In commemoration of the UN International Mother Tongue Day, and the UN World Day Of Social Justice, Wellbeing Foundation Africa Founder Toyin Saraki has urged Nigerian women, girls and families to embrace and promote their mother tongues
Mrs. Saraki who was a guest of a NTA Ilorin Yoruba Language programme, “Obinrin To Dàngàjià” to share anti-violence message noted that there was a clear link between learning one’s mother tongue, in her own case, Yoruba which also teaches respect, culture and tradition with enjoying respectful relationships.
According to her “Obinrin tò Dàngàjià – Ose kòkò ninu igbàgbògbò àt àjin re àrà. Ile àbòbò àti ònà àbàyò Làti fi iyàjije kòsin se pàtò ninu Abà jògbe òni jàgidijàgàn: Abà se pò tò”
“Respectful Relationships – Whilst invaluable in terms of saving lives and promoting wellbeing, safe-houses and exit plans to leave an abusive situation are not the primary safeguard against Intimate Partner Violence: Respectful Relationships are. By educating children and adolescents on the importance of respect, independence, and compassion in their interpersonal relationships, we can build the capability, harness the wisdom, and embrace the kindness to facilitate a fairer society for all genders. Let’s save lives and change the world for the better.”
Saraki’s Wellbeing Foundation Africa, which campaigned successfully for the passage of the Kwara State Child Rights Act of 2006, is a member of Peace One Day’s Global Peace Day Coalition, and the Global Foundation For Elimination Of Domestic Violence GFEDV, has been at the forefront of campaigning for governments to establish clear procedures to ensure all genders can realise socio-economic opportunities, safety and security, peacefully.
The Wellbeing Foundation Africa’s Respectful Relationships Charter is a cornerstone of it’s MamaCare midwifery-led frontline programs, in this antenatal and postnatal education classes for pregnant women, and in its personal social and health peer-educator skills and drills clubs for adolescents, nationally.
She emphasised that Yoruba is a pluricentric language spoken in West Africa, mainly in Nigeria. The number of speakers of Yoruba is estimated at over 30 million principally in Nigeria and Benin Republic. With communities in other parts of Africa, the Americas, and Europe, it is estimated that there are over 40 million Yoruba primary and secondary language speakers, with several other millions of speakers outside Nigeria, making it one the most widely spoken African languages globally.
In Nigeria, Yoruba, a tonal language, is closely related to the Itsekiri language spoken in the Niger Delta, and to Igala, spoken in Central Nigeria. Globally, a variety of the Yoruba language, Lucumi, is the liturgical language of the Santeria religion of the Caribbean, while many Yoruba words are used in the Afro-Brazilian religion known as Candomble.