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Following Successful #TweetYoruba Campaign, Now Come Memes in the Yoruba Language

Kọ́lá Túbọ̀sún (Kola Tubosun) is taking part in the Mother Language Meme Challenge creating memes in the Yorùbá language.

As the curator of the project YorubaName.com, Kọ́lá works as a linguist, writer, and translator from the city of Lagos, Nigeria. He has been recognized with the Premio Ostana “Special Prize” for Mother Tongue Literature for his language advocacy work.

In this interview with Rising Voices, he talks about the language and previous online activities to promote Yorùbá for International Mother Language Day. He has been sharing his memes for the #MemeML Challenge at his personal @kolatubosun and project accounts @yorubanames, as well as on Facebook.

RV: What is the current state of your language both offline and on the internet?

KT: Yorùbá is ostensibly not endangered, but the writing of it, especially online, is poor. Not many people speak the language to their children anymore, and this will lead to a number of problems in the future. I wrote a lot more about that here.

RV: Why did you decide to participate in the Mother Language Meme Challenge?

KT: Every year, since 2012, we have participated in activities to celebrate the International Mother Tongue Day. We had a #TweetYoruba series of activities from 2012 to 2014 through which we pressured Twitter to allow the platform be translated into Yorùbá. (More here). So this year, we were glad to hear about the meme challenge, and decided to participate, because it is fun, and also educational.

RV: Who would you like to challenge to create a meme in this language?

KT: In the language, I'll challenge Mọlará Wood (@molarawood), Akin Adéṣọ̀kàn (@iwalesimo) and Túndé Kèlání (@tkelani)

Find more memes from the Mother Language Meme Challenge in a variety of global languages by checking out the #MemeML hashtag on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. There is also a Facebook group for the Challenge with contributions from all across the world.

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