Radio Broadcast and Indigenous Language Development in Nigeria: Contributions of the Radio Service of BRTV Maiduguri Toward the Promotion of Kanuri Language

Adamkolo Mohammed Ibrahim, Dorcas Rika Yake, Abubakar Sufyanu Saidu Al-Sadique, Ahmed Lawal Gusau, Mohammed Nura Nguru


Nigerian indigenous languages are facing challenges due to many factors including the ever-present long-term effects of colonialism and the use of English as the official language of communication and education, as well as urbanization, internal migration, and the mass media (both traditional and new). The preservation of indigenous languages has received global attention over the decades by notable international non-governmental organizations such as UNESCO and The British Council. In fact, the preservation of traditional cultural heritage, language inclusive, is one of the cardinal functions of mass media. Kanuri language, which is the main spoken language in Borno State in the northeast of Nigeria, is one of the several Nigerian indigenous languages facing challenges. Khaddamari, the headquarters of Jere Local Government Area, is a town very close to Maiduguri, a cosmopolitan city with population of about 1 million. Being so close to a large urban center it is known whether Kanuri language faces similar challenges it faces in the urban center, and if it does, what role does the media broadcasting from the city play toward promoting the language? This study examined the impacts of the Kanuri broadcast service of BRTV Radio, Maiduguri in the promotion and preservation of Kanuri language among the people living in Khaddamari town. Using the snowball sampling technique, 14 participants were recruited for in-depth interviews from BRTV radio and Khaddamari town. The study found that BRTV’s Kanuri broadcasts’ contribution toward the promotion of Kanuri language at Khaddamari is progressively diminishing compared to how much it could have done so three decades ago and that some of the listeners were dissatisfied with several BRTV’s Kanuri programs/news broadcasts. The study concluded that BRTV radio’s contribution toward the promotion of Kanuri language in Khaddamari town is crucial but was minimal, often hampered by the dwindling broadcast power and reach of BRTV radio signals. Therefore, BRTV should address its infrastructural deficits and formulate articulate broadcast language policy.

Keywords: Radio broadcast and indigenous language, Radio program, BRTV Maiduguri, Indigenous language preservation, Kanuri language

DOI: 10.7176/NMMC/99-01

Publication date:October 31st 2021

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3267 ISSN (Online)2224-3275

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