I came across this discussion on Facebook, at first it was kind of hilarious but it is actually something worth discussing: (YORUBA GIRLS CAN'T SPEAK ENGLISH). In case you don't know, the Yorubas are people from the ethnic group of southwestern and north-central Nigeria and it's crazy to say they can't speak English. 

First I will like to state that there is a difference between not being able to speak a particular Language and having an accent. Yoruba people have their own language and pattern of speaking which in one way or the other disrupt the fluent flow of other languages which is nobody's fault. I am Igbo, though I don't have a strong “Igbotic” accent but my accent does not make me less of an English man because the most important is the ability to communicate. Even outside the walls of Nigeria, different nationalities have their unique accent of which English happens to be the most spoken language in the world so if my  English portrays some of  Spanish, Chinese, Portuguese or Yoruba flow in it, what's the big deal? 

With that being said, I don't understand why some Nigerians are interested in speaking English better than the English, the last time I checked English is not our first language but happens to be our official language. Nigeria is made up of people of different ethnicity and each ethnic group speaks different languages which happen to be their first language the same way the Chinese, Mexicans and Italians have their own language. Knowing how to speak a foreign language is an additional quality but not a determinate of your success. People of other countries go to school and get good jobs without considering or bordering themselves on how to speak English. 

Today people go for special courses to study Spanish, Chinese, or German, how many people around the world go out of their way to study any Nigerian language? This brings me to quote my mum “If you sell your family for 1 kobo, you can't buy them back for 100 Naira”. If we keep disrespecting ourselves, nobody will regard us, our children will grow without being able to relate with their origin because they are forced by the society to focus on the holy grail: “English”

My point is; speaking our first language is as important as speaking our official language. I can relate to this because I can't speak my first language and it sucks. “I am an English Language Literate but an Igbo Language Illiterate” and the last time I checked, English language doesn't put food on the table.

Check out the comments on the original post on Facebook.

If you agree or disagree, I will appreciate you let me know in the comment section below and make sure you share this post, it will mean a lot to me.                                                          

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  1. I dont even know y people really care abt how we decide to english wen its not our mother tough.....india people speak english anyhow dey like and dey were also colonized by england .......