Why It's Important To Learn Your Native Language?


By: Ozi Omoluabi-Shaka Momodu 

Languages foster interaction among people.

Language is an identity that represents who we are and brings us together as a people with a common history and culture. We are all part of a globalised society; more reason we must teach our children to learn Esan language. For it we do not, it’s an educational setback for our children.

Esan/Edo languages should be taught and use as instructions from Primary to secondary school. Speaking the Mother-Tongue will ensure conservation of our cultural heritage and dialects.

What’s at stake if we do not teach Native Language in our Schools.

We should encourage the use and create interest in learning to speak our indigenous languages to safeguard it by using our language to communicate amongst ourselves. It will help our youngsters to absorb what they heard at home and schools.

It will likewise help in life and enhanced our communal relationship. Using indigenous language in our day-to-day life helps foster greater understanding of children to absorb what they study at school and enhance our inter-traditional relationships.

Why should we instruct and speak Esan and Edo languages in Nigeria?

Esan and Benin languages are part of our identification. I am firmly of the opinion that we are one inseparable body. We can no longer work like a disconnected body. If we study to speak Esan and Edo dialect, it helps reinforce and strengthen an ideal community of common good in Benin kingdom. Although, there are challenges because of the standard of advancement of diverse territories, youths in Edo State received their teaching from folks of a different ethnic background.

Why Do Languages Disappear?

The decrease of Esan/Edo Language is because of many factors:

1) Esan and Benin identity

2) Neo colonialism

The Effect of Nationalism and Globalism on Ancient African Languages

Nationalism is the belief that a state is superior to any other. For foreign nations, it is their territory which seem more superior rather than their language and culture. Over many years, these foreign nations realized that it is far more beneficial to identify with a country rather than a particular identity, which has now destroyed indigenous languages. They promote a foreign language, such as English, as such many indigenous languages deteriorate, neglected and banned. This has caused their speakers to rely on the majority language of the country and abandon their own. Unfortunately, in this process, the usefulness of these indigenous languages lost meaning.

Globalism has not only had a tremendous negative impact on Esan and Edo languages, but it has also significantly contributed to a reverse of the processes of language loss and the conservation of these languages. During colonial times, governments in African countries that were formerly under European control removed the Africa country’s ability to have their own languages recognized by government and forced them to recognize European languages such as English and French as official language. Therefore “Globalization replaced Colonialism.

What are some other factors at work?

Capitalist Exploitation and the Impact of Globalization.

The Western powers created the corrupt foundations and political systems which allowed for the exploitation of the natural resources of ‘Developing’ countries and resulting in poverty, inefficiency, starvation, forced migration and the erosion of cultural identity. Moreover, these same forces draw resources and markets away from Africa to Asia and the West. These forced migrations, which are now becoming a tide, have affected the entire continent, yet the poorest countries are the most affected. As a result, most indigenous African languages are dying out, and as a result, the knowledge and rich cultural history of the people is disappearing.

The importance of preserving Esan and Edo languages

Language, art, and literature are some of the greatest ways of transmitting knowledge to the public. Through colonialization, this knowledge and culture get eroded, banned and lost overtime. The colonial powers knew that if they could successfully conquer Benin people and send them to the unknown, it would weaken and possibly overthrow the structures and institutions of the countries they had taken control of. Africa was a void that needed to be filled. Today, we know and experience the true motives behind the colonization of Africa.

For some of us who are linguistically or even emotionally inclined, it can be an emotional pain to watch the Esan and Edo languages that we know and have in our family disappear, especially when we know that there will be no way for us to keep it alive. But when we realise the importance of the Esan and Edo languages, we will appreciate the important part that the languages play and the power of languages to save cultures and ourselves. Without an ability to communicate in Esan and Edo languages of your ancestors, you are at a massive disadvantage. When you cannot communicate with people around you, they cannot understand you and it is a hard way to live. We should do whatever we can to keep Esan and Edo languages alive. Languages are important for survival, for access to necessary things and for health. 

If Esan and Edo languages are not preserve our essential part of Esan's way of life will disappear forever. In many African countries, language is an indicator of one’s heritage, culture, and history. Some cultures feel strongly about their language, and some don’t.

Image by: BenBlack

What Is The Role of Film and Animation?

When nations become independence, it is in their best interests to have their own films and animations so they can maintain their own culture. If you educate people and make films and animations accessible to them in their own language, they will embrace and preserve it. It’s just a matter of making the movie culturally appealing and becoming part of their lives. If you don’t make it culturally appealing, it will not work.

The first thing we have to address is Esan and Edo languages, which are eroding out gradually from our children.

Learning and speaking Esan and Edo is important and we should teach languages in primary and secondary schools,

We should make it compulsory in our school syllabus.

Speaking indigenous languages in Edo state across the three senatorial  districts, if not taught now, it will be disastrous for our future and culture.

We also have to recognize the inherent economic advantages, economic, cultural dimensions of the movement of people across the globe. It is better to be knowledgeable than ignorant. We all should take ownership of our own knowledge.

If you found this interesting, it will surely inspire you to learn more about Esan and Edo history and languages.

We encourage all Esan’s and Edo Folks everywhere to make mother tongue languages first in their homes. Speak Esan/Edo Language to your children at home, Also, learn any other African language before European tongue.

By: Ozi Omoluabi-Shaka Momodu
Email: ozi100@outlook.com



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