Mother Language Day: VON, others to promote local languages

Abdulwarees Solanke, Lagos

International mother language day

As the world today marks the international mother language day, global attention will shift towards saving many indigenous languages from extinction.

Voice of Nigeria, the nation’s external service radio broadcaster, is collaborating with a number of stakeholders to commemorate the day in Lagos.

These include the Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization (CBAAC) and the Nigerian Film Corporation, both agencies under the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, like VON.

Mr. Ronald Kayanja, the Director, United Nations Information Centre Lagos will speak on the theme of the day during which stakeholders in the language and culture sector will deliberate on strategies for protecting indigenous languages from extinction.

Media houses like the Nigerian Television Authority, the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria and Wale Adenuga Productions TV as well as Nike Art gallery are expected to join the commemoration which holds at the Cinema Complex of the Nigeria Film Corporation, Old Federal Secretariat Road Ikoyi, Lagos.

The day will be marked with an array of activities including poetry, panel discussion and exhibition on African language, and cultural heritage.

Also, a film, Maami Mi, from the stable of ace cinematographer, Tunde Kelani of the Mainframe Production Movies will be screened as part of events marking the day.

Nigeria alone is home to over 250 ethnic groups with even more diverse languages in different states of the Federation.

Voice of Nigeria broadcasts to all regions of the world in English, French and Arabic which are international as wel as indigenous language such as Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba, Fulfude and Kiswahili

International Mother Language Day is a United Nations annual event observed on every 21st of February to raise awareness on linguistic and cultural diversity.

It was proclaimed by United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in November 1999 and has been observed since year 2000. The theme of the commemoration this year is ‘Safeguarding Linguistic Diversity’.


Zainab Sa’id