The inventor of ‘Guosa’ language, Mr. Alex Guosa Igbineweka from Edo State, has stated that the language is an interjecting of different Nigerian indigenous languages, both major and minor, asserting that, “Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba are the tripod of the language, which will serve as Nigeria’s lingua franca and create linguistic democracy,” if adopted by the Nigerian Government and citizens.
Igbineweka, who made this known in a presentation at the headquarters of the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Abuja-FCT, gave an insight on what motivated him into the invention of the Guosa language, stressing that, the Swahili language, which serves as lingua franca in East Africa challenged him into inventing a similar one for West Africans.
According to him, the radio news translation into nine (9) Nigerian indigenous languages on Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) in the 1980s was the motivating force that compelled him to think of how the radio news could just be translated and read in one (1) generally accepted Nigerian indigenous language to the understanding of every tribe in the country.
He explained that his first attempt at formulating a language that could serve as a lingua franca was the invention of the Oppeng language (Opposite English, which had English alphabets in a reverse order); but that it was greatly criticised for having a stint of the English language, not indigenous to Nigeria, lacked originality and could not serve as a Nigerian lingua franca.
The Guosa inventor informed that after the launching of the first edition of the Guosa Dictionary in 1987 at the National Arts Theatre, Iganmu-Lagos, he continued with the struggle of making sure that the language was widely accepted in Nigeria and abroad; hence, the award in Auckland University, California and the Guosa Annual Conference at the University of California, Hayward, California, USA, which the Executive Secretary of NICO, Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma and the Director, Orientation and Cultural Affairs, Mr. Alex Omijie, among other dignitaries, had attended.
Speaking with NICO News at the Institute’s Head Office, after his presentation, Mr. Alex Igbineweka reiterated his commitment to the Guosa language, despite stiff opposition from certain quarters in Nigeria.
His words: “I have come across a lot of stiff oppositions in University of Lagos, University of Ibadan. Guess what? The more you tell me it is not possible, it’s like you are just putting gasoline in my brain. When you tell me it’s not possible, then my brain charges up, explores more possibilities and solves the equation…. Yea, a pioneer to the core never gives up because the people who started electricity, even telephone, you name it, never gave up. If they gave up, we won’t be where we are today. So, I cannot give up.”
The inventor also informed that the Guosa language is christened after his middle name, Guosa, and that he would highly elated if the language is incorporated into the Nigerian School System as a Train-the-Trainers programme.
Igbineweka expatiates: “I didn’t even know what name to call it; I couldn’t possibly call it Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba or any of the existing language because it is a language of itself. So, in order to get it going, I christened it my middle name which is Guosa. I want the Guosa language to come back home. I want it to be in the School System. I want the Universities to set up train-the-trainer programmes. It is very crucial; so that I will be able to teach some people who will be the future teachers. I want to set up the train-the-trainers programmes with the assistance of good spirited Nigerians. I must thank the news media because they are very supportive; but we need more than publicity. We need action.”
He also decried the difficulties encountered in meeting policy makers and authorities in charge of making the Guosa Language a lingua franca in Nigeria, saying: “It is difficult to see the policy-makers, I must tell you. Seeing the minister here is like seeing God. You have to see the Almighty God before you see a Minister. So, unless a good Nigerian or real spirited person can help. Unless the President could hear this thing on the news and says I want to see that person; unless when they see it or hear it through publicity like this; who knows? We might have a heart-feeling somebody who loves Nigeria to the core and says: ‘Let’s call this man and hear from him and encourage him.’ I have been doing the best. A tree cannot make a forest; so, it is a problem but it has to be surmounted.”
Examples of the typical Guosa Langauge include: Biko, funmi ni ruwa (Please give me water); Shendo (Thank you); Biko, funmi ni abinci (Please give me food); whereas Biko means, ‘please’ in Igbo, funmi ni means, ‘give me’ in Yoruba, and ruwa means, ‘water’ in Hausa language; and the list of words and sentences, syntax and grammar is endless as far as Guosa language is concerned.