Dr Ferdinand Anikwe , the President, Pan-African Cultural Congress Bureau,(PACCB), on Wednesday said that the congress was working on developing a unified indigenous language which the African Union (AU) could be using at its summits from 2063.
Anikwe, also the Director-General, Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilisation (CBAAC) , said that African languages would be developed to a high standard, such that any one of them could emerge as a medium of communication among member countries.
He said that this was part of the plans to ensure that African indigenous languages did not go into extinction.
When some of the indigenous languages are used as the official means of communications at international fora, their local speakers would definitely embrace them, Anikwe said.
He added that it would also show that African countries had truly gained their independence from their colonial masters and free from western interferences to which most of them still owe allegiance.
“We want to do this so that Africans will be unified and have a common language, free from western colonisation. Any language we are able to agree on will be used as a means of communication in African Union’s meetings,’’ he said.
Anikwe also urged parents and governments to intensify efforts that would ensure that their children imbibed their traditional and indigenous cultures so as to inculcate positive morals among them.
He noted that the dropping of our cultural values had made many to embrace corruption, a vice that had eaten deep into the fabric of many and had continued to affect the economic growth of the country.
Anikwe said that culture could be used as a veritable tool to fight corruption by making people to identify with their roots and sources.
Every Nigerian should return to his or her source to embrace respect for one another, orderliness, honesty, truthfulness and integrity which are antithesis to bribery and corruption, he said.
He said that parents needed to consciously speak their indigenous languages to their wards and ensure that they were familiar with their practices embedded in their cultures.
Anikwe said that the centre had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with about five Nigerian universities to present plays, folktales, folklores, proverbs and more to children for them to understand the rich contents and values inherent in their cultures.
“We take children from age five and above through folktales, folklores and proverbs so that they will know the value and richness in their culture. The adolescents are allowed to come into CBAAC during the week to learn from the relics of FESTAC ‘77 and other art works. We need to know that culture is the basis of development in Nigeria as most of our cultural products are rich and unique to us. For example, our choreography here is so unique that when each style is systematically developed, we can take over the world,’’ he said.
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