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Group seeks promotion of mother tongue to preserve culture



The Centre for Applied Ethics and Political Communication in Africa (CAEPOCOM AFRICA) has called on Nigerians to embrace and promote their mother tongue so as to preserve their culture.

CAEPOCOM AFRICA, in conjunction with the African Studies Students’ Association (ASSA), stated this in Ibadan on Friday at an event organised to observe the United Nation’s Day of the Mother Tongue.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the event had a discourse on the theme: “Internet Memes and the New Rules of Nigeria’s Mother Tongue.’’

The project coordinator, CAEPOCOM AFRICA, Mrs Geraldine Ezeobi, said that the centre was committed to ensuring that the place of mother tongue was firmly rooted in the evolution of language.

She stated that all forms of communication that the mother tongue, in itself, carried had some form of cultural experiences that could be sapped into the new language.

Ezeobi enjoined parents and all stakeholders to continue to ensure that adequate policies were made in favour of mother tongue in the country.

Miss Ololade Faniyi, the moderator of the event, explained that memes in contemporary times were referred to as the new cultural meta-language.

According to her, mother tongue influences the concept and understanding of memes, adding that this is how cultural elements are passed from one generation to another.

“Are we a generation out of touch with mother tongue? Or are we sustaining mother tongue in ways we can understand?

“How have memes contributed to the diversification of the Nigerian mother tongues in globalised world, especially with the number of non-Nigerians and non-Africans on the Nigerian meme dedicated pages?” she queried.

In his remarks, Mr Benjamin Babatope, the Legal Adviser to the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Ibadan, expressed concern that memes might not be the best medium for the propagation of mother tongue, but rather, for sharing of cultural experiences.

He highlighted the bias and dys-information that had often infiltrated the value of culture and its essence in shaping lives.

“Although memes could indirectly contribute to the sustenance of the mother tongue, it may not be really effective until they are used in more serious ways.

“Apart from making jokes, memes could be used to carry more meaningful content and have impact, culturally, socially and otherwise,” he said.

Also, Mr Segun Ajetunmobi, the President, African Studies Students’ Association (ASSA), reiterated the need for Africans to consciously create memes that could help promote the mother tongue and other cultural values.

Edited By: Abiodun Esan and ‘Wale Sadeeq

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Emiola Ibukun: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]

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April 2020