Meet Adaobi Anukwu, Igbo language activist

Photo provided by Adaobi Anukwu.

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 Adaobi Anukwu (@ada_onyenkuzi) and what she plans to discuss during her week as host.

Rising Voices: Please tell us about yourself.

My name is Adaobi Anukwu, born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria. A professional accountant, entrepreneur, and Igbo Language activist. I picked up interest in promoting the Igbo Language when I noticed a decline in the level of interest in the language, particularly among the younger generation. The Igbo language is registering fewer and fewer speakers and that prompted me to take up the task of creating awareness of the language as well as promoting the culture.

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

I'd say the ratio of the current status of the Igbo Language online and offline is 60:40 respectively . I say this because a lot of digital advancement (learning apps, pronunciation/spelling guides, games etc) are now in place which wasn't the case just a few years ago. And there is definitely room for improvement.

RV: On what topics do you plan to focus during the week that you’ll manage the @DigiAfricanLang Twitter account?

I would also focus on basic grammar and vocabulary development, apps that aid Igbo language learning, culture and traditions of the Igbo people amongst other topics. I would also talk about efforts the government/private bodies have made in promoting the language.

RV: What are the main motivations for your digital activism for your language? What are your hopes and dreams for your language?

The zeal to see my language spoken by all and sundry, young and old is my main motivation. My hope and dreams for the language is for the language to be alive for as long as there are humans on the face of the earth and never to be at risk of possible extinction.

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