• Igbo Language mustn’t die, says AE-FUNAI VC

The Alex- Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike, Ebonyi State, recently celebrated its 2nd Igbo Cultural Day, an annual celebration initiated in 2017 by the Faculty of Humanities of the institution as part of its community service contribution to the promotion of indigenous languages in Nigeria.

This year’s celebration recorded huge success as students and staff of the university in their traditional attires trooped out en masse to witness the occasion which was characterized with traditional dances, wrestling, poetry and drama, and other cultural displays.

AE-FUNAI Students from Abia State performing the Abiriba war dance at the event

Declaring the event open, the Chairman of the occasion and Vice-Chancellor of the university, Professor Chinedum Nwajiuba represented by the Dean, Faculty of Engineering and Technology, Professor Onuegbu Ugwu, congratulated the organizers for putting indigenous languages back to national consciousness, noting that Igbo Language in particular was not only at the verge of extinction but has been sacrificed on the altar of modernism by carefree parents.

He explained that this year’s celebration was apt because it captured the centrality of the collective interest of a people and serves the global nexus to propagate laudable uniqueness and contributions of ‘ndi Igbo’ both in Nigeria and in the Diaspora.

AE-FUNAI students from Ebonyi State performing the popular Egwu nkwa nwite dance at the event

Exploring the theme of this year’s celebration: “Omenala Igbo na nkwalite Aku-na –Uba Naijiria”, meaning “Promoting Igbo Culture through Sustainable Development in Nigeria”, the Vice-Chancellor recalled the numerous benefits of indigenous languages, urging Nigerians especial the Igbo to speak and treat their language with respect and sacredness.

“It is worthy to note that promoting indigenous culture is another viable factor of job creation and money spinning agency.

“Cultural Dance, wrestling, riddles, folktales among others are crucial points at which one can successfully earn a living”, echoed the Vice-Chancellor.

A student of Faculty of Humanities, dressed as an Igbo maiden during the event

The colorful ceremony was graced by many dignitaries, which include the former President-General of apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohaneze Ndigbo,   Chief Gary Igariwey Enwo, winner of the 2017 LNG Prize, Ikeogu Oke, a celebrated author, Professor Anezi Okoro and the Ebony State Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Chief Mrs. Elizabeth Ogbaga represented by Chief Simon Nweke; among others.

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