This was eventually bound to come up, so let’s just hash it out.
I don’t speak Yoruba. I’m not going to attempt to ride a middle ground here and say I understand it but speak only a little. Or try to make excuses by explaining my upbringing.
I’ll just keep it simple, I don’t speak Yoruba.
What I’ve found in my role as a non-Yoruba speaking Yoruba person, is that the absolute worst people to you are Yoruba people who speak the language. It is as if you have wronged them by being different.
I have never, not once, met a Yoruba person who was kind, or understanding, or even indifferent about it.
The reactions I’ve gotten when my terrible secret is revealed has ranged from anger, to disgust, to outrage. Like I should have known better when I raised myself and taken to the streets to learn that Yoruba by force.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, after all their mocking and snide comments, will these same Yoruba people, the gatekeepers of their cherished culture, teach me? No.
Will they reach a hand out to help me better myself by extending a few helpful morsels? They can’t be bothered. They just shake their heads, laugh some more, and tell me I can’t be saved.
And that’s fine, they can keep their language.
Over time, I’ve gotten used to it, but based on all this, I will be glad when the Yoruba language dies. I will not raise a finger to save it.
Someone should translate this to Yoruba so they can read it and know I mean business.