A TOAST TO CULTURE AND TRADITION (The First Professor of Nupe Language; Prof. Adamu Idris Manarakis’ story of success) By Hassan Usman

Another striking definition of greatness is; the ability to see and seize the opportunity to breakthrough in the face of every obstacle. This phenomenon sums up the legendary of the first ever TASHIRU NUPE. Born some 33 years ago in one of the suburbs of Minna, Adamu Idris Manarakis, against all odds, did not only grow up to become a vibrant certified professional science educationist but also realized his dream as a culture and tradition revolutionary of international reckon.
His journey through school was most tortuous and frustrating, being a child that wasn’t born with a silver spoon in his mouth.
His acquisition of a B.Tech from the Federal University of Technology, Minna was even the most challenging as at the time of his enrolment into the school, he was already a father. Combining studies with marriage has never been easy for any one without a strong financial family foundation. Manarakis, a man of iron passion and determination, got engaged into private teaching services to support himself through his NCE program. It was his love and preference for teaching that gave birth to his idea to establish EDUKO NUPE FOUNDATION here in Minna which later transformed into the INDIGENOUS LANGUAGES LEARNING CENTRE (ILLEC).
When running his degree programme, the indefatigable Manarakis had to wade into different activities in addition to his private teaching services to keep body and soul together. He acted as MC in many personal and official events and was also a part-time Facilitator/Consultant at the Minna Institute of Technology and Innovation. It was in the course of interacting with many Nupe youths that he felt the need to establish Eduko Nupe Foundation, seeing that many of them can’t speak their language well and are so ignorant of their culture and traditions. The foundation provided almost free classes of all levels on Nupe language, published Nupe literary works, periodically organized Nupe language quiz competitions among schools in Kpakungu area of Minna, played a vital role in the organization of Nupe cultural events in the state and beyond, among others.
Manarakis struggled a great deal to find his feet as the sole administrator of the foundation. He had to be committing his hard earned resources into the project to keep it alive. By its third year of existence, the Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar CON, intervened. He gave so much support to the foundation that it became strong and more popular. This was in addition to the support some other well-meaning people gave both in cash and kind. Even before his NYSC, Manarakis got absolved into Prestige FM, Minna, to serve as a Nupe language radio presenter, thanks to the popularity of his foundation. In a while, the need to incorporate the Gbagyi, Kambari and Kamuku languages into the foundation rose up. And this was how the foundation metamorphosed into the government-approved ILLEC.
Thanks to the grace of the Almighty, ILLEC now officially runs Diploma programmes, Remedial programmes, Certificate courses and other recognized related courses in Nupe and Gbagyi languages.
It is affiliated to the Justice Fati Lami College of Arts and General Studies, Minna, the main venue of its study centre. Not only is ILLEC beginning to gain grounds in the field of arts and culture, it is also leveraging on the social media effectively. One cannot imagine the amount of attention it is receiving from the outside world. People from all parts of this country and beyond are currently undergoing one Nupe language course or the other online. And they are sure to receive their certificates exactly as at when due.
On the 20th October, 2020, the management of ILLEC entered into an agreement with ASSI University, Cotonou, to start running degree programme in Nupe Language soon, in affiliation with the university. This development is sure to take the Centre to the next level.
If not for this unfortunate Corona virus pandemic, Manarakis would have been in Geneva today, undergoing a course on Indigenous Language Education, organized by the International Centre for Indigenous Languages Promotion. If not for his unmatchable passion for the promotion of his indigenous language and culture, he wouldn’t have received this invitation from Geneva in the first place.
However, the man with a big never-say-never spirit, on the 25th of October, 2020, was awarded Professor of Indigenous Language Education by EDX (an Education Research Centre) in collaboration with Oxford University, UK, consequent upon an online course he attended on Innovation in Indigenous Education.
As an honorary professor of Indigenous Languages Education, Manarakis is now not only a recognized authority in this field (Nupe language) owing to his spectacular achievements but also a worthy reference-point to all go-getters in this life.
Adamu Idris Manarakis was titled TASHIRU NUPE two years ago by His Royal Highness, the Etsu Nupe, in recognition of his tremendous efforts towards the revival and promotion of Nupe language and culture. His singular efforts towards establishing the ILLEC which has trained people to become certified Nupe language tutors and journalists (including some who are not originally Nupes) and publishing several Nupe language literatures, including the NUPE TA’ (The Nupe Grammar), the ENYABAGI NUPE (Nupe Arithmetics), the monthly Nupe language magazine, and others, make the TASHIRU NUPE stand out as not only a worthy ambassador of the Kinnupe (Nupe empire) but also a great pride to all Nigerlites.
Because the centre provides employment opportunities to all Nigerlites not only Nupes.
No doubt the humble life of the TASHIRU NUPE is full of lessons and inspirations especially to the youths. There is no alternative to believing in yourself and your dreams and never giving up especially when the chips are down, if truly you wish to be great in life. This young TASHIRU NUPE does not only epitomize the resuscitation of Nupe culture and tradition but also epitomize the glory of resilience in attaining greatness. Who says the love and promotion of one’s culture and tradition doesn’t pay in this modern world?
Hassan Usman can be reached on: 07061825707

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