Years back, while I was still a toddler in (Unical Staff School, Calabar), the easiest language to flow with folks and peers was Pidgin English.
This was because of its dexterity and street credibility.
I remember vividly, when I was flogged by my teacher in front of the class for speaking in ‘’Nigerian Pidgin’’ which was outrightly referred to as the ‘’Motor park English’’ – (Simplified and informal English for Touts and nuisance in the society).
After the incident, I was forced to hate the language of the ‘’street’’ and the common man.
Today, Nigerian pidgin has evolved. Brands want to relate with it; because it is the simplest means of reaching out to every people in different clime – (Rural or City).
We now have RADIO and TV stations that produce pidgin content and I am sure my teacher listen and enjoy them as well.
There has always been arguments as to which Nigerian Language should be made the national language. No result has been gotten from such arguments in time past as a result of Language Chauvinism where one thinks their language is superior than others.
The inability to make an indigenous language a national/official language will always be there in a country like Nigeria where there are lots of ethnic groups and diverse languages.
Turns out, the pidgin might just be our saving grace because the Nigerian pidgin has become a common ground where none literates, half literates and full literates meet. It’s also a common ground where Nigerians who do not understand each other’s Language meet.
An Ibibio man going to buy Suya from a Hausa man automatically switches to pidgin during the transaction process. “Aboki, this one no reach. Put Suya abeg.”
Nigerian pidgin is now celebrated and right now, we shouldn’t be confused anymore as to which of the indigenous language should be chosen as a National/official language.
This is because, the pidgin that was once rejected has become Chief.