Nigeria: Foundation Makes Case for Yoruba Language

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at
Wed Dec 24 14:19:02 UTC 2008

Foundation Makes Case for Yoruba Language
>>From Tunde Sanni in Ibadan, 12.23.2008

The Daniel Fagunwa Foundation has advocated the use of Yoruba Language
in schools, as a means of addressing the decline in the use of the
indigenous languages, among youths and adults alike. The call was made
in Ibadan, at the second annual memorial lecture of the foundation,
which was named after the famous Yoruba author, Daniel Fagunwa.  The
ceremony came on the heels of the conferment of a post humous award of
doctor of letters, honoris causa on the him, by the Tai Solarin
University of Education (TASUED), Ijagun, Ogun State.  Chairman of the
foundation, Mrs. Ibukunade Sijuwola said in her lecture, which was
written in Yoruba, that the foundation had resolved to conduct its
businesses in the native language, but the communiqué of such
businesses would be relayed in English Language.

She regretted that schools were not implementing the policy, which had
made it mandatory for children of nursery classes and primaries One to
Three to be instructed in their mother tongues. She therefore called
for the use of indigenous languages in schools, as contained in the
National Policy on Education, as well as the re-introduction Yoruba
Literature into schools' curricula Sijuwola, who is one of the
children of the late Fagunwa, expressed her delight at her father's
recognition, describing it as one of the highest honour bestowed on
him for his role in promoting the culture and tradition of the
Yorubas, through his books. Guest Lecturer, Prof. John Olaoye Abioye,
who spoke on 'The Universality of Daniel Fagunwa', described the late
author as a prophet who speaks about all issues of human endeavours in
his novels.

Abioye, a Professor of French at the Olabisi Onabanjo University
(OOU), Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State, who had translated all Fagunwa's novels
into the French Language; said it was only fair and just to make his
message available to all, since his novels constituted a recipe for
successful living.
He called on Yoruba people to stand and defend what Fagunwa bequeathed
to them as a legacy, by encouraging the translation of his novels into
other languages like Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart. While calling
on other universities in the southwest to emulate TASUED, he urged
political and religious leaders to encourage the reading of Fagunwa's

"The federal government should also immortalise this great man by
naming a street in Abuja after him, while every other person, or
organisations, should support the work of the foundation", Abioye

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