Oluwo Canvasses For Update/Upgrade Of Yoruba Language In Nigeria

The Oluwo of Iwoland, Oba Abdulrosheed Adewale Akanbi, is calling on Yoruba scholars in the country, to jointly promote the language by updating and upgrading its usage.


Oluwo said, to achieve this, the Yoruba language curriculum in schools, especially tertiary institutions, must be updated to accommodate many other words missing in the Yoruba lexicon.


He stressed the need for the creation of “Yoruba Independent Language” inclusion in curriculum of schools with the sole aim of reducing the heavy dependence of the language on English language.


In Oluwo’s opinion, the Yoruba language should be designed in such a way that, it would have meaning for all things; because according to him, there are many English words without Yoruba translation.

He said,

“Hardly will you speak Yoruba for 2-minute without incorporating English. Many English words, objects and events are without Yoruba translation. I continually ask myself why scholars are not interested in challenging the challenge.”

Oluwo added,

“Chinese use their language to study other subjects, and courses, from elementary to tertiary institutions.”

He therefore called on stakeholders,

“ … to hold a summit, and constitute powerful team of Yoruba scholars, that will adopt names for items of no Yoruba translation.”


The Oba cited instances where there are no ‘sufficient’ words to describe some items in Yoruba language. He said,

“For example, we only say chairs (Aga), when there are many types of chairs.”


He again emphasized that, because Yoruba numerical is limited, there is need for scholars of the language to take up the challenge.

In Oluwo’s words,

“Equally, Yoruba numerical counting is limited. What is Yoruba for trillion? Do we have names for categories of lights? How can we fix Yoruba names for everything?, such that it will be an independent language?”


The Oluwo of Iwoland, Oba Abdulrosheed Adewale Akanbi, stressed the need for Yoruba professors, doctors, teachers, as well as students, to embrace the challenge by seeing to it that, the shortcomings of the language is swiftly addressed.

“The strength in the language should be updated, upgraded and refurbished. Yoruba professors, doctors, teachers and students should harmonize, to address the lacuna in the language.”


Oluwo made his opinion known through the statement released by his press secretary, Alli Ibraheem, during the week.

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