NIGERIAN PARENTS REPUGNANCE FOR OUR INDIGENOUS LANGUAGES AND THE CRAZE FOR ENGLISH LANGUAGE

by - September 15, 2018

I was on the bus the other day, when this semi illiterate woman kept chastising her daughter for speaking Yoruba language to her little brother. She didn't even mind the fact that she was in public. She went on to correct her daughter in her shattered,discombobulated and very irritating albeit humorous supposedly "English language". To say I was traumatised by how this lady kept assaulting everyone in the vehicle and most especially her kids with her terrible grammar is clearly an understatement.


Trust me guys, this lady would definitely give "Jennifer" a run for her money. She went on and on conversing with her daughter with her terrible grammar and pronounciation which brought about an outburst from one of the passengers in the vehicle.

"Madam, just speak your native language to this girl and save us all this headache". "I'm sure your girl understands Yoruba perfectly" The irritated passenger blurted out.  I wish I could hug him at that moment for saying what I had exactly on my mind. This didn't go well with the woman which promted her to start shouting and actually made her start speaking "the discarded Yoruba language" she chastised her daughter for speaking earlier. Apparently, that was the only language/ medium she could use to express herself comfortably!  Very disturbing right? She kept asking the passenger if he knew the amount her daughter's tuition cost, she couldn't just let her daughter speak the native language in order not to corrupt her English language. The guy was about to reply her when I signalled to him to just ignore her. But he didn't listen and they kept going back and forth on the issue till I alighted at my destination.

Please, what exactly is this craze amongst the new generation parents we have today who ban their children from speaking their native language?  What exactly is going on? When did our indigenous languages become so archaic that the mere thought of speaking it to your children or even allowing them to communicate with you in that native language become so scary? Is this as a result of the inferiority complex that has messed up our psyche as Africans for too long? Or is it just the craze to sound more "British" or "American" than the Caucasians themselves? You know what I find disgusting is when some give silly excuses like: " I don't speak my native language to my children, neither do i encourage them to speak it because I don't want to corrupt their English language/ accent!  This is just so ridiculous!

When did our indigenous languages become a virus ehn? If the Britishs who we are trying so hard to imitate didn't embrace their language how exactly would we have learnt the English language correctly?

There are some adults who will tell you confidently that they don't understand their indigenous languages, and neither do they speak it! This is really disturbing! How can we put a stop to this menace? With the way things are going in this country, I really hope in the next fifty to hundred years to come, our indigenous languages would not have gone into extinction by then.

Dear millennials, let's stop depriving these wonderful and inquisitive kids the opportunity of embracing their indigenous languages. It's absolutely their rights! Trust me, it will never make them appear crude. Just make sure you send them to a very good school when they are young, trust me foundation matters most. There is absolutely nothing wrong if they learn their native language along the official language together. It will even afford them a vast knowledge of the two languages.
Say no to this form of neocolonialism.

Emancipate yourself from this form of mental slavery; and allow your kids to interact with you freely in their respective indigenous languages.  Encourage them to ask you questions about out culture and tradition. Not everything is demonic abeg. Teach them the beautiful proverbs heavily embedded in our culture. Let them embrace their identity, instead of trying to turn them into something they are not. There's absolutely nothing more beautiful than being able to communicate with your children in your native language. Stop robbing them of this right. It is part of our culture, encourage them to appreciate our heritage. It will never make them look uncivilised, instead it will make them appreciate their roots better. What's your take on this? Share your thoughts with me.

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