Voice of Nigeria, Nigeria’s external service radio broadcast outfit, in collaboration with the Centre for Black and African, Arts and Civilization, CBAAC and the Nigerian Film Corporation, will mark the International Mother Language Day with the aim of preserving indigenous languages.
In marking the annual event with the theme; “Safeguarding Linguistic Diversity”, the three organizations are in agreement on commemoration of the International Mother Language Day because of their shared mandates of propagating the Nigerian cultural values in which language is central.
Media houses like the Nigerian Television Authority, the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria and Wale Adenuga Productions TV as well as Nike Art gallery are expected to join the commemoration which holds at the Cinema Complex of the Nigeria Film Corporation, Old Federal Secretariat Road Ikoyi, Lagos where there will be an array of activities including poetry, panel discussion and exhibition on African language, and cultural heritage.
Mr. Ronald Kayanja, the Director, United Nations Information Centre Lagos will speak on the theme of the day during which stakeholders in the language and culture sector will deliberate on strategies for protecting indigenous languages from extinction.
The Director-General Voice of Nigeria, Osita Okechuchukwu had acknowledged that ‘CBAAC in partnership with Voice of Nigeria (VON) successfully hosted the 2019 edition of the event, and also prepared to participate in this year’s edition.
Accordingly, he said the 2020 edition of the event would be jointly hosted by VON, the Nigeria Film Corporation and CBAAC with the belief that this year’s celebration to be richer.
Nigeria alone is home to over 250 ethnic groups with even more diverse languages in different states of the Federation. Voice of Nigeria broadcasts to all regions of the world. Apart from English, French and Arabic which are international, the other languages are Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba, Fulfude and Kiswahili Although English, the colonial language is the nation’s official language, the three dominant language groups in the country are Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba, peculiar to Northern, Easter and Western geo-political zones of the country.
International Mother Language Day is a United Nations annual event observed on every 21st of February to raise awareness on linguistic and cultural diversity. It was proclaimed by United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in November 1999 and has been observed since year 2000.