Worried by the prediction that the Igbo language would no longer exist in the next 50 years, Maazi Marcel Duru, has embarked on a journey of eight years to prove the purveyors of that prediction wrong.
Duru has not only increased the propagation of the language but has gone ahead to write a book to that effect.
The book entitled; ‘Igbo Ekulie,’ which is a classical collection of Igbo proverbs would be launched on December 27, 2018, with Prof. Protus Uzoma as keynote speaker.
It was gathered that the forward of the 226-page book with 2822 proverbs arranged in alphabetical order was written by Associate Professor Chigozie Bright Nnabuihe of Department of Linguistics, African and Asian Studies, University of Lagos Nigeria.
Speaking on what inspired the book and what readers should expect, the author said: “My motivation started eight years ago when I started writing the book. I realized, just like other conscious Ndi Igbo, that Asusu Igbo is dying fast.
“The neglect of Igbo language has relegated it to the back bench. I asked myself, what can I do as Nwaafo Igbo, to remedy the situation? I made some inquiries and confirmed my fear, that Igbo Proverbs, which forms the nucleus of Igbo language is the first to die.”
“I rose up to the challenge and started gathering Igbo Proverbs from Igbo wise men and authorities. This took me across Igbo States and towns, Igbo gatherings and functions. It took me eight years to complete this work that gave birth to Igbo Ekulie (A Classic Collection Of Igbo Proverbs).
“Readers should expect a celebration of Igbo Proverbs in a unique and classical way, embedded in wisdom, culture and trend of Ndi Igbo. A folklore rejuvenated, straight from oral tradition. If you want to sleep, please don’t flip a page, else you remain awake.”
Duru further advised Igbo Scholars, especially to take Igbo language to the next level and prove the prediction that Igbo language will go into extinction wrong.
“Start from your home. Give your children Igbo names ( you can add English). Speak Igbo Language to them. Write Igbo books and literature. Organize Igbo summits, seminars and symposia. Igbo is beautiful, flaunt it with pride. We can achieve these. A new normal is possible,” he stressed.