Meet Daniel Abugre Anyorigya, Gurene language activist

Photo provided by Daniel Abugre Anyorigya and used with permission.

As part of our ongoing series highlighting the work of activists promoting African languages in digital spaces, we would like to feature Daniel Abugre Anyorigya (@danyorigya) from Ghana.

Daniel is a Gurene language-speaker (also known as Frafra). According to Ethnologue, more than 700,000 speak this language in Ghana and Burkina Faso. His work has focused on supporting Wikimedia projects in his language. Rising Voices recently interviewed Daniel by email to learn more about his perspectives on his language finding its place in online spaces.

Rising Voices (RV): Please tell us about yourself.

Daniel Abugre Anyorigya (DAA): I am a Ghanaian-based journalist, environmentalist, and the co-founder of Gurene Wikimedia Community.

Gurene Wikimedia Community is an indigenous affiliate of the Wikimedia Foundation. It aims at digitizing the Gurene language, which is the native language spoken by a cross-section of persons living in Togo, Ghana, and Burkina Faso.

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

DAA: The Gurene language is taught at the University of Education, Ajumaku campus. In the digital space, it is being developed on Wikipedia and Khaya App.

What are your motivations for seeing your language present in digital spaces?

DAA: The language is a carrier of our culture. Therefore, to tackle its extinction and ensure its growth we set out to digitize the language.

RV: Describe some of the challenges that prevent your language from being fully utilized online.

DAA: As of the publication of the article, the language is not examinable at the basic school; this, therefore, affects the culture.

RV: What concrete steps do you think can be taken to encourage younger people to begin learning their language or keep using their language?

DAA: The language is going through a phase where there is an expansion of the language glossary to ensure efficient communication and writing.

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