Raising a Bilingual
Kọ́lá Túbọ̀sún
255

While on a sentimental level I accept what you’re saying, I can’t help but wonder what the effect of all of us devolving back to our ancestral tongues will be on Nigeria.

The Germans say Wie sind eine sprache und ein volk, essentially, we are one language and one people. Which is part of the problem we have in Nigeria-250 languages plus, is a little unwieldy, and is a problem to national integration. It must have struck you by now that many of the “problems” that have slowly begun to creep up in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (yes, I’m going back over 100 years), came about because English was not successfully transplanted in Ireland, then the revival of Gaelic in Scotland, and its accession to official status there has coincided with increased feelings of non-Britishness.

Truth is that language is a great unifier, or divider amongst a people, and I think that as more people become aware of their ancestral languages within the Nigerian space (I’m noticing an increased awareness especially amongst the Yoruba intellectual class), that we run the risk of hastening Nigeria’s eventual dissolution.

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