Mutuk © I am Benue 2019

Your Root Is Your Heritage

Culture, Stories 26/05/2019 by Ochanya Cynthia Adole

No matter where you grow up, never forget your roots. We have all found ourselves in strange lands either due to jobs, upbringing or settlement.

What are our parents turning into these days; we no longer want to educate our children about our places of origin, not to even give them folklore stories of the past.

This should never be a yardstick to forget our roots, I was in the office working one day, a young lady who had just gotten admission into the University for further studies came in to see my boss whom I share an office with. They got talking and he suddenly remembers she is an Idoma girl, he said, my colleague is your Idoma sister, speak Idoma language to her. The lady giggled and said, “I can’t speak Idoma language.” I suddenly became alert and I asked her, wherein Idomaland are you from? She said Edumoga; a clan in Idoma land of Benue State.

Benue child © I am Benue 2019
Benue child © I am Benue 2019

I said wow! You are truly my sister because I am Edumoga too. I asked her, what is the name of your village? (To my awesome surprise, her response almost pushed me off my seat), she said, she doesn’t know. (WOW). Seriously?

I feel so happy when I hear kids speak Tiv, Igede, Idoma. I can stand anywhere and be proud that I know how to speak my language and know some customs.

What are our parents turning into these days; we no longer want to educate our children about our places of origin, not to even give them folklore stories of the past. This lady went further to say her parents never took them to the village and she doesn’t even know the routes. She further said, she couldn’t even speak the language though she understands it.

Please my Benue people, we shouldn’t allow Western life to take our attention so much and forget to teach our child our tribes. I feel so happy when I hear kids speak Tiv, Igede, Idoma. I can stand anywhere and be proud that I know how to speak my language and know some customs.

Also read:

  1. Keeping In Touch With Your Benue Roots
  2. This is why Benue state people migrate from home
  3. Rising Above Sentiments

I served in Ondo State, Nigeria. Was posted to Ese-Odo Local Government Area and did my primary assignment with Community High School, Kiribo. Many of the students didn’t know Benue existed while some said Benue is a Northern State, if I knew nothing about Benue, how would I have corrected their impressions? Also, I met a Hausa trader in same Kiribo on a market day and just my little Hausa, he asked me, “Kai yar inna ne?” (Where are you from?) I told him I am Idoma from Benue State but live in Jos. We became friends.

Kakra Adole, Editor I am Benue © I am Benue 2019
Kakra Adole, Editor I am Benue © I am Benue 2019

This write-up is not to insult anyone but to portray the level of how our languages can go extinct like the dinosaurs if we don’t rise up and stand.

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