I wrote a guest post for the We The Humanities blog, on February 21, 2016, to commemorate the UNESCO International Mother Tongue Day 2016. I had participated as a curator on the twitter handle for the same collective this time last year.
Here is an excerpt from the piece:
The responses (and criticisms) I’ve always got point to the universality and inevitability of English (and French, and Mandarin, and any other foreign language but a local one), and their success in the world as a cultural vehicle, as the reason why we shouldn’t bother with our own languages since that is merely a quixotic adventure with no economic and pragmatic importance. As I shared with the audience during my curation week at We The Humanities, my experience teaching Yorùbá to eager and willing students at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, who paid good money to acquire a piece of knowledge that others in Nigeria take for granted, has convinced me otherwise – not just of the viability of the language and its cultural value but also of an otherwise sad reality that over many generations from now, Yorùbá students may have to travel to America to acquire the knowledge of the language.
Read the rest here on the We The Humanities blog.