Here is a situation.
Folks would say there are 2000 languages in Africa.
They say so, not to celebrate the beautiful diversity of the African culture, but to promptly justify the fact that we Africans need to keep colonial languages like English and French in our daily life.
First let’s say that the 2000 languages mark is very much misleading.
Bantu, the most spoken language in Africa, with over 310 millions native speakers, has 400 variants languages as subset. Those subsets or variants are counted as different languages.
Here in Togo, the Ewe languages spoken only by 3 million people has close to 40 subset languages
Now let take the next four biggest languages in Africa: the Yoruba, the Igbo, the Hausa, the Manlike. All four have close to 200 millions speakers, and about 300 subsets or variant of languages.
Bantu, Yoruba, Hausa, Igbo are what is called ‘macro languages’ or family of languages. They are much like English, German or Spanish.
The Bantu + the Yoruba + the Igbo + the Hausa are over half of African 1 billion population (very small population).
Knowing that in average any African speaks at birth at least three languages, we now can understand why prior to colonization there were more trade between the different regions of Africa than now.
And contrary to popular belief and western propaganda, the adoption of colonial languages like English, French, Portuguese are the biggest barriers to Africa intra-trade, when it comes to language considerations.
When you travel to Guandgzou in China, the African merchants you meet there neither speak Chinese nor any European language. But they are the backbone of the superlative growth of Africa China trade.
Who counted the African languages? Do You know who? The same people who want to push their unrhythmic and unsubtle languages on a continent with the most beautiful languages.
Every African should resist the spread of colonial languages into our homes. Speak your native language to your Kids at home or when you go to market. Scold those who don’t speak African languages or shame them for dishonoring our ancestors.
Like us, from today start sending your letters to the public officials, public administration in your native language. Print your invoices with first Igbo, Yoruba, Swahili language then use English only as subtitle.
Don’t pollute your native language with too much foreign words. Be intentional, and do your best to avoid using foreign languages when not necessary in your home country.
If you’d resist long enough, soon we will take back our states apparatus and revert everything back to African languages.
Beyond culture and history, the African renaissance means taking back our States from colonial structures and influence, then marginalise colonial religions, and bring Africa back to a respected and admired status in the world.