Brazil adopts Yoruba as official language

Brazilian government has given Yoruba a pride of place among foreign languages spoken in the country. in an exclusive interview with the Brazilian minister of culture
Dr Sérgio Sá leitão at the weekend in Brazil that the government has introduced the compulsory study of African History and Yoruba language into the primary and secondary schools curriculum.


The minister spoke at an event where the Institute of African Studies, University of Sao Paulo, in Brazil paraded important dignitaries including Nigerian artists and historians, as well as professors of arts and African studies at a lecture on the importance of Yoruba language in the Brazilian culture and tradition.


According to him, the inclusion of African History and Yoruba Language in the curriculum would help bring the closeness of the African Brazilian people to their roots and thus encourage the understandings of the language among other important languages in Brazil apart from Portuguese which is the official language.

The minister also mentioned the role played by Brazil during the festival of arts and culture, ‘FESTAC 77’, held in Lagos, Nigeria in 1977; the constant intercultural programmes between Nigeria and Brazil; the annual carnival of Arts, music and cultural displays featuring prominent African artists and Yoruba writers such as Yinka Shonibare, Adeyinka Olaiya, El Anatsui among many others, including the highly respected Yoruba writer, Professor Wande Abimbola.


Speaking at the event, Peruvian Nobel laureate, Prof. Mário Vargas Llosa also made mention of the African community in Peru where the African Peruvians are settled till date. Vargas Llosa, who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2010, is known as one of Latin America’s most significant novelists and essayists, and one of the leading writers of his generation.


According to Vargas Llosa, Yoruba people and their culture have helped the universe, IFA has proven his existence in the beings of mankind right from the inception and IFA is still very much alive and needs to be recognized even more than it is today.

According to Prof Mário Vargas, the Yoruba language should no longer be approached as an ethnic language but a universal language that is alive in culture and tradition of the Africans and her roots around the universe.

Speaking in Yoruba and Portuguese, Prof Katiuscia Ribeiro of the Institute of African Studies drew attention to the African philosophical practices introducing the constant representation of the Yoruba culture and religion in the Brazilian traditional beliefs.

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