by Paul Chika Emekwulu
Activism is defined as ” the policy or action of using vigorous campaigning to bring about a political or a social change.”
It takes different forms of self-expression which include speaking, writing, collecting signatures, demonstration, hunger strikes etc.
A few years ago I turned into an Igbo Language activist. An adage says, “there is no smoke without fire.” I became an Igbo activist for a reason. In other words, my activism has a history.
Just recently, less than five years ago to be somehow specific, I noticed that my mother tongue is having a lot of problems, problems created by those who happen to be speakers of the Language (unfortunately).
Because of this I’ve written about what I call the Anglicizing Movement which can be defined as an informal act adopted by some speakers of the Igbo Language to spell and write their Igbo names using English alphabets.
I’ve also written about people affixing the letter “r” or “h” at the end of their Igbo names. This practice is also a part of the Anglicizing Movement which at the moment is gaining currency among both the old and the young.
Whether spelling Igbo names with English alphabets or affixing the letters “r” or “h”, the goal is the same – to force Igbo names to look like that of the white man.
This is serious my fellow Igbo native and non-native speakers.
Finally, I said all that to ask a question and the question is this:
Why is it wrong to ask any Igbo speaking person to spell his or her Igbo name in Igbo?
Thank you very much for your time.