A former Vice Chancellor of Nnamdi Azikwe University (UNIZIK), Prof. Pita Ejiofor, says all human effort should be directed towards the revival of Igbo language, to save it from extinction.
Ejiofor said this on Thursday in Awka during the inauguration of a four-man panel set up to review Igbo language films submitted for the 2017 Igbo Language Film Award.
He said that Igbo people should not allow modernity and strange languages to subsume their language, which their great grand fathers bequeathed to them.
According to him, Igbo language is rich and colourful with a lot of idiomatic expressions and full of words of wisdom.
Ejiofor, who is also the founder of `Otu Suwakwa Igbo’ in Nigeria, said that the Igbo language Film Awards was part of efforts aimed at promoting Igbo language and culture.
He charged the panel to apply professionalism in the discharge of its duties and be guided by the award criteria.
Members of the panel include Mr. Uche Nworah, the Managing Director and Chief Executive officer, Anambra Broadcasting Service (ABS), Prof. Tracy Utoh-Ezeajugh, Dean, Faculty of Arts, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
Others are Mrs Uju Aroh of the National Film and Video Censors Board and Mr. Kelly Ihetu of Silverbird Group.
Responding, Nworah, a member of the panel, thanked the `Otu Suwakwa Igbo’ for finding the team worthy to serve.
He said that the panel would do its best to select the best Igbo language film from the shortlisted 11 entries and urged well-meaning Ndigbo to institute prizes in future editions of the Igbo language film awards.
Nworah said that Igbo language films submitted for the award would be judged based on originality of script, use of Igbo language, visual and audio quality.
Also, role interpretations, costume and make-up, camera work, editing and adherence to guidelines would be considered, he said.
He said that the 2017 award was instituted by an Anambra-based industrialist, Mr. Godwin Ezeemo.
According to Nworah, the winner would receive N100,000 and a plaque.
There would also consolation prizes for second, third and fourth runners-up.
The panel has one month to complete its assignment. (NAN)