igede language © I am Benue 2022

The Probable Extinction of the Igede Language

Culture, Stories, Tradition 12/07/2022 by Ajogi Victor Ede

Recently, I met a very beautiful, gorgeous and charismatic Igede lady whose father’s profession as a soldier didn’t give her the room to be bred within Benue State, yet she displayed an impeccable command of the Igede language.

People are now ashamed of speaking their mother tongue!

I was so surprised that I had to ask her how she was able to attain the unlikely feat as opposed to most Igede in her shoes. The reply she gave me even threw me off balance. In her voice, she said, “My parents had never communicated to us in any language other than Igede.” I was so wowed but sad at the same time because not all parents are willing to teach their children our indigenous language, and that is making our language about to go extinct.

Our language is gradually being replaced with the English language and the languages of the environment we find ourselves in. People are now ashamed of speaking their mother tongue! With my recent encounter with the lady, I had to unlearn the internalised position that I held about most Igede parents. I make bold to say that we still have wise parents who will stop at nothing in order to make sure their children know their mother tongue.

So, in any part of the country that you find yourself, and you cannot speak Igede or you are ashamed to speak Igede language, then I should say ‘Shame on you’ because English, Yoruba, Hausa, Igbo or any other indigenous language is not our language, and cannot replace Igede language.

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