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I Am Angry: TIV Language Is Going Extinct

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Although it is no longer news,however it pains me,it worries me and it disturb me when UNESCO in 2012, predicted that over 50 Nigerian languages might become extinct in the next 50 years.

The longman dictionary of contemporary English defined extinction as "when a type of person, custom, language stops existing".

But before the UNESCO prediction,already there about 10 Nigerian languages that goes extinct.

They includes;
1.Ajawa;formerly spoken in Bauchi State. It became extinct between 1920 and 1940 as speakers switched to Hausa.

2.Kpati;formerly spoken in Taraba State. Speakers now speak Hausa,extinct date missing.

3.Basal Gunman; it is an extinct Kanji language. It was spoken in Chanchaga,Niger and Nasarawa State near the Basa homeland. Speakers now shifted to Hausa. The language become extinct in the year 1987. This is to mention but few.

Check this link for more extinct Nigerian languages:

http:// www.nairaland.com /1915760/10-extinct-nigerian-languages-what

As a concern citizen, I am convinced that it is a matter of time before the Tiv language goes extinct.

From my research and observations it is only the older generation of Tiv (50 years and above), that speak the language both in cities and in the ruler places.

Now let us use our parents as a case study to x-ray UNESCO prediction.

There is no doubt that our parents understand and speak Tiv language fluently, but how many of their children can effectively communicate in Tiv language? Even the young ones especially the female folks (30 years and below),that understand the language but prefers to communicate with their brethren in English. If the next 50 years our parents passes on to the great beyond leaving behind their children who can not or refused to communicate in Tiv language,don't you think that UNESCO prediction has come to pass then?.

As a patriotic Tiv son I,always feel ashamed that my Hausa friends will see their people and say stuffs like "Inakwana,Inaoni" morning and day greetings. But in Gboko the traditional capital of the Tiv tribe and the official residence of the Tor Tiv,who is the Paramount ruler of over 7million Tiv people hardly ,will you see a Tiv person that will greet you with "Undee Vee,Upande Vee" rather they will see each other and say things like:Bros how far,Good morning and Good evening.

Although I write in fits of rage,all I plead to our Tiv "Awange"is "STOP,PAUSE,TAKE A LONG HARD LOOK AT YOUR ACTIONS,WHO WILL LOSE OR BENEFIT IF OUR MOTHER TONGUE GO INTO EXTINCT.

John Akevi,write from Gboko
[email protected]

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of John Akevi and do not necessarily reflect those of The Nigerian Voice. The Nigerian Voice will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."

Articles by John Akevi