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Friday, September 20, 2019

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Placing English Language Above Our Mother Tongue Is Demeaning – Lifestyle Expert, Godday Ighoteguono



In continuation of our MEDIA TOUR round Ondo State, this EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW centers on Youths, Nigeria culture, Involvement of teenagers on the use of social media.
Below is an interview conducted by EMPIRE MEDIA NG with the lifestyle expert, Godday Ighoteguono who is also a media personnel and broadcaster.

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF?

My name is Godday Ighoteguono. I'm from Kokori, Ethiope East local government area of Delta state, but born and bred in Ondo State. I had my elementary and high school studies in Ondo Kingdom. I studied Mass Communication at the Osun State Polytechnic (OSPOLY) Iree.

YOUR GROWING UP AS A SON OF DELTA STATE, RESIDING IN ONDO, HOW WAS IT LIKE?
Well, my growing up was fun, just like that of any kid in my generation. No harassment, no discrimination of any sort. As a matter of fact, I enjoyed the best of co-existence while growing up so much that if not for my surname, no one would question or doubt me, should I claim to be an indigene of Ondo State. Growing up in the State also enabled me to be able to hear, understand and speak Ondo dialect fluently, which to me is an added advantage, as people long to hear an Urhobo guy speak Ondo dialect fluently everywhere I go. So, growing up here wasn't anything short of fun.

THAT SOUNDS GOOD. WITH THAT NOT BEING THE NATIONAL YOUTH SERVICE CORPS SCHEME, HOW CAN YOU DESCRIBE THE PRESENT RATIONALE FOR NYSC IS CREATED FOR THE COUNTRY'S CO-EXISTENCE?

If not for insecurity in some parts of the country, NYSC has been, and should have continued to be the best way to emplace peaceful co-existence in our dear country. But then, corps members have had to call for redeployment when posted to volatile areas perceived to be hotspots of insecurity. And you wouldn't blame them, considering the spate of kidnapping, bomb blasts, ritual killings, bandit attacks and the likes, that are inherent in some states of the Federation. To me, these challenges if not addressed, have and will continue to negate the purpose for which NYSC scheme was established.



STILL ON YOUTHS AND LIFESTYLE, SOCIETAL VALUES AND MORALS TENDS TO BE GOING INTO EXTINCTION, WHAT DO YOU THINK COULD CAUSE THIS AMONG YOUTHS?

There are so many factors contributing to this my brother. Modernization and civilization, negative effects of the internet and social media, lack of parental guidance, youthful exuberance and lots more. Until we go back to our roots, prioritize our culture and moral values, reorient the youths to address the moral decadence and correct the ills of the society, this current generation and the ones to come might just be lost forever with our heritage forgotten.

DON'T YOU THINK THE GOVERNMENT, AND PARENTS HAS A RESPONSIBILITY TO PLAY IN PRIORITIZING OUR CULTURE AS THEY PLACE ENGLISH LANGUAGE ABOVE MOTHER TONGUE?

Most definitely, the government as well parents have roles to play in ensuring our culture does not go into extinction. For instance, placing English language above our mother tongue is demeaning and should be discouraged. It is disheartening to note that our local languages are now being referred to as "VERNACULAR" is schools today, which should never be. No doubt, we should all learn and understand English language to be able to converse with and understand people outside the country, but then, we should never relegate our own mother tongue. Again, we need to go back to the drawing board to correct these anomalies.

MASS COMMUNICATION IS A DISCIPLE TO CORRECT SOCIAL VICES, OF WHICH HAS EXPANDED TO THE USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA IN THE CONTEMPORARY WORLD. HOW CAN YOU DESCRIBE THE USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA BY NIGERIANS, ESPECIALLY YOUTHS?

Well, social media has proven to be a blessing and at the same time, a curse (when abused) in our society today. No doubt, a couple of societal ills and a number of anomalies have been corrected through the use of social media. But the proliferation of self acclaimed bloggers and self trained "journalists" has done more harm than good through the use of social media, as they spread fake news and unconfirmed reports here and there. In my opinion, the negative effects of the internet and social media seem to overshadow the positives, as many youths today get inspired to go into social vices following the "larger than life" pictures and scenes they see on social media, not knowing it’s all a sham. The social media seriously needs to be purged and sanitized so that its positive effects can be maximized.

IN SOME COUNTRIES, SOCIAL MEDIA ACTIVITIES WERE BEEN CHECKED BY THE GOVERNMENT, TO ENSURE PROPER USE OF IT. AS AN INDIVIDUAL DO YOU THINK SUCH CAN WORK IN NIGERIA, IF PUT IN PLACE?



I want to believe it can work. We've seen countries shutting internet for days to deprive citizens’ access to browse. If the government really wants it done, I want to believe it will work. And if put in place, it will go a long way in emplacing sanity in our social media space.

LOOKING AT THE ENTERTAINMENT ARENA OF NIGERIA IN THE CONTEMPORARY WORLD, DO IT STILL HAVE A PLACE IN THE WORLD?

Yes. Entertainment is evolving and making serious waves in Nigeria. A good number of Nigerian actors and artistes are doing the country proud, though not forgetting that some of them are lagging behind. In all, I'll say Nigeria is not doing badly in terms of entertainment, and we sure have a place in the global scene.

NIGERIA CULTURE IS NOT PROMOTED VIA MUSIC.  LIKE WE USE TO HAVE IT BACK THEN, CIVILIZATION HAS TAKEN OVER THEM. ANY POSSIBLE WAY TO REVIVE OUR CULTURE THROUGH MUSIC?

The truth is, ninety percent of songs being churned out almost on daily basis don't have any meaningful message, some even laced with vulgar and offensive lines. The days when we used to have good music are long gone and I doubt if we can ever redeem it with the turnout of events these days. It takes deep to get to the deep, but what we listen to these days are nothing close to being deep. But then, we still have few artistes whose songs still carry great messages to correct the ills of the society. Only if these few people can duplicate or even triplicate themselves, we will have a more decent and saner society in terms of music.

AVERAGE CHILD IF NOT ALL BELOW 18 AND 20 NOW ENGAGES IN THE USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA WHILE THEIR EDUCATIONAL ASSIGNMENT SHOULD BE PRIORITY. ANY RISK INVOLVED?



I keep saying this everywhere and every time I have the privilege of speaking on social media. It's mixed bag of both a blessing and a curse, depending on how it's being used. But talking about how some people, most especially the youths use the social media these days, revealing everything going on their lives on various platforms is worrisome and can't be better described than being a huge risk. Again, believing every larger-than-life-picture and videos on social media has contributed and still contributing to the various social vices in our society today. Until we disabuse our minds and draw the line between what to believe and what not to on the social media, we may be heading towards further destruction.

AS A LOVER OF NIGERIAN MUSIC, WHAT ARE THE SUGGESTIONS YOU LIKE TO RENDER TO THE GOVERNMENT IN REVIVING THE NIGERIAN CULTURE, TRADITION AND LIFESTYLE?

It's simple. Supporting every talent that has the capability to change the narrative in the music industry today. A number of talents are wasting away out there, simply because they have no money, no support to thrive. In Nigeria today, once you have money or someone who can throw some money around, you hear all kinds of music without any message, whereas those who genuinely have great messages to pass across through their music meet a brick wall when it gets to sourcing for sponsors and promoters. So, the government needs to find these talents and work on them to restore sanity in our music world.


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