Yoruba parents have been accused
of creating a gap between their children and their roots through the systematic
neglect of the language. This was unveiled at Yoruba Lakotun, a quarterly
cultural programme at Ethnic Heritage Centre, Ikoyi.
Mr Ayoade Okedokun, author of Ika Abamo, Omo Elede
and other books in
Yoruba and English languages, said, ‘there
are certain words that cannot be translated into Yoruba language because it has
no equivalent in English and vice versa. He explained that Yoruba parents have
mixed up the role of the school and that of the home.
In his words, ‘the payment made in the school is to teach
the children English language; while the children should learn Yoruba language
from their parents and immediate community. Unfortunately, many people muddled
up these roles which are distinctly separate. Parents should both cooperate to
ensure that their children understand the language; children should not be
separated from their roots.’
Similarly, Ms Adebunmi Adeniran,
Chief Executive of Nailangs, a virtual keyboard that can type 12 Nigerian
languages with the tonal marks, expressed shock at the rate in which Yoruba
make their children speak English compulsorily when Yorubas in the Diaspora are
keen about making their children understand the language.
In her words, ‘our mother tongue needs to be a reference point many generations to
come and we have to ensure that it is preserved with the use of technology and
also orally as passed down from one generation to another.
Adesewa Oyinkansola, student of
Yaba College of Technology Secondary School, performed two poems in Yoruba language
to the delight of the audience who applauded her for her dexterity in
performing in English and Yoruba language. According to her, ‘I challenged my Mum that I do not want to
be a stranger to my culture. My Mum agreed and today, I prefer to read my
Yoruba Bible and wear Yoruba clothes.’
The programme was dedicated to
Benin Republic, a country where Yoruba language has just been adopted as the
second language. Although, there is a slight variation of their Yoruba with
that those at the core of the language but it is a right step in the right
direction. Everyone is calling upon the Nigerian Government to emulate this idea
rather than making International languages compulsory at the expense of
Nigerian languages at all levels of learning.
NOTE TO THE PRESS:
ABOUT YORUBA LAKOTUN:
It is a quarterly live audience participatory programme where
different creative arts are done and an interview session with a writer. The
host is Olutayo Irantiola
ABOUT ETHNIC HERITAGE CENTRE:
Ethnic Heritage Centre is located at 35A, Raymond Njoku
Street off Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos. The centre is a foremost learning centre
for the learning of Yoruba, Igbo, Hausa and French thereby exposing them to the
cultural elements surrounding those languages thereby promoting and preserving
our cultural heritage. This is achieved through a modern, creative and
innovative method of learning.
Their programmes are flexible enough to accommodate Nigerian
residents and those who are on short visits to Nigeria that may want to have a
better understanding of the Nigerian people and their cultures. The centre also
has a library stocked with books in all the languages for everyone. The centre
also has a gift shop called ‘Kasuwa’ which means Market in Hausa where
different creative works can be purchased.
FOR PRESS ENQUIRIES-
Labels: Adebunmi Adeniran, Ayoade Okedokun, Benin Republic, diaspora, Ethnic Heritage Center, Nigeria Government, Olutayo Irantiola, Oyinkansola Adesewa, Yoruba Lakotun