Early last year, UNESCO reported that over 300 African languages are endangered and more than 52 have gone into extinction — 27 from Nigeria. The report also states that, if young people from that region are not taught the language, Igbo might become extinct by 2025.
Dahunsi Akinyemi, a language teacher and author of Ede Yoruba ko Gbodo Ku (Yoruba Language Must Not Die), also posited that the Yoruba language could die out in 20 years or less. Researchers have concluded that in less than 100 years, almost half of the languages known today will be lost forever.
Nicademia, a Nigerian startup founded by Nneka Njoku and Valentine Ubalua, wants to prevent that. Nicademia aims to prevent the extinction of African Languages through animated videos available on demand and via their mobile app, tablets and TV.
The platform provides a subscription-based video on demand platform for educational cartoons that promote African cultures and traditions. The company is not only working to prevent the extinction of Nigerian and African languages, they're also working to create a market for African animation.
Nicademia has over 500 animations deeply rooted in the culture, history and language of Africa. Founder and CEO of Nicademia, Valentine Ubalua said:
"Over 60% of the African populations are youths below 18 years and more than 500 million kids and youths in Africa cannot speak their mother tongue nor do they understand their culture, heritage and values.
Mostly affected of this population are youths and kids in the urban cities and diaspora. This is a war we are silently losing in Africa and needs to be urgently addressed."
Nicademia is presently the largest video streaming platform for African animations, with over two million viewers, 500 animations; airing on seven local and international TV channels, including DSTV and GOTV. They also have a mobile app accessible to android users.