Yoruba Lecture

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WHAT REALLY DO WE WANT WITH THE YORUBA LANGUAGE?

AKÍNWÙMÍ ÌṢÒ ̣ LÁ, NNOM

Over thirty years ago, when I became a professor, I had to give an inaugural lecture. I was asked to give at the Department of African Languages at the University of Ifẹ̀ . I then told the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Wándé Abímbọ́ lá that I would like to give mine in the Yorùbá language. He said that Yorùbá was not the language of inaugural lectures. But Yorùbá was the language of instruction in our Department! Before then we had fought to make Yorùbá the language for writing post graduate dissertations. The matter got to Senate for discussion and there was so much laughter at the beginning. They thought we could not write dissertations in Yorùbá! But at last our request was granted. That is why up till today, it is at the Ọbáfẹ́ mi Awólọ́ wọ̀ University, Ilé-Ifẹ̀ and Adékúnlé Ajáṣin University, Àkùngbá- Àkókó that post-graduate theses in Yorùbá are written in the Yorùbá language. Can you believe that even at the University of Ìbàdàn, where the teaching of Yorùbá language started, postgraduate theses are still being written in English!

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