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Why I add “Igbo Content”

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You must have noticed I tend to fuse a lot of Igbo content by way of exclamations and short sentences in my busy body writings. Those exclamations have come to define most of my writings and “kind of” bring out the “beauty and uniqueness” for me. It makes me identify who I am and given the fact that I don’t know “turenchi” (English) too much.

English as you may know have not been my thing and I barely “let my people go” from WAEC even while “dem de rush us” for mathematics and other sciences. Igbo was my comfort zone and I have proof according to WAEC as I made an A1 in the subject. So am not surprised that every time I want to speak English, Igbo comes out of my mouth and every time I type English letters, Igbo overtakes the English. I have even realized that my computers autocorrect is in Igbo! With the mix up, I have now settled for the “miskogbuo” that is called “engligbo” in my writings. If Soyinka can introduce new words like “shipopotamus” into the English lexicon, why can’t I.

I have come to realize that in this world you have to carve a niche for yourself in everything we do and there is no better place to do this than your area of strength. Today we all talk about local content in the Oil and Gas industry and other aspects of the polity so why not in the spoken and written words. Our broken English is now recognized and so should our “engligbo” as we make our way to colonize the west. I believe in “engligbo” as a way of bringing out the intimate expressions that may not be possible in only English. Engligbo suggests that the speaker or writer has confidence and is proud of his roots and culture.

There have been concerns that children of these days do not have the opportunity to speak their mother tongues because their parents bring them up speaking only foreign languages. That should not be so if the parents understand cultures and are proud of their own culture. That one speaks his language is a show of strength of character and should not be seen as being backward or less trendy as some people may believe. In fact, it may be a complex issue if one is shy to speak of his own culture or language. Gone are those days when people where shy of doing things because they feel ashamed due to peer pressure. We can see that even the hit songs from the most favourite artists in Nigeria today are fusion of the local languages. Check out Flavour N’abania or Phyno and you will see what I am talking about. They make waves home and abroad that even those that pretend that “ha anaghi anyu nsi” (not sure how to interpret this one but liken it to “ajekpako”) shake their waist more to the rhythms.

The West colonized Africa and Asia and brought a lot of good things our way. Unfortunately, they also took more away and replaced our religion and culture with theirs, something the Chinese and Indians resisted to their advantage today. Our “Chi” they referred to as bad, even though it got us instant justice and put bad people on check. Can you imagine any politician swearing by “Amadioha” and commit any crime against its people? Instant justice awaits such a person and they would not try it in the first place. The good thing is that, Africa has woken up and we are now exporting our own products back to the West whether they want to receive them or not. The goods include their own religion, migrants and most recently “Enligbo”. Globalization must be seen as a two way street. You cannot implement policies that impoverish Africa and still restrict movement of the poor to the West while creaming the few intellectuals that are supposed to develop their fathers land.

Fluency in spoken and written conversation in mother tongues should be encouraged amongst our youths. Intermediates like broken English and engligbo should be seen in the same light as it expresses our confidence in who we are and does not in any way belittle us.

The advent of social media has seen the rise of all kinds of conjecture in writings,and I am sure that sooner than later we will start seeing some of the abbreviations in the dictionaries. The time to stake our own claim in the world lexicon is now, hence the need for us all to imbibe engligbo as valid means of written expression.

 

 

Obidike Peter wrote from www.peterobidike.com and p_obidike@yahoo.com

Saturday 25th August 2018

 

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