Entertainment, Education and Technology in the Mother Tongue

This panel session was moderated by Kola Tubosun. It featured Tunde Adegbola, Kunle Afolayan and Dayo Olagunju as guest speakers.  Starting the panel session, Kola Tubosun asked “if the impact of English language being the preferred language for some people has greatly affected the mother tongue, is there still a chance for the Yoruba language to survive?”  

“There’s no way language will not go extinct if most of the supposed speakers of the language refuse to communicate in it,” Dayo Olagunju responded.  He went ahead to describe how our mother tongue influences our reasoning ability. “How do we progress in a country like this if we refuse to use and appreciate our own language?” he queried. The new trend is for parents to teach their children other foreign languages but not their mother tongue. To ensure the Yoruba language does not go extinct, speaking it to the young ones will go a long way.  

On Education, Tunde Adegbola said, “It is a shame that the ifa corpus is seen as fetish and has no value like in the olden days.” The ifa corpus is known to be very important in the aspect of learning culture, language and history. On the issue of entertainment, Kunle Afolayan said we need to appreciate our culture more. He spoke about his projects on making Yoruba language and culture popular, including the Yoruba animation for kids and ‘kenbe kunle’. “We should boast about our mother tongue not hide or be shamed by it,” he said.  

Tunde Adegbola asked, “How is a doctor in UCH able to identify and distinguish between the seven levels of pain which the Yoruba language has clearly identified?” It is true that all languages borrow from one another in the world but when the Yoruba language is spoken, it has a certain beauty to it.