Henry is founder and creative director at Henripegasus Group. He is also a writer, entrepreneur and the winner of the 2017 AltPublish Writing Contest in USA. 

Follow Henry on Twitter @HenryuoHenry

The Need for a Multilingual Atmosphere in Africa

In Africa, there are over ten thousand educational institutions and they all lecture with the most widely and wildly spoken language in the planet; English language.


Now, English Language is clearly, NOT our heritage as Africans, what happened to our Igbo language? Where did Hausa go? Even Swahili, Yoruba, Zulu? We hardly hear people speak them and when we do, we tag them ‘illiterate and uneducated’.


I studied in Ikotun, a small, rural town in Lagos. In my school, teachers taught that Yoruba, Hausa, Igbo and the rests were local languages that should never be spoken within the school premises because our school taught us strictly in English, and referred to these vernaculars as languages of the uncivilized, hence, we were punished when we spoke them to teachers’ hearing. This virus got to our homes; our parents solely concentrated on our English language assignments and never bothered when we failed Yoruba because they thought Yoruba, didn’t matter or wasn’t too important, after all, every employer wants applicants who are fluent speakers of the English Language.


I have never seen a vacancy notice that sought after applicants who were fluent speakers of Hausa language, except on rare cases, when applicants were going to be translators or instructors of that particular language and only desperate job seekers would apply, because they are quite certain that they were going to be paid less than others.


English language today, has become a measure of intelligence and not just a language, you are regarded smart, when you speak fluent English. Why can’t this be same for the indigenous languages, we have abandoned our heritage and sought for the white men’s, this shouldn’t be, we should embrace our local languages, the multilingual atmosphere is what makes us united and yet, diverse as a people, for productivity.