By Prisca Sam-Duru & Elizabeth Uwandu
The press conference heralding the launch of ‘Strictly Speaking’ written by seasoned broadcaster, Mrs Bimbo Oloyede was interactive, exciting as well as educative.
It afforded the audience the opportunity to be enlightened on what could be termed, “everyday abuse of Nigeria’s official language by Nigerians in virtually all sectors.”
The event, held at conference hall, Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism, Ikeja had Oloyede fielding questions from journalists on effective communication in relation to pronunciation and expression.
Responding to the questions, Oloyede noted that pronunciation was a factor responsible for falling standard of use of English occasioned by lack of basic background knowledge of the dynamics of the language and often than not, the sheer ignorance on the part of speakers who tend to imitate the language owners.
Her words, “ We do not have to speak like the Queen, but let us aim for educated English language where the consonants and vowels sounds are well pronounced. “Made in Atlantic English is what we can aim at.”explained the ace broadcaster.
‘Strictly Speaking’ has been scheduled for launch on 25th June alongside another book targeted at students, at the Muson Centre, Lagos and it would be chaired by former Nigeria’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Dr Christopher Kolade, CON.
On what propelled her to write the book, she noted lack of effective communication among Nigerians ,especially public officials. “The book is, therefore, based on the belief that articulation and effective communication, is an efficient tool that strengthens personal and corporate development, promotes educational advancement, and enhances dynamic information dissemination and good governance.”
“ In addition ,as a practitioner in the broadcast sector, I have been concerned about the falling standards of presentation and pronunciation that permeate our air waves as well as the poor performance of public officials within our public space. Hence, Strictly Speaking is my contribution towards re-awakening the first part of the effective communication process and a practical way of improving the standard of spoken and written English, which is after all, Nigeria’s official language. “ said Oloyede.
Giving a synopsis of the content of the creative work, the former Channels News anchor added that the book, also available in CD format contains speech exercises, listening and practice of rhythm and sounds. “ I am aware that it is very easy to forget the sounds of English, especially in an environment like ours, where so many different languages are spoken, that is why the book has a CD containing all the specially designed speech exercises. It is my hope that after listening and practising, readers will have a better understanding of the rhythm and sounds of English and consequently become more proficient in the pronunciation of English words. “