In Nigeria where religious and ethnic bigotry prevails over any other things, you would hardly believe that a core Hausa-Muslim woman could leave in another core Igbo land for more than two decades and speak their language fluently.
Igbo language is the dominant language of the South-East States of Anambra, Imo, Enugu, Ebonyi, and Abia.
In a #TrendingVideos on Twitter Monday, November 2, 2020, A Sokoto woman Sefia Alli was interviewed in Igbo Language and she speaks the language fluently than some people who were born in the old Biafra land.
According to the video, the woman with a full Hijab disclosed in Igbo she is an indigene of Sokoto State, a Muslim dominated core Northern state.
“This Sokoto woman has spent 25 years in Enugu, the heart of Igboland and speaks fluent Igbo – proof that Nigeria has become a melting pot of diverse cultures and ethnic groups,” @wettinhappen tweeted.
Here is the conversation between Sefia Ali And James (her interviewer)
James: Nne, how are you?
Sefia Ali: I am fine, sir.
James: Well done oo!
Woman: Yes Sir.
James: What is your name?
Woman: My name is Sefia Ali.
James: Sefia Ali?
James: You’re from where?
Woman: I am from Sokoto.
James: Sokoto State?
Woman: Yes, Tangaza Local Government
James: Wow! Where are we having this discussion?
Woman: We are at Kilimanjaro, Otigba Junction, Enugu.
James: That’s cool. I saw where you were speaking Igbo, even embellishing it with proverbs.(Sefia giggles) Then, I wanted to find out. How long have you lived here in Enugu?
Woman: I have lived for 25 years here in Enugu.
James: 25 years? You came here when you’re small?
Woman: Yes. When I came here, I was 12 years old.
James: But you speak Igbo so well.
Woman: Yes, (She speaks an Igbo proverb, ebe onye bi, ka ona awachi) Where one lives, one dominates.
James: ( Laughs out loud excitedly.) So, where one lives, one dominates?
Woman: Yes oo!
James: Is there any business you do here?
Woman: Yes, we were once selling indomie around here at Otigba before gburugburu (the Governor of Enugu) came and demolished it. I now cook and give my children to sell in wheelbarrow.
James: That’s beautiful. Hope the business is moving on well?
Woman: Yes. It’s smooth. Jehovah has been helpful. At least, we sell what we can consume. All thanks to God.
James: How do you see Igboland? You know your people are always afraid to relocate here to the East and reside. But Igbo people comfortably travel to the North and live comfortably. What’s your experience living in Igbo land.
Woman: It’s been a pleasurable experience living here in Igboland. In fact, the house where I live, we don’t pay house rent. The landlord leased it out to us free.
Woman: Yes. His name is Jeff. He doesn’t collect rent from us. Even when he comes around, he even gives us money instead of us giving him back.
James: Is it at New Haven?
Woman: No, it’s still here at Otigba, at the back of Otigba Garden. The man has been a Godsent. He is really trying his best.
Woman: Yes. Even those that we come in contact with also helps us. They are all very nice people.
James: So, the Igbos here don’t discriminate against you?
Woman: No. They have never in any way offended me. They are nice and beautiful people.
James: How many children did you give birth to?
Woman: I gave birth to eleven (She laughs) They are actually twelve but one died. The remaining eleven are still alive.
James: Really? Eleven children?
Woman: Yes oo
James: What about your husband?
Woman: My husband is a retired soldier. He is now in Abuja managing. At first, he wanted me to follow him down. Reaching there, I wasn’t comfortable, I had to come back here with the children. He still comes back here occasionally to visit us.
James: That’s nice. Is there any message you’d drop for your fellow countrymen that are always afraid of coming down to Igbo land?
Woman: For me, Igboland is good and nice. Let them not be afraid. Even when I go back to Sokoto, I still let them know that here is very good.
At least, I am a witness. Here is good. The Igbo people here are very nice. They help me and even assist in raising up my children. God bless them. So far, no problem here.
James: Please, remind me of your name again.
Woman: Sefia Alli
James: Sefia, thank you very much. Please, stay strong and safe
Woman: Thank you oo
Nigerians React To Hausa-Muslim Woman Who Speaks Igbo Fluently
The video has generated hundreds of reactions on social media.
“This is beautiful. Rarely do you see northerners speak Igbo, but surely language has more to do with opened ears. Some will stay 100 years and won’t even understand bia,” Femi tweeted.
Excited by the video, Joey said Nigeria is one irrespective of political, ethic, and religious affiliations.
“I swear we are one, it’s our greedy politicians that divide on tribal and religious lines for their selfish interest .. I’m a proud product of inter-tribal marriage, Igbo and Yoruba and I speak both languages well”
Another Twitter user, Amarachi said she was the first Hausa woman that speaks Igbo Language fluently.
“Lovely… I’ve lived in the north all my life and she is the first Hausa woman I have seen that speaks igbo fluently.”
What’s your thought? Are you a Yoruba man or an Igbo woman, which other Nigerian languages can you speak fluently aside your own dialect?