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Expose your children to indigenous languages, Kila urges parents

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By Dayo Adesulu
Bothered by the rate at which our indigenous languages and culture are being eroded by foreign languages and culture, Director of Centre for International Advanced and Professional Studies, CIAPS, Professor Anthony Kila, has charged  parents and guardians to promote their indigenous languages before their children.

*Director of CIAPS and author, Yoruba by Proverbs, Professor Anthony Kila

Kila who gave this charge in Lagos during the official launching of one of his books, Owe, Yoruba by Proverbs, said: “When a child is exposed to a language at an early age, his mental muscle is being given more exercise to do. And it’s a known fact that people who are bilingual at an early age tend to do better in life.”



According to him, there is nothing wrong with English Language which is our official language in Nigeria. He, however, frowned at a situation where parents allow it to replace indigenous languages to the extent that their children cannot speak the indigenous languages.

Speaking on how we  can bring our children to this knowledge, Kila said: ‘’Parents and guardians can bring them back in two ways. The first way is reading, starting from the parents, the parents who shield their children away from  Nigeria languages did this out of fear and ignorance. They did so out of the fear that if you are not exposed to the English Language, they might not get good schools and later in life, good jobs.’’

On culture, the author pointed accusing finger at the elites, adding that they failed in establishing our culture.

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While stressing on the way forward, Kila said: ‘’What we need to do is to get together and have a clear idea on how to present culture in a way that is attractive. “We need to move towards it. When I returned from Kebbi, I looked at what can be done in the Yoruba culture. I looked at how we can do things.

‘’We need to be very indigenous about our culture as to attract people, so that if a child, student or anybody reads this book and finds something interesting in it and is able to do an essay and win a prize for that, they will realise there is a way of progress in our culture.”

Asked the purpose of the book, the author said: “The book is an epistemology tool, it is a way of using proverbs to discover the society, people and culture. “Proverb is a result of observation of reality, analysis of thoughts, combined with poetic presentation.”

In his remarks, former Director- General, Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, NIIA, Professor  Bola Akinterinwa said: “We need to get together and have a clear idea that we need to present the culture in an attractive manner. We need to find out what we can do with the Yoruba culture and consciously and organically promote it.”

He said the book is a way of using Yoruba language as a means of communication for information and culture transfer.

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