Osun State governor and chairman of the Action Congress (AC), Chief Bisi Akande, said Yoruba people should set aside their differences and work for the progress of the race.

Members of the Board of Trustees comprising Prof. Babatunde Fafunwa, who is chairman; Mr. Jimi Agbaje, General Alani Akinrinade, Mrs. Jumoke Anifowose, Prof. Bolanle Awe, Justice Bolarinwa Babalakin, Mrs. Francesca Emmanuel, Prof. Akinwumi Isola, Prof. Wale Omole, Hon. Wale Oshun, Prof. Wole Soyinka and Prof. Olabiyi Yai, were then presented and inaugurated, while members of the governing council, comprising Prof. Wale Omole (chairman), Dr. Wale Adebanwi, Dr. Tunde Adegbola, Dr. Charles ‘Diji Akinola, Prof. Bolaji Aluko, Dr. Iyabo Bassir, Pa. Adebayo Faleti, Mr. Dipo Famakinwa, Mr. Tunde Kelani, Prof. Kunle Lawal, Mr. Tola Mobolurin, Engr. Francis Ojo, Dr. Sola Olorunyomi, Dr. Tunji Olowolafe, Prince Oye Oyewumi, Mr. Kayode Samuel and Ms. Yetunde Sekoni, were also installed.

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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