About Learn Itsekiri Language and Culture (LILC) Project
We are the first ever online Itsekiri school. Prior to the establishment of the LILC, it had been difficult finding learning materials on the internet, this is because most Itsekiri scholars shy away from advancing their works on the internet due to the heavy reliance on diacritics (special characters on letters) which make sense of any and every word in Iṣekiri , this is because Itsekiri is a highly tonal and nasal linguistic nature and also the task of bringing together a team. It is one thing to conceive a great idea and even more daunting to put together a team of like minded individuals who are passionate about teaching the Itsekiri language, who are properly versed in Itsekiri language and understand how to deploy teaching aids on the internet. We are fortunate to have such a formidable team.
We first conceived this project in the year 2011 but were faced with the surmounting challenge of starting from ground zero. We picked it up in the year 2015 as a Facebook group for speakers and non speakers to come together to learn. Within months, we were inundated with thousands of request from both interested Itsekiris and non-Itsekiris yearning to learn their mother-tongue.
We became burdened to bridge the gap between effectively learning and accessing materials from anywhere in the world through audio-visuals and other instructional formats that will demystify the task of learning through the feared “special characters” (diacritics) and correct pronunciation of words in Itsekiri. Also, the need to chronicle some aspects of our fading rich cultural heritage and also showcase same to the world necessitated the establishment of this school.