In 2019 as part of a social media campaign to celebrate linguistic diversity online, African language activists and advocates will be taking turns managing the @DigiAfricanLang Twitter account to share their experiences with the revitalization and promotion of African languages. This profile post is about Blossom Ozurumba. (@blossomozurumba) and what she plans to discuss during her week as host.
Rising Voices: Please tell us about yourself.
I am Blossom Ozurumba and several people call me Blossom while very few people call me Asampete which can be loosely translated from Igbo language to mean “the pretty one.” I am excited about Igbo language and culture and is committed to ensuring that several folks become literate in some or all of speaking, writing and reading. I am a founding member of the Igbo Wikimedians User Group and will most likely start a conversation about the Wikimedia Foundation without prompting. I live in Abuja, Nigeria and love the calm and unhurried feel of the city.
RV: What is the current status of your language on the internet and offline?
Igbo language speakers, readers and writers are gradually declining and unless a deliberate effort is made, the language might become extinct with time. I am excited to see a recent push across social media platforms to curate an offline gathering of Igbo people across various cities in Nigeria for a meet and greet. I am hopeful that such gatherings will catalyse and quicken a movement that will inspire more young people to learn and relearn how to speak, read and write.
RV: On what topics do you plan to focus during the week that you’ll manage the @DigiAfricanLang Twitter account?
I will focus on three major areas:
- Technology solutions that can help folks learn to read, write and speak Igbo language.
- How we can as a people help to improve the quality of Igbo language translations online.
- Attracting editors to contribute to the Igbo Language platforms across various Wikimedia projects.
RV: What are the main motivations for your digital activism for your language? What are your hopes and dreams for your language?
This is in two-fold; the foremost which speaks to the joy that I have for what I do and the other which is a a quest to ensure that more people get to embrace this joy that is beyond comprehension as we deliberately advocate for the Igbo language.
RV: What are your hopes and dreams for your language?
The sheer number of Igbo language speakers, readers and writers will keep increasing and more content made available.