A professor of African and Oral literature at the Kaduna State University (KASU), Prof. Ahmad Babajo has called for the integration of orature and literature into the Nigerian universities curriculum to enhance knowledge of the society and preservation of heritage.
Babajo made the call at 5th professorial inaugural lectures with the title ‘Orature and Literature in Nothern Nigeria in the Quest for Integration and Development ’, held at KASU on Tuesday.
He said that orature is used mostly to avoid the use of oral literature as well as unwritten or traditional literature.
In orature, the focus remains the study of oral narratives and other shorter forms such as proverbs and riddles.Most of our students today don’t know the didactic essence being derived from this.
In studying any particular form of orature, I would subject students to understand the history of other people and the level which sustain their communities.
At a time, the society become more complex and particularly with the introduction of European version of literature, this turns this upside down,” Babajo said.
He added that orature should be subjected as a core subsidiary course for the university students to acquaint themselves with their societies, help them appreciate their heritage and be able to live and cope in societies other than theirs.
The critical issues we have currently in this country where people are talking about all sorts of crises being ethnic or religious, have their base through lack of understanding of their heritage.
If we build that understanding in our students in the higher institutions, they would learn how to manage and understand differences and be able to appreciate them.
In the olden days orature was taught by our parents because they know the potentials it could have in our society.
Coming of the 21st century, the world turned into a global village where those literatures are no longer taught by our parents amidst the advent of various technologies, most of our younger generation don’t know tales being told at the moon lights.
Most of them also don’t know proverbs, riddles associated with their cultures or traditions, neither do they know folklores associated with their traditions.
We want the university curriculum to chip in the study of orature in order to enable wide range of learning, as students would be subjected to tours and visits to historical places of different cultures.
This would aid their tolerance towards uncalled behaviors and appreciating their cultures and that of others which would help the reign of peace in our societies”, Babajo said .
The Vice Chancellor of KASU, Prof. Muhammad Tanko presented an award of excellence to Prof Babajo and thanked him for imparting positive knowledge to the participants especially students.
Tanko, who was represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor academics, Prof. Abdullahi Ashafa, said that the citizenry especially the students should not forget their heritage to pave way for projection of our values and cultures.
Edited by: Tukur Muntari.