Amadi advocates girl child education with La Tante Fine-Mama
Nigerian writer and poet, George Amadi, launched his novel in French, La Tante Fine-Mama, last week at Alliance Francaise, Yaba, Lagos. He said he took interest in French and began speaking it at his early youth at Campbell Street, Lagos, where his parents lived close to a Senegalese family that majorly spoke French.
Amadi’s novel encourages the education of the girl child and warns that on no condition should a girl’s education be subverted or sacrificed on the altar of a boy’s education and that girls should not allow boys to outshine them in that important department in life.
The novel does not only focus on the condition of the girl child, as a vulnerable, but valuable asset to the community. Amadi also said the books also aims at popularising French language among millions of Nigerians, who are non-speakers of the language, even though they are surround by French-speaking neighbouring countries. Amadi noted that the book is a wakeup call to all Nigerians to the reality of the language conundrum.
“Nigeria is an island surrounded by a sea of French-speaking nations,” he stated. “If the young ones, especially the girl child, are able to speak French, they will be exposed to the international opportunities from all these other countries that France has affiliation.”
To further emphasise the importance of girl child education, Amadi explained that girls nowadays, who will become mothers tomorrow, cannot underrate the roles women play in society, pointing out, “The hands that rock the cradle are the women. The more the minds of the women are developed, the more developed the country or society will be.”
In his novel, Amadi also addresses the dilemma of adopting western practices and disregarding Africa’s traditional ones. Using marriage as an example he said, “You have to take from the west what is good about marriage and ‘marry it’ to our already established traditions. Marriage institution is a serious business; getting to marry a foreigner is out of the question and should be the last consideration.”
On the level of interest in the French language, Director of Alliance Francaise, Charles Courdent, expressed regrets not many Nigerians spoke French, adding that Lagos as a city deserves more people speaking other languages than English.
According to Courdent, “I think we should do better to expand the level of diversity in languages. We show the possibility of cultural diversity when we speak other languages,” adding that his institution, Alliance Francaise, is currently working on more visibility by multiplying its number of locations. He further commended Amadi’s novel for its smooth use of French language that would serve as a good beginning for would-be French learners.
Other books by the retired NAN editor include, How to be a Good Journalist, Just for a Day (poetry), and Aunty Sunbo.
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