Personality 2016: Why I quit misspeaking my Igbo name

In Nigeria, the dialect talked by one of the biggest ethnic gatherings, the Igbo, is in peril of ceasing to exist – which is odd on the grounds that the populace is developing. In the past this didn’t stress the BBC’s Nkem Ifejika, who is himself Igbo yet never took in the dialect. Here he clarifies why he has altered his opinion.

When I’m in Nigeria, I say my father is Igbo from Anambra State, and my mum is from Rivers State. I may toss in that I halfway experienced childhood in the United Kingdom.

In Britain, I say I’m Nigerian, however I regularly include explainers about having been instructed at British schools and lived outside Nigeria since I was 12 years of age.

At the point when going by different nations however, I distinguish myself as British – at times including “through Nigeria”, for good measure.

I communicate in English and French, I can hold discussions in Spanish, and Yoruba and I’ve formally concentrated on Arabic and German to shifting degrees. In any case, I can’t communicate in Igbo, a dialect which ought to be extremely individual to me, the tongue of my predecessors.

In the event that you’d asked me my name 10 years prior I’d have given an Anglicized elocution – one I gained from my British educators and kindred understudies, as opposed to the one I gained from my guardians.

Nkem Ifejika (or Nkemakonam Ifejika in full) is an Igbo name from south-east Nigeria, and Igbo is a tonal dialect. So words with the wrong anxieties and tones either change their significance, or more regrettable, get to be confused. “Akwa” can mean crying, fabric, egg, or extension, contingent upon how it’s said.

In Igboland, as it’s casually known, names have significance and history. Circumstances of a kid’s introduction to the world can decide the name given to a kid. Names can be petitions or declarations on the kid.

Nkemakonam signifies “may I not need what is mine”, while Ifejika signifies “what I have is more noteworthy”. By misspeaking my names, I was discarding eras of history, and dismissing my guardians’ watchful decision.