A to Z challenge · Bloggers · languages

Y is for … Yorùbá

Blogging from A to Z

Theme: Languages of the World


Yorùbá (èdè Yorùbá) is a member of the Benue-Congo branch of the Niger-Congo language family. It is spoken by some 28 million people, most of whom live in Nigeria. It is also spoken in Benin, Siera Leon, Togo, United Kingdom, USA.

Even though the official language of Nigeria is English, Yorùbá together with Igbo and Hausa are quazi-official languages that serve as lingua francas for speakers of the 400 odd languages spoken in Nigeria. In southwest Nigeria where most of Yorùbá speakers are concentrated, Yorùbá, although not an official language, is used in government administration, print and electronic media, at all levels of education, in literature and in film.

Code-switching between Yorùbá and English is a way of life for educated Yorùbá-English bilinguals. They use Yorùbá mainly in the family setting and in formal situations such as village or tribal meetings. They use standard English in formal or official situations. In informal situations they use a creolised form of English dubbed Yoruglish. The latter represents a blend of both English and Yorùbá grammar and vocabulary.

Yoruba boat – Model in the Vatican Museum

Fascinating facts about Yorùbá

Yorubas are very Expressive People. This is particularly seen in the way they speak and converse with one another. It is also seen in their colourful festivals and celebrations. From wedding ceremonies, naming ceremonies, housewarming parties and even burials, you cannot deny the rich and ostentatious style and ceremonial nature of the people of the culture.

When a baby is born, water is sprinkled on the baby, till he/she cries. When they fail to cry, no word will be spoken until they do.  After eight days, a naming ceremony is held and relatives are invited.

The Yorubas like spicy and oily food. Almost all their food is prepared with either oil, pepper or both. Their food are mostly made from starchy tubers,plantains and grains. Yams and rice are eaten on important occasions.

Due to the effect of slave migration in the colonial era, some of the Yoruba tradition has been inculcated into the culture and tradition of the Brazilians to this very day.

According to Yoruba mythology, all Yoruba people are descendants of Oduduwa.

They started sculpture making as early as the 12th century. These days they make sculptures to honour their ancestors, deities and gods, using brass, wood, and terracotta.


Thanks for reading 🙂

book review · historical fiction · NetGalley · Reading for Fun

Reading for Fun: An Interlude in Berlin

An Interlude in Berlin

by Jefferson Flanders

Berlin, January 1959. Dillon Randolph, a young Foreign Service officer, arrives at the U.S. Mission in Berlin hoping for a fresh start after a messy scandal at his last embassy posting.

A Soviet ultimatum designed to force the Allies from the city and stop the flow of East Germans to the West has put Berliners on edge.

When Dillon meets Christa Schiller, an actress from the famed Berliner Ensemble, their romance entangles him in a KGB plot designed to intensify the crisis.

Dillon and Christa are plunged into the shadowy struggle between competing spy agencies where the innocent become bargaining chips in a game with life-and-death consequences.

My Review: 4/5 stars

Beginning in 1959 in Berlin, at a time of high tension and double-crossing, this story mixes just enough realism to the plot to maintain credibility, while weaving a most believable plot of spies, conspiracy and double-agents to keep the reader enthralled and needing to know more.

For Dillon Randolph, Berlin is a chance to escape wagging tongues at home and start afresh as a diplomat for the US Mission. Romance was to be avoided at all costs.
Enter Christa, an actress from East Berlin, with a desperate desire to see her brother freed from the clutches of the Stasi.
An East German plot to damage upcoming talks in Geneva is born: Christa is to seduce the American and ‘deliver’ him to the authorities on the East German side of the city, in return for her brother’s freedom.

When British ‘spy catcher’, Hawes, learns of the plan, he intercepts in a bid to unmask the leak in British security following the recent treacheries involving Philby & Maclean. Determined to root out another potential defector, Hawes concocts a new conspiracy and draws upon the support of his contacts of old to make it happen.
Of course, as in any good spy story, things don’t always go to plan, which is what keeps the reader invested in the story.
A thoroughly good read, with several interesting subplots running alongside the main story.

Thanks to NetGalley for a copy of this book, which I reviewed voluntarily.

Thank you for reading 🙂