I am Igbotic, So What?

by Uche Onegeria 26 Jul , 2016  

Igbotic(Definition) Speaking Igbo language and especially having its beautiful accent while speaking it or any other language.

 

I do not know the origin of this word, Igbotic but it will not take a genius to figure out that it was derived from the word, “Igbo” (which is the mother tongue for Igbo tribes). For the Non-Nigerians reading this piece, we have 3 tribes in Nigeria: Igbo, Hausa, and Yoruba. Nigerians generally understand “Igbotic” to mean,
1. Speaking either 100% Igbo or even any percentage of Igbo at all (usually more than 40-100% depending on who is judging).
2. Having any whiff of the Igbo accent while speaking English (or any other language).
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Is the name “Igbotic” good or bad?
One thing is certain; this tag is given and received negatively. I do not know the intention of its inventor but somehow, it has become discriminatory and shameful to whoever might be unlucky to get the label. It has also made most Igbos distance themselves from the language by killing their native accents and embracing the foreign ones.

Do the words, Yorubatic or Hausatic exist? Is it only the Igbo tribe that has this label?
It seems to be that out of the 3 main tribes, only “Igbo” got married to “tic” to become Igbo-tic. I can also bet everything I own that it was invented by an Igbo person. What I am not very certain of is if the repulsion we have for this beautiful language contributed to our being the tribe least likely to teach our children how to speak the language from birth. I am in Canada & in all the Yoruba households I have visited here, their children can speak the language. However, in the Igbo households , cha cha (not at all).

I do not know why that term exists, but since it is here, we should embrace it by being as Igbotic as possible not distance ourselves from it.

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There is already proof that the Igbo language will be an endangered language in the near future. Where did we go wrong? Why did we adopt this mindset? Why only our tribe? What happened with our forefathers to make them pass this to us?
Is this problem from fellow Igbos or other tribes (Hausa or Yoruba)?
The Yorubas and Hausas proudly wear their accent as a badge of honor and never apologize for it. Yorubas are currently marketing some of their tribal flaws like their “H-factor”. Who you help epp (Olamide)? Have you seen Falz’ (Folarin Falana) videos where he just “dishes it” in Yoruba and we all (even my Igbo brothers and sisters) literally eat it up.
If there is one primary reason why I love Flavour N’abania and Phyno, it is because their songs are primarily in Igbo language.

I remember seeing D’banj being interviewed on National TV & he was speaking Yoruba. I remember he called himself “ajanla” which means “big fish”. I can not even imagine Genevieve Nnaji saying she is “okporoko” (cod fish) on National TV.


I also observe that most Igbo Nollywood stars go by their English names especially the A-Listers; Genevieve Nnaji, Michael Collins (Donjazzy), Stephanie Okereke, Kenneth Okonkwo, Tony Umez, Jim Iyke, Rita Dominic, Patience Ozokwor, Monalisa Chindi etc. Meanwhile the Yoruba stars; Bimbo Akintola, Omotola Jalade Ekeinde, Funke Akindele, Yemi Alade, Olamide, Tiwa Savage etc. Biko why is this so?

In other countries, do Americans have British or Russian accents? Why do Igbos expect their tribespeople to have foreign accents?

I think it is actually silly to think that a Russian would have an American accent so why would an Igbo-Nigerian have any accent other than Igbo?

I understand that most of us are grown ups and it is a choice we all make but is it not ridiculous for a cat to not just desire to bark like a dog but work towards achieving it? It is especially disgusting for anyone to mock (bully) others who try to speak the language by calling them Igbotic.

Any Valid Concerns on this issue?
Apart from the fact that it is silly to hate our beautiful language the way we do, we are also running the risk of losing it entirely. It has been observed that several Nigerian languages have gone extinct with more predicted to gradually die soon as well. Most of the younger generation know English (a foreign language) more than our own mother tongue. Alụ! (Abomination!) 

Can the Writer Speak Igbo language?
Yes. I am unapologetically Igbotic. I have no shame! I can proudly speak, read and write in Igbo language; punctuations and all. I am one of those Igbo people who will teach my children my language – whether they are born here in Canada or in Nigeria.

I have always fought the misconception of the label “Igbotic” (where people that even remotely have the Igbo accent are mocked).

General Igbotic Facts!
1. Most Igbos will never be proud to be labelled “Igbotic” and the people that give the label, do it out of spite.
2. Most Igbos would be proud to be told that they sound American, British, Chinese or even Jamaican rather than Igbotic.
3. Most Igbos aspire to lose their Igbo (Igbotic) tongue with some successfully losing it alongside their Igbo language speaking capability entirely.
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Ka anyị na-eme nụ. A ga m na-agba mbo kam mara na ihe nkea a ga-adịtụ mma (Let’s be trying. I will keep trying so we’ll know if this issue will get better). Ndi Igbo sị, “Ka a na-achụ aja, ka ikpe ma ndi mmụọ” (Igbos say, “you do your best and leave the rest to God”). Ekwuchala m (I am done talking).

Chukwu gozie ụnụ (God bless you all).

All T-Shirt images are sourced from www.zazzle.ca.

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