Igbos in the United States of America say they will hold an all-Igbo cultural festival on Sept. 1 and Sept. 2, in Maryland suburb Washington DC, to promote their language and culture.
Prof. Okechukwu Oranika, Chairman of the organising committee, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on telephone from Atlanta, USA on Wednesday that its theme is “ Igbo Diaspora Cultural Heritage Festival 2017”.
Oranika, a faculty member at Grand Canyon University, Phoenix, Arizona, said several young igbos born in the diaspora are showing interest in the language and culture.
“The festival will cover anything about igbo language and culture and we have millions of young igbo children and adults born in the diaspora.
“ Many of them are of age now, they are re-marrying now and showing a lot of interest in igbo language and culture.
“ We are bringing them on board to perpetuate the igbo language and culture to the next generation of igbos born inside and outside Nigeria,” he said.
According to Oranika, the festival is being held to boost the Igbo language usage among igbo speaking people.
“ You can agree with me that the Igbo Language is on the demise. We are very sad about this and part of the reason we are doing this is drum up support for igbos to begin to use their language.
“ You are also aware that the United Nations predicted that the igbo language is on the demise and in two or three decades ,it could become extinct because igbos do not speak the language anymore,” he said.
Oranika, the publisher of Africa Business World, said that many igbo groups in America, South Africa and Nigeria would be part of the event.
“ The World Igbo Congress, represented by Chairman Dr. Larry Udorji, Ada Nkiru Odibeze of Nwannedinamba USA, Ada Kanayo Ntukogu of PILA USA,and Africa Business World of Atlanta Georgia and other groups promoting the language and culture are the main organisers of the event.
“ Royal families from Nigeria and members of the intelligentsia and the Nollywood movie industry will be there.
“Part of the idea is to get the people to also discuss important Igbo issues in the country,how the igbos should unite and form a common front to deal with issues affecting them in the country,” Oranika said.