Nigerian transports Yoruba culture to Austria & beyondBy Hakeem Babalola
The passion to preserve his native language has inspired Babátó̩lá Aló̩ba to do something in far away Austria where the demand for the Yoruba language is shaping a new thought. His love for language especially his native language plus the love of children has put things in motion for this determined Nigerian man who migrated to Austria in 1971.
Aló̩ba uses drum, poetry, incantation, drama, music, reading as a way of instruction to promote what he calls Yoruba Heritage.
"Our children in the Diaspora must be thought our culture," he affirms, adding that it is our responsibility to make sure this wonderful language is preserved "most especially for our children's children anywhere in the world."
The task ahead is challenging and he says he is not naive about the reality of taking such daring step. Aló̩ba believes that a thousand steps start from somewhere. If we Nigerians learn foreign languages, why not introduce our own to them, he says rather than asking.
It seems there is no limitation where the devotion is taking this Ijesha man who hails from Ikere-Ekiti, and whose ancestor comes from Benin.
Apart from workshops and conferences, he is currently in contact with other Yoruba men and women in other places across the world to open International Yoruba Institutes.
"Certainly one of the best ways of approach," he says, "is through children who are innocent learners and open to cultural diversity; however adults are also being encouraged to come along."
Aló̩ba's commitment to the project is already taking shape as he has to his credit Yoruba-German/German Yoruba Dictionary to be published soon.
He has travelled to different places including America to showcase his long-term inheritance.
Yoruba is spoken in Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Brazil and many other places.