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According to UNESCO The Igbo Language is on a Steady Decline & One of Several Under the Threat of Extinction by 2025.

Igbo language according to UNESCO is declining and some Igbo indigenous and lovers of the language across the world are taking up the challenge to help preserve the language. UK based Ms Ihuaku Nweke hosted, Bianca Ojukwu, the wife of General Ojukwu a prominent Igbo leader who led the Igbos / Biafrans through the civil war of 1967–1970. and several other women in 2021 during the launch of her Igbo language school. Talking about it, she said.

‘Last year I started an Igbo language school because one of my goals as a mother was to pass on my mother tongue to my children before they leave home. However, they are growing up fast and I was struggling woefully to achieve this aim.

According to UNESCO, the Igbo Language is on a steady decline and one of several under the threat of extinction by 2025. Even in Nigeria many Igbos go to live in the North where their children become fluent in Hausa and in the west where they become fluent in Yoruba but not in Igbo. We see this trait repeated everywhere the Igbos settle, they become experts in Italian, Russian, German but not Igbo and I just don’t understand why this is so.

As a political migrant in the late 80s I grew up knowing my mother tongue but I was uprooted from what I called home including the culture, language and all that I know and love.

Now as a mother of 3 boys I found it difficult to pass on this language to my children (due to the busy lifestyles we all live here I guess and not always having the community to hand) and I felt I had to do something fast. So I employed a bright young man who I was mentoring to teach my children. I extended the offer to other struggling parents and now we have classes for both adults and children and two additional teachers.

I envision a world where though in the diaspora, our children will know their roots, language and culture just like the Greeks, Turkish, Chinese and Indians do.

On Saturday 30th of April, at the Ohaneze Ndi Igbo summit in Milton Keynes, we talked about how we can make Igbo great again. History was made as we welcomed the very first Oha na Eze female leader, the phenomenal Aqueen Ibeto Adabuzo 1 of Enugu state. Not a mean feat considering the extreme paternalistic culture of the Igbos and Nigerians in general.

We were joined by Igolo 1 of Ndi Igbo the great, very beautiful and equally intelligent Bianca Ojukwu, wife of General Ojukwu who led the Igbos / Biafrans through the civil war of 1967–1970. A war Igbos are still feeling the repercussions and fall out from to date.


Credit: Ihuaku Nweke

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