There are indications that the BBC Igbo online service opened recently is at risk of being closed, due to lack of support and interest not money!
Now if you are “Onye Igbo” and this news – true or false – does not bother you, then you are not truely an Igbo man or woman. If also the prediction by UNESCO that the Igbo language could become extinct by 2050, does not anger you, it is possible you are not Igbo!
We are saddened by the two possibilities. We are sad that the Igbo language could die and we know there are others who share our sentiment. Although so much has been done to save the language, Igbo is still very much on the danger list, if you choose, in a comma. Only Ndigbo themselves who primarily put it in that state can save it.
We must commend those organisations and individuals who have worked and are still working to see that the UNESCO prediction does not happen. We commend the efforts of the Catholic Archbishop of Owerri His Grace Most Rev. Dr. Anthony Obinna for his initiative to start the Odenigbo annual lecture, which has for the past twenty two years promoted Igbo language and culture. We thank the brilliant minds at Nollywood, producers and actors alike for African Magic Igbo, which has given the Igbo language a big boost. Kudos to patriotic Ndigbo who created HOHA – an exclusive Igbo whatsApp chat group and others who are promoting the Igbo language in many ways.
But we are worried about what is happening to the BBC Igbo, online. It is not yet a radio station, but this online service is a prelude. God forbid that Ndigbo should allow it to die. Why cannot those who built and supported Nollywood empower BBC Igbo through their individual and collective patronage? Just visit the website with your phone or computer. No money is required, and the news is fresh. If the online service is not supported, they can’t go to the next level.
BBC Hausa has been there for long. The Yoruba service is not as old but it exists and has been running for some time.
Regrettably, Igbo language has not been so lucky. Many reasons can be given for it but most damning is the neglect and lack of patronage by Ndigbo themselves the native speakers and original owners.
Please show yourselves good sons and daughters of Igboland. Endeavour to click on BBC Igbo https://www.bbc.com/igbo and stay on the site for at least five minutes daily for the benefit of Ndigbo and their language Also visit their Facebook page:htt://m.facebook.com/BBCnewsIgbo/ and share and comment on the content there.
Statistics are currently being collated and the results are not pleasant. If it persists, they will close the BBC Igbo down. That will be a huge loss to Ndigbo and it’s a platform from which they share our language and culture with the world.
Let us all do our part to save Igbo language and stop it from being extinct even in our lifetime.