Thursday, July 9, 2009

Should Pidgin Be Banned in Buea University?

Pidgin should be given its fair chance but within its proper context. If we talk about a mastery of a language very few people even master Pidgin. In fact, the usage of pidgin will be more confusing in our universities because Pidgin has a complex variety pool than any other language in Cameroon. How many people understand the pidgin that Lapiro De Mbanga speaks? The Buea Pidgin and the Pidgin spoken in Kumba where the language has been influenced by their Nigerian counterparts brings with it substantial differences. While in Buea there is no distinction between the third person singular subject pronouns He/she, the Nigerians employ the dichotomy.
Pidgin is a hybrid language and the missionaries understood that. Until the time when the language has developed to an influential position where a majority could use it with a common similarity Pidgin should not be encouraged or discouraged formally in the University. But then when did the university authorities become aware that pidgin was affecting the English language dexterity of their students? There are some observations in the whole issue.

They say that Pidgin is the cause of poor results. Pidgin is not the cause of poor performance. The corruption in the university is the cause where sex and money gave some students better grades. We have seen the result: graduated from University, went to ENS, moved to the US but unable to become a teacher because they cannot pass the certification exams.

An attempt to filch from the budget may have provoked those placards because definitely the expenses have been inflated. The authorities would look for any loophole to pilfer from the University’s budget. i dey like say dem bi want just tif some money you may tell them.

The fight against pidgin too is a means to divide the students. When intellectuals use pidgin it bridges that class status. If pidgin is preached against then the students embrace the pyramidal status where the masses acquiescently espoused the ill reforms of the top because each person is looking up to climbing from the bottom of the ladder.

Take for example in Buea. The destruction of pidgin will create social misfits from the University because the majority of the people in Buea speak Pidgin. How will the students interact with them if they lack the pidgin prowess to make some linguistic dynamic equivalence?

Nonetheless, if a student writes pidgin as English they should be failed. That means; students could speak Pidgin in the school premises, but not in class or use it to do their class work or to communicate officially with their mates and professors. But no one should waste money to write and plant placards discouraging Pidgin.

Until then, let the people do the right thing.

Prince & PA Hamilton Ayuk


“Bonyfish beware because the same net that caught the jawless fish, caught the cartilaginous fish” (Hamilton Ayuk).
Beware earthly paradise seekers because there is a serpent in every paradise"(Hamilton Ayuk).

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