My name is Philip Akoda, i was born in Calabar, a city in modern-day Nigeria and currently, a second year student of Computer Systems Engineering at the University of Essex, U.K. At my leisure, I enjoy reading a wide variety of books from history to politics and I enjoy travelling.
I will be working with my partner, Odiso Edim, a full-time developer who is well- versed in Java, C programming, HTML and CSS, and who has created apps for bloggers and business people alike.
We will also be working with various professors who are native speakers of the target languages and who are resident in the regions where these languages are spoken.
Together, we aim to produce authentic written and spoken forms of each of the target languages for our project.
I am raising £5000 to create a series of apps that will teach tourists and Africans living in the diaspora the indigenous languages of several African countries while, at the same time, reviving and preserving these dying languages.
These apps will, therefore, heighten the experiences of tourists travelling to these countries as well as encourage multilingualism, thus, bringing together people of various cultures.
Growing up in Calabar, I learnt my native language, Efik from my mother and grandmother. This was because they would speak it very often and I would listen to them—most times, unconsciously.
However, by virtue of my paternal origin, I am also of Edo-Benin descent (Edo is a Nigerian state about 400km away from Calabar), but except for its cultures and traditions which I learnt from books, I have no knowledge of the Benin language. This lack of knowledge has, sadly, limited my relationship with the Benin people because in the words of Nelson Mandela, “if you talk to a [person] in a language he [or she] understands, that goes to his [or her] head. If you talk to him [or her] in his [or her] language, that goes to his [or her] heart”.
Consequently, this app, in a way, gives me the chance to make up for my estranged relationship with my people—on my dad’s side, by giving others, especially little children, the opportunity to reach the hearts of their own people, both of maternal and paternal origins.
Furthermore, in the city of Calabar, the second oldest handwriting in Africa, Nsibidi, was practiced for more than a millennium. Regrettably, it died a slow death and only fragments of it were preserved. Thankfully, my mother, being a historian and a travel enthusiast, has instilled in me a love and appreciation of various cultures, and has taught me the importance of preserving history such as the Nsibidi handwriting.
I am therefore determined to ensure that other languages and cultures do not suffer the same fate as that of this ancient writing.
Overall, the successful launch and completion of our project, however ordinary it seems, will help to accomplish three milestones in the pursuit for global unity:
1. By enhancing people’s love for and connection to their languages, people and cultures, the app will help to reduce emigration from the African continent;
2. It will lead to a return of estranged, but enlightened indigenes who, through an authentic understanding of and passionate love for their native tongue and culture, will aid in the development of their respective countries and in the alleviation of all forms of poverty; and
3. By encouraging people to learn other languages besides their own and thus, fostering understanding between people of different languages, religions and backgrounds, the app will also help to reduce incidence of conflict in form of ethnic wars or disagreement.
The money raised will be used primarily for transportation to and from the target countries, accommodation on arrival as well as the purchase of quality recording equipment. If fully sufficient, the money will also go into advertising as I intend to start a campaign that will create awareness for every language that we successfully record.
This is an extensive project so this year, I intend to focus on 4 languages between march and september: Twi, Yoruba, Swahili, Oromo.
It will be challenging but with your help, we can make it happen and fight the menace of extinction.
We successfully completed our first target language,Efik, a language spoken in Southern Nigeria. We had several difficulties, some of which that had to be taken into consideration was audio quality.
The money you will be donating will go into proper studio equipments as well as travelling expenses to reach out to this areas, and rescue these languages.
The link for the project is http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/the-aflang-project
Please support us and share our project to everyone you know via
Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Instagram, Email, Telephone, or any medium at all.
VISIT THE LINK TO DONATE – http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/the-aflang-project