Adebayo Adegbembo is an ingenious
Nigerian who has evolved various platforms from his deep understanding of
Yoruba language. He is pushing the frontiers of the language to ensure that
people from Latin America can have access to the language; herein is an excerpt
of the interview-
Adebayo Adegbembo, founder of Genii Games where
we develop interactive mobile apps and animated videos to help children learn
Nigerian languages, ethics, etiquette and more.
How did you learn these
up in a household where Yoruba remains the language of communication. This is
coupled by the fact that Yoruba is the dominant native language in Lagos where
I also grew up. With respect to English, I learnt it at school from the nursery
When did you create genii games
and how easy was it?
Though Genii Games was
incorporated in 2013, I started out in 2012 as a way of using technology to
make the subject of Nigerian languages fun for kids using games. Starting out,
I had to rely on my programming skills but I've since grown to leverage the
skills of others as a team, thanks to the support of the Co-Creation Hub
(CCHub), my primary partners. Having come out of the Tech-in
education competition that was run by them (CCHub), I received support in the
areas of funding, mentorship among others.
What made you create the fusion
of Yoruba language, culture and technology?
approach was driven by the need to make Yoruba language fun for kids. Given the
subject of our local languages can sometimes seem boring for kids especially in
light of other attractions (cartoons, games etc) at their disposal, I found a
need to leverage features that they find interesting to help them learn Yoruba.
Specifically, the Yoruba101 app
uses colorful graphics, animations, text, voice, sound and games to teach
Yoruba language and culture.
Where these platforms receptive
to your idea at first?
The Yoruba101 app
has been well received across the mobile platforms especially abroad. Even
then, there's still a lot to do in reaching more people worldwide given the
spread of Yoruba people from Nigeria to Latin america.
Do you intend to make all these
available on TV for Yoruba children to watch it from the comfort of their
plans are currently underway to make it such that kids can watch on TV. At the
moment, we just launched a series called B.O.L.A (Book
of Language awesomeness) which is a 3D animated series built
around promoting African languages including Yoruba.
Tell us about the ASA Club?
Club is a extension of our works. It runs as a physical workshop (now Digital
Storytelling Workshop) where we work with kids across schools,
summer camps etc. to build interactive videos and apps. With it, we aim to get
children involved in the creative process, inspiring and teaching them useful
skills in the design process.
What are the next technological
inventions in Yoruba language that you want to work upon?
At what point do you think we
need to break away from using English to teach our children Yoruba language?
both languages can co-exist as long as the Yoruba language doesn't suffer as it
currently does. Hence, there needs to be more effort to encourage the use of
Yoruba language to further raise it to the level where we have accepted English
What is the prospect for those
who understand Yoruba language very well?
prospects are great. As with any skill or profession today, there's a need to
be creative and evolve with growing trends in the areas of technology when it
comes to its application.
Labels: Adebayo Adegbembo, B.O.L.A, Book of Language awesomeness, Co-Creation Hub (CCHub), Digital Storytelling Workshop, Genii Games, Olutayo Irantiola, Peo Davies, Yoruba101