FeaturesSouth-west Magazine

Yoruba Language must not die

•Says culture enthusiast, tasks media

From Lukman Olabiyi

Media professionals especially, those who ply their trade with the use of Yoruba Language have been given a tall order; the language must not die. They were asked to rise up and defend the language.

A culture enthusiast and president, Asa Day Worldwide Inc., Canada, Prince Olaniyi Oyatoye, threw the challenge during an interactive session with members of the Guild of Yoruba Media Practitioners (GYMP):  One of the ways to preserve our heritage is to allow the use of indigenous language in official quarters.”

“I am sold out to promoting Yoruba culture all over the world.” He added that it was shocking that only the whites patronise the museum he established in Canada: “Very few natives have shown interest to learn from the cultural museum.

“We get invitations everyday from Canadians, Europeans, Americans and others who want to learn about our culture. They travel from far and wide to visit and learn from the museum, whereas our own people, whom we established the museum for don’t even show interest. This is really scary.

“We are afraid because the whites or the West may end up teaching our children our culture and tradition in schools. That is why our government especially in the South West should institutionalise the use of Yoruba Language in official functions and day-to-day running of government.”

Oyatoye encouraged those who use the language as means of communication especially the Yoruba media group to rise up and defend the language from going into extinction:

“I want to you to seek the help of United Nations (UN), in protecting the language. You may also need to reach out to UNESCO over the matter especially on how our schools can partner with Yoruba print media organisations among you. We are also ready to support you in this course, because our heritage, culture and language must not die.”

He disclosed that the Asa Day celebration would hold in Abuja in June: “Other ones will take place in London and Canada in July and September respectively.”

Chairman, GYMP, Samuel Akinrole, appreciated Oyatoye for being a good ambassador of Yoruba heritage and for representing the course of the race, globally. He assured him of the group’s suppor for Asa Day.

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