Never forget your Roots

I watched a  nollywood ( I love  my Nollywood movies lool, especially the yoruba ones) movie on youtube called Ede Mi meaning my language, about a woman who grew up in America and moved back to Nigeria with her husband and her kid, but she doesn’t speak or understand yoruba. I’ll stop there for those who want to check it out (click on the title and it will take you to the movie). Let’s just say it pays to know where you are from, where your roots are. It’s bad enough for us abroad not to know our language or culture, but have heard of kids at home that don’t know how to speak or understand at all, and they are growing up in the country due to parents not teaching them. That is just sad to me to be honest.

I came to the UK when I was 9; it’s going to be 10 years in January that I have been in this country. Since I have stepped foot here, I have never once forgotten where I came from. When I got here my Yoruba was very fluent, but my mum would keep telling me to just speak english, because she wanted me to get used to it. Time went on and all I was speaking was just english, then it started, my yoruba was not so fluent anymore, I was so not happy that I could not speak it so well, and guess what neither was my mum lool. She now encouraged me to speak more of yoruba. Little by little it started to come back, what really helped was my trip to Nigeria in 2009, when I spent two good months, my yoruba got so much better and I was glad. Since I came back, its in me and always will be. I might not be as good as when I came to the country, but I know it’s there and I am happy. Knowing my language makes me happy and makes me appreciate my culture.

There was video on youtube going viral last year of a white american girl learning to speak yoruba. When I watched this video I covered my face in shame lool but it pushed me to develop my yoruba. If other races are interested in learning your language and culture, why are you not? There is nothing worse than forgetting your roots and where you come from. As my mum always tells me “ranti omo eh ni ti o se” remember the child of who you are. If you know  your roots and who you are, it is hard to lose focus. I am Nigerian and proud :), those that know me I am not ashamed of who I am or where I am from. I speak with pride when I say I AM NIGERIAN!!!

4 thoughts on “Never forget your Roots

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  1. Well said, Ola. My grandparents left Sicily for the US in the early 1920s, and by the time I showed up, they had learned English and were trying hard to be American. In fact, they used the Italian language only when they didn’t want the kids to understand what they were saying. What a loss! I’ve been struggling to learn Italian on my own for the past ten years. When I was little, I could have absorbed it without effort.

    Congratulations on the new blog. I wonder if you plan to write about Nigeria, and what it’s like to be Nigerian and living in the UK. One of the great things about blogging is that it helps people see each other as fellow human beings — different in some ways, but also the same in many ways, too.

    Happy New Year, and keep writing!

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    1. thank you for your comment, exactly its important for parents to teach their kids. I will be blogging more about life as a nigerian in the UK, thanks for the topic and Happy New Year to you too 🙂

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  2. I wish I could speak more than one language. In America we aren’t taught or encouraged to learn different languages. Some schools have foreign language departments, but it’s not required. Slowly I’m trying to learn Spanish to help aid me with my travels. I wish you well in relearning what you’ve forgotten. All languages should be spoken and appreciated. And yes, we should always remember where we came from.

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