In the course of working on my second book which I intend to call Legends Speak, and Mbazangwa Lam, in Tiv, I have come across those I wish to describe as great partners whose contributions I wish to publicly acknowledge.
1. Fanen Jacob Animem, alias Baba Slowingz, has amazed me with his commitment to traditional music album production. Those who listen to works of Thaddeus Aôndoakula Tsaga keep hearing the name of this prodigious producer regularly. But the manner Tsaga pronounces his brand is such that it’s hard to reckon with him.
Animem, an indigene of Katsina-Ala local government area and graduate of Geography from the Benue State University, is currently a youth corper. He has spent more than a decade recording and producing Tsaga and other Legends. His love for his clients and what they do is legendary.
At the moment we are partnering to create a lasting archive of Tiv oral poets.
I have also commissioned him to compile the music of those Legends featured in my first book and the subsequent one for attachment to the books.
2. Hennen Emmanuel Tahav is my third son who is about to complete his undergraduate studies in Electrical Electronics Engineering at the Federal University of Technology, Minna.
He became a choir master at St Joseph Secondary School, Makurdi, where he also developed interest in classical music. Along the line he picked interest in written Tiv. Of course all my children can speak the language fluently and read the Tiv Bible as a routine. Equipped thus, he transcribes and translates interviews conducted with Legends in Tiv into English. His contribution has been indispensable.
3. Sandra Atsua, who hails from Vandeikya local government area, is a graduate of English at the Benue State University, Makurdi. She is a Tourism Officer serving with the Benue State Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism.
When I reported for duty at the Department of Culture and Tourism and discovered that she had flair for written Tiv I quickly moved to utilize the talent. From her family of adherents of the NKST which places a premium on spoken, written and reading in Tiv, Sandra picked interest and equipped herself for transcription and translation of oral interviews having been also exposed to such during her undergraduate studies.
The piles of manuscripts she has produced can be found in dozens of exercise books on my table.
4. Emmanuel Mase hails from Ushongo local government area. A graduate of Computer Science at the JS Tarka University, Makurdi, he is also versatile in Tiv Language Studies. Mase is an author, translator, typist, educationist and Catholic Bible Catechist rolled into one.
The assistant secretary of Tiv Language Studies Development Association could easily type what Sandra Atsua wrote and I found it difficult to read.
For several months he typed dozens of transcriptions and translations and sent soft copies to me on WhatsApp.
I appreciate these worthy partners and the great work they have collaborated to do.
My prayer is that the bilingual book will soon be published for the benefit of culture and language enthusiasts