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Urhobo Language Highlight

The Urhobo language, spoken by about 2 million people, is not getting enough attention like other African languages – despite its rich vocabulary.

Summary of the language

Urhobo is an African language spoken by the Urhobo people of southern Nigeria — from the region of Delta and Bayelsa State. Read more about Urhobo.

Highlight of Efforts

In Lanfrica, we have been able to curate and link some efforts towards this language. Here are some major highlights.

Research efforts

Niger Volta LTI is a GitHub project created by Mr Iroro Orife to tackle machine translation and automatic speech recognition of the the Edoid language family of Southern Nigeria – Èdó, Ésán, Urhobo and Isoko. Here are some of the works they have contributed to natural language processing for Urhobo:

Interview with Iroro Orife

To better understand his motivation, research contributions, and future plans, we had an interview with Mr. Iroro Orife. Please watch the interview video below.

In this interview, Mr Iroro Orife talks about his childhood as a native speaker of Urhobo, motivation for working on Urhobo, and NLP opportunities for Urhobo in the future.

Some of the works Mr. Iroro Orife talks about in the video are:

Media efforts

In addition to research efforts incorporating Urhobo, we also found and linked some media works on Lanfrica.

Urhobo Cartoon TV 

The aim of this channel is to promote Urhobo language and culture to the world. For over 7 years they have educated and entertained over One Million people on Urhobo language and culture. Each week they post educational videos and entertaining ones too. The founder is Peter Nosiama. In this awesome video of theirs, they teach Urhobo through songshttps://web.archive.org/web/20220408141456if_/https://www.youtube.com/embed/_7kt4YIrKFw?feature=oembedLearning Urhobo through Songs

Other media efforts on Urhobo, which we linked on Lanfrica, include:

Interview with Peter Nosiama on Urhobo Cartoon TV

Profile of Peter Nosiama

Peter Nosiama is a passionate self-taught animation creator that was born on the 21st of February 1982 at Otor Edo in Ughelli South Local Government Of Delta State. He graduated with a Bsc, Chemical engineering from Nnamdi Azikwe University in Awka in 2008 and currently works at Beta Glass PLC as a Furnace Specialist. He is also married with three children.

He works with a mission of providing top quality learning and entertainment via animation that tells the African Story from the African perspective, and promote African Culture and Heritage using Animation.

Your motivation for working on Urhobo and more abut Urhobo Cartoon TV.

My motivation is the kids and they youth. I want to reach out to them through what they love, which is the cartoon. The youths and kids of Urhobo cannot speak Urhobo. My project is to reach out to them, motivate them to speak Urhobo and be entertained as well.

Works you have done on Urhobo beyond what we have in Lanfrica.

Each year for the past 5 years I organize Urhobo language competition for Government Secondary Schools in Delta state Nigeria. We also give scholarships to Urhobo kids. More photos of the events can be found here.

2019 Urhobo Language Competition for Secondary Schools

Future directions you have, if any, for Urhobo.

The future is to reach out to more people with better quality cartoons and faster production. I want to see more kids speaking Urhobo.

Call for Contribution

We call on all who have worked/are working on the Urhobo language to share their valuable resources on Lanfrica