The Managing Director of My Roots Toy company, Chief Babatola Akanbi, has donated five thousand pieces of ‘Tiwa the wise monkey’ to the office of the First Lady of Oyo State.
The donated toys have a market value of about N50 million.
Tiwa the wise monkey is a newly designed toy built to encourage children develop interest in Yourba language and culture.
Each of the toys has 30 stories, stories like Babalawo mo wa bebe alugbirin, the fisherman and his greedy wife, Iya iya takun wa le and some other stories and songs.
Speaking at the event to mark the donation of the toys, Chief Babatola Akanbi, who is the Asiwaju Balogun Atunluse of Ibadan said: “Tiwa was designed to encourage children to learn their local language, be proud of their local language and speak their local language
“We do different things but concerning this particular product this is our first. We came about it because we realized a lot of parents are not raising their kids to speak Yoruba not to talk of making them proud of the language and we are trying to and hoping that this would change with the introduction of ‘Tiwa the wise monkey’. We hope children will come to recognize that Youruba language is not inferior to English language.
“The idea of this donation was conceived when I noticed that his Excellency, Governor Seyi Makinde was marking the first year anniversary and he was commissioning a lot of projects and I just felt that our message would go out more, If we identify with the government by donating these toys to the government and they in turn give it to the kids in our dear state.
“Government is believed to be an authority. This may be taken as an authority telling children it is okay to speak yoruba; it is okay to embrace Yoruba and her culture.
“This toy has 30 stories on it. Though the stories are told in English because most of our kids do not understand Yoruba language and as such telling these stories in Yoruba may be counter productive. What we did is to feature Yoruba names prominently in the stories and we recorded all the songs also in yoruba. So kids would grow up singing these melodious songs. We hope they would say “okay, ‘this nice doll is speakingYoruba, If I speak Yoruba it may be okay’. We also hope that this idea of propagating our local languages may encourage the government to partner with companies like ours to find ways to save our languages and culture”
He added that he was inspired to make the donation by the great work the Seyi Makinde led administration is doing all over the state.