The way forward

How we can make progress

We cannot kill the past, but we must build on it to make progress. The family remains the basic platform for the re-invigoration of Igbo language, culture, norms, and values. We must all continue to teach our younger generation Igbo, talk to them in Igbo. Our dialects can always grow side by side with the Union Igbo. A review of the teaching of Igbo language at all levels is very vital towards making it more proactive. Our cultural festivals and carnivals are essential in projecting our identity. Igbo language should be made compulsory in schools and special prizes slated for outstanding performances. Our meetings should always be recorded and read in Igbo. A model school where Igbo is used as the language of teaching should be established. Igbo language TVs, radios, websites, resources, publications in form of newspapers and periodicals should be used to encourage readership, learning and re-learning.

It is disheartening that money seems to erode our cultural values. We need to ask ourselves the extent it has helped us as a race. The common belief that we have a price is disgusting. It invariably implies that we have let down our values. People of questionable characters should not be put in positions of authority. We should value people based on the content of their character rather than by their wealth. We must put men of ideas in their rightful place for us to make progress as a race. Good behaviour and integrity should always be reinforced in our communities. This will restore the dawn of social and political order. A situation where rotten and men of questionable character run our communities weakens the fabrics of our society. People of impeccable character as role models will bring the change that will transform our society. Any transformation in concrete terms will impact positively on our language and culture. There is urgent need to build on our community networks both at home and in the Diaspora as a veritable platform for social control, language and cultural development.

Finally being Igbo and speaking Igbo are inseparable. Igbo culture and identity can only be properly expressed and understood in the Igbo language. Language therefore is not only a means of communicating thoughts and ideas, but it forges friendships, cultural ties and economic relationships. We need to reconcile the past with the present to be able to shape the future. The way we shape today will reflect on the future. We need to re-discover who we are: NDI IGBO.