Yorubas have been urged to stop committing syntactic errors in Yoruba language most especially with proverbs and other clichés. This was unveiled at the last edition of Yoruba Lakotun by the Guest writer, Mr. Sunday Folorunso Adeniyi, at Ethnic Heritage Centre, Ikoyi, Lagos over the weekend.
According to Adeniyi, the author of Esin Obinrin, Owu Iya gbon and other books, ‘Yoruba sayings have been bastardized by many people and this alteration affect the meaning of either the proverb or the cliché. Infact, many times, the meaning is lost because of the inappropriate word used. These sayings have become engrained in our daily lives that people do not know the actual saying anymore.’
He explained that ‘some of these proverbs that have historical background while others are phonological. The infiltration of foreign languages into Yoruba culture is also one of the factors responsible for this syntactic errors. Yoruba writers are charged to be versed in the culture and language in order to correct these syntactic errors for posterity.’
Another Special Guest at the edition, Otunba Lekan Ajirotutu, a Yoruba broadcaster and lecturer, said, ‘there are a lot of people who do not understand Yoruba language and culture. This has affect the quality of broadcast in the language and it has also impacted negatively on the movie industry also. He admonished users of the language to read and write widely in Yoruba language so that the masses can be well educated in the language.’
In his comment, Israel Bolaji, a Lagos-Based Public Relations Professional, added that the movie industry need to portray the culture in positive life so as not to scare people off the culture. He said, ‘the didactic lessons of the culture should be portrayed more to the outside world than the inimical acts. The world is desirous of seeing noble contents from the Yorubas and we must produce great contents that will attract patronage by those in the diaspora.’
The event drew cultural enthusiasts from corporate and social Nigeria in attendance.
(c)Olutayo IRAN-TIOLA, Lagos, Nigeria