THE Yoruba language is facing some challenges, especially with the upcoming generation not too keen in speaking the language; parents also are not helping matters as they prefer their children to speak the English language to the detriment of the indigenous language.
It is as a result of this that Egbeje Ede, a new socio-cultural Yoruba language education board game is created to promote the language and culture through recreative learning methodology.
Egbeje Ede is an invention of Adetola Balogun and Dayo Taiwo, two young men who seek a new reality in promoting the Yoruba language and culture as a vehicle for job creation and youth empowerment.
The creation of Egbeje Ede was inspired by the need to checkmate the worrisome decline of Yoruba language and values in present day elitist Yoruba society.
Speaking with Arts and Review, Balogun and Taiwo said, “Egbeje Ede Yoruba educational board game is an approved invention recognised by the Federal Government through the Ministry of Trade and Investment’s Department of Patent and Trademark.
“Aside from promoting Yoruba language and culture, Egbeje Ede could serve as a catalyst for creating jobs and empowering youths across the South-West of Nigeria, through manufacturing, sport and entertainment.”
In furtherance to Federal Government’s approval of Egbeje Ede, the inventors, known as ‘The Elegbeje Ede’ have embarked on visits to traditional rulers across Yorubaland for their blessings and support for the promotion of Yoruba language.
As part of the tour, the Egbeje Ede inventors visited the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, where the royal father commended the initiative and gave his blessings.
The Ooni then implored all Yoruba people at home and abroad to promote the language and culture.
During a visit to the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi II, the Alaafin also applauded Egbeje Ede ingeniuty and the job creation prospects.
The Alaafin acknowledged that Yoruba language is on the decline, just as he urged Yoruba descendants to promote the language in their respective capacities.
The Elegbeje Ede crew also visited Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Saliu Adetunji, Aje Ogungunniso I, at his Popo-Yemoja palace, where he gave his blessings and endorsement to the initiative.
The Olubadan implored all Yoruba descendants not to neglect the language for Western languages.
The royal father also commended the job creation opportunities which the board will create, adding that it would help reduce unemployment, especially in the South-West region.
The Olowu of Owu-Kuta in Osun State, Oba Adekunle Oyelude Makama, Tegbosun III, was also not left out, as the duo of the Elegbeje Ede also visited him in his palace.
Oba Makama, in his remarks, applauded the invention and gave his blessings, just as he added that it would be great if Egbeje Ede could be adopted into school curriculum across the South-West as a teaching aid for Yoruba language at primary and secondary schools.
The royal father also commended Egbeje Ede job creation and youth empowerment prospect, through manufacturing, sport and entertainment.
The Elegbeje Ede, in their quest to promote Yoruba language with their invention, are still on tour to other Yoruba traditional rulers across the six states of South-West.
Just recently, notable illustrious Yoruba personalities have commended the Egbeje Ede initiative.
Among the notable personalities are; the Odole Oodua, Sir Kessington Adebutu; Aare Gani Adams, Professor Oye Taiwo of the University of Ibadan Yoruba Centre, Comrade Moses Olafare, the Chief Press Secretary to the Ooni Of Ife; Honourable Kunle Soname, the Director-General of the DAWN Commission, Mr Seye Oyeleye; Architect and Mrs Bamidele Samson of the Bovas Group; Dr Wasiu Olatunbosun, Commissioner for Culture, Information and Tourism in Oyo State, Mr Seun Fakorede, the Commissioner for Youths and Sports in Oyo State, among others.
Speaking on why they came up with the innovation, the duo said: “We discovered that we are fast losing our language and as a result, we felt we can come up with something that will help teach our people the basics of the language.
“Yoruba language is a language not spoken only in Nigeria but in some other parts of the world like Benin Republic, Cuba, Brazil, Trinidad and Tobago, among others, so while the language is fast developing in these countries, it is not too good that it is going down in Nigeria.
“Therefore, Egbeje Ede, which can serve several purposes, will help revive our language through entertainment.
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