100 years of Literary Enterprise in Indigenous Nigerian Languages: Trends, Challenges and Prospects
Early this year, Nigeria celebrated her first centenary of nationhood. It afforded her an opportunity to appraise the level of development she has, over these years of nation building, attained in various spheres politics, economy, technology, education, health, national integration, capacity building, among others. Her strength, weaknesses, successes, failures, various setbacks and challenges, all have been x-rayed by various analysts. It is also worthwhile to extend such appraisal to the developmental strides Nigeria has made through, and in the area of literature in her indigenous languages. This paper, therefore, attempts to survey, with particular reference to Igbo literature, the development of literature indigenous Nigerian languages, its emergence, some of the past and present challenges encountered in its studies, the progress made, its utilitarian value, and prospects for further growth. It concludes that in spite of the challenges literature in Nigerian Languages has witnessed, and is still witnessing, in the course of its development, the trends, as exemplified by the situations in Igbo and Yoruba literature in this paper, reveal a significant steady growth and potentials to advance further if the right attitude is shown, such as automatic employment for graduates of Nigerian languages, increase in admission quota for Nigerian languages in our tertiary institutions, among others.