Igbo Language for Beginners by Rev. Henry I. Oputa, Ed.D.

On October 3, 2020, a virtual Igbo Language Pilot Program was launched in Fresno, California by Anthony and Jamila Nwangwu in collaboration with Saturday Cultural School - A Project of The Way Ministries...John 14:6 under the leadership of Rev./Dr. Henry Oputa and Dr./Mrs. Francine Oputa.

Anthony’s involvement in promoting the African culture in the Central Valley dates back to 2014 when he began his graduate studies at Fresno State. As a student volunteer at Saturday Cultural School, Anthony taught the Igbo language class. Six years later, Anthony with Jamila, his most talented and supportive wife, continue to help keep the Igbo language and culture alive in California’s Central Valley. 

In October there were 25 slots available for the course. We are happy to report that all 25 slots were filled.

Enrolled students have shown progress in Igbo language skills and are willing to learn more. Weekly attendance rose from 12 students during the opening week to 19 students that have attended back to back to date.

The teaching and support staff are: Mrs. Daberechi Uchenwoke, Mr. Anthony and Mrs. Jamila Nwangwu and Rev./Dr. Henry I. Oputa and Dr. Francine Oputa.

We successfully delivered part of the Igbo history, geography, greetings and all the Igbo alphabets during the just completed first half of the Mbido Igbo – Fall class. In addition, we provide information to buttress students moral and cultural compass by using StoryTime. StoryTime is a 15 minutes slot when celebrities and role models read fun yet educational, cultural, and moral enriching stories to students.

During the second half of the fall class, we will continue our Igbo lesson plans and StoryTime to sharpen student’s Igbo language skills and culture. We anticipate students will be grounded in the Igbo alphabets and are able to exchange greetings and pleasantries in Igbo by the end of the pilot project.

The “Igbos are an ethnic group in West Africa, numbering in the tens of millions. Most Igbos live in southeastern Nigeria, in Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo, Delta, and Rivers States” (Ugwu-Oju and Ogbodo, 2008).

2021 holds a challenging yet exciting future for the project and our partnership, we plan to continue and expand the class to accommodate both beginner and intermediate students. We humbly ask for your prayers and kind support for the children with your tax-deductible donation, visit us at www.thewayprayer.org

Stay tuned for more stories as the new partnership grows.

Reference Source

Dr. Dympna Ugwu-Oju and Christian Ogbodo in the IGBO DAY - An Evening of Cultural Immersion, Showcasing the Igbos of Nigeria in West Africa, August 9, 2008.