- To contribute our bit to the crusade for the preservation of Igbo language and culture
- To bring the Igbo language to all Igbo children growing up in the Diaspora who are eager to connect with their heritage language
- To provide a tool and to be of assistance to anyone (Igbo and non-Igbo alike) who has a genuine desire and interest in learning to read, write and speak the Igbo language
- To create awareness on the current state of the Igbo language and the need to preserve it for the future generations
The campaign for the preservation of Igbo language and culture is indeed a crucial and urgent one. It has been so from the day the Igbo man fell in love with the
English language and practically turned his back on his own. Today, our language is virtually at the brink of a total eclipse, but we do not appear to have noticed.
Generations of Igbo children growing up around the world, including the Igbo homeland, have been denied the chance to connect with their heritage language.
Now, whether we wish to admit it or not, the reality is that on account of our passion for a different language, we have now placed our children in a position where
they may never be able to pass on our heritage language to the future generations, to say nothing of the possible effect of this on their own sense of identity.
This is our generation. The future of the Igbo language now depends on our collective attitude as a people and what we do today to preserve it for posterity.
To survive into the next centuries, Igbo needs our children and our children's children to speak it, and speak it with PRIDE. But they can only do that if their role
models at home will show them how. There is no greater way to propagate a language than by actually speaking it. If it was down to them, every child would love a
chance to be able to speak their heritage language as soon as they could talk. If not for anything else, it helps them to refocus their own sense of identity as they
go through life. Let us not deny them that right.
The Igbo language is ours. It is the one thing that makes us who we are as Ndịigbo and we would not be Igbo without it, so the job of preserving it for posterity is for all
of us. It does not ask for much. It just wants to be spoken and written and read like any other. It demands to be continuously enriched through constant usage.
And for it to have any kind of future at all, it demands to be passed on to the next generations. Who knows, it might even one day hope to become the language
of nuclear and space science, but it is unlikely to get there if there is no guarantee that it will even live from our generation to the next. The responsibility to ensure
that continuity falls on us as Ndịigbo, because if we didn’t, no one else would.
It is never too late to make amends. It calls for a serious soul searching and a reorientation of the Igbo mind. If we could all stop for a minute and ask ourselves:
What language do I speak to my spouse and children at home? And what language do I speak to the next Igbo man/woman that I meet on the street? What have
I observed about the peoples of other cultures: the various Asian nationalities; the Yoruba nation closer to home? Do I find them irritating when I hear them speak
their own languages amongst themselves, or is there a lesson that we could all learn here?
Language death is real. As I observed elsewhere, it is probably a well known fact that language is the vehicle that drives communication among humans. What is
less well known is that language in turn depends on communication for its own survival. Speak it and it lives. Forsake it and it dies. It is as simple as that.
Were that to happen, we would go down in history as the generation that extinguished the torch that we inherited from our forebears.
If you care about the future of the Igbo language and you would like your child or your partner to learn to read, write and speak the language, then you have
found the right tools to make that happen.