Five Reasons Nigerian Children Are Not Speaking Their Mother tongue

native-kids-featured.jpg

In the past children spoke Nigeria’s indigenous languages namely Yoruba, Igbo, and Hausa fluently and unashamedly. However, today, the complete opposite is the case. Kids can barely communicate in Efik or Idoma without adding a bit of English.

The consequences of this are that many of these languages are facing extinction while some of them have gone extinct. A research that is cited by those concerned to lend credence to the import of indigenous languages is that of former Minister of education, Prof. Babs Fafunwa.

The late Prof made a case for the mother tongue as the medium of education for the first 12 years of the child’s life. Through an organized mother-tongue education program, they discovered children taught in the Yoruba language performed better. Regardless, it has not changed the fortunes of these languages because kids have refused to communicate.

In line with this, we share five reasons children are not speaking their mother tongue.

1.Parents don’t speak the languages to them

Parents don’t speak their mother tongue to their children anymore. In fact, some of these parents when they go for attending events one of the best hotels in Lagos, they order their children not to speak the language. How can such a child learn the language? Parents should speak more to their kids in their mother tongue.

2.It is tagged vernacular

In some schools today, Yoruba, Hausa, and Igbo among other languages are banned because they are considered vernacular. A child who speaks his or her mother tongue would be penalized. So from the formative years of these children, they already have the perception that speaking their mother tongue is bad.

3.They are uncivilized

Many people believe that you are uncivilized or local if you speak your mother tongue. So, in other to join the bandwagon and be accepted, they ditch Ibibio for English. This is all in the name of being civilized. Children have also been caught in this web

4.It is not compulsory in primary and secondary schools

While English is compulsory in secondary schools today, the indigenous languages are not even though a child must study one of these languages. Children will think the languages are a joke. Hence, they won’t bother to learn or speak it.

5.Technology

The engagement or interaction of children with technology is entirely in English. Their smartphone, video games, laptop and other tech gadgets are in English. So since many of them spend so much time with these gadgets, they don’t have anything to do with the languages. This is a challenge to Nigerian developers to design tech gadgets in the indigenous languages.

Advertisements

7 signs you are a typical “Waffarian”

The term “Waffarian” used alternatively for waffi or waffiman,  has over the years been used to refer to people from Warri, Delta State, Nigeria. While a lot of jokes have been made about them and certain people who admire claim to be part of their creed, very few actually have that coveted “typical warri” credibility.

In this article,  we disclose 7 signs to spot any typical waffarian. From the use of a unique brand of pidgin to ridiculously loud banters these signs are sure bankers.

blog

They have actually lived in Warri

To be a considered a real waffarian, you must actually be a native of one of the three main ethnic groups: the Ijaws, the Itsekiris and the Urhobos, who claim original ownership of Warri. And not only that, you must have lived in this town at some point in your life. The main sign that you are a typical waffarian is when you know first hand the culture and values of the people, and this is learnt by cohabiting and socializing with locals in the area.

They are fluent in that special pidgin

Waffarians are easily marked by their special brand of pidgin. For instance, a normal Nigerian would translate “that girl is crazy” as “dat girl dey Krays” but a typical waffarian would rather say “she dey para”. Another thing about waffarians also is that they are so proud of their pidgin that it has become their go-to language.  They throw it at anyone they encounter in the area and sometimes even get offended when they get a reply in clean English.

Banga soup

They love Banga soup

It is no secret that Banga soup -whether with starch or pounded yam- is a favorite of waffi people. There are literally hundreds of restaurants that offer the cuisine around the city and the natives never give up on patronizing these food joints. Any person whose first pick of local meal is Banga and starch, 8 times out of 10, they are typical waffarians.

They have long native names

The waffarians are very proud of their heritage and so you find the real ones have native names which they use rather proudly. These names are usually very long and have varied meanings, although most of them make reference to God as this tribe are a religious lot. Some examples of their names include: “onetoritsebawoete” meaning “whom the lord is with cannot be put to shame”, “Ogbaghabkomi” meaning “they taught me to be wise”, and so on.

omawumi warri delta state

They are never fazed

They are bold and hardly ever turn down any challenge thrown at them. They also are very confident in themselves. You hardly find a waffarian depressed or threatening to commit suicide based on a dilemma. They face issues head on and are almost always optimistic about their situation.

They have a knack for banter

A knack for banter is another major sign. Warri people are verbal and quite witty too. They coin their words in very interesting ways and would never relent in a verbal fight. They are also very expressive, quick to give their opinion, no matter the situation and can be very loud while at it. It is no wonder comedy thrives greatly in the area, as they are the group of people most talked about actually by Nigerian comedians.

ob

Respect is important to them

Waffarians are very particular about respect. It means everything to them and they would do anything to earn it. Also, when they are denied the respect they believe is due to them, they become uncooperative and sometimes even belligerent. The first question they ask when challenged is: “Who you be sef?!” as they see a challenge, first as an impending show of disrespect.