African Typography: Ńdébé: A Modern Igbo Writing System

African Typography: Ńdébé: A Modern Igbo Writing System

Ńdébé is a modern writing system for the Ìgbò language. Invented by Lotanna Igwe-Odunze in 2009, then refined and perfected over a decade, the Ńdébé script combines ancient Ìgbò designs with modern practicality in the first truly usable, truly writeable, truly readable, and truly indigenous written form of Ìgbò.

The vagaries of history, but British colonisation and missionary evangelism especially, suppressed the natural growth and development of Igbo as a language and a medium of expression and communication. Long after Nigeria and Ìgbò people received independence, our language never caught up with the modern world.

Today, Ìgbò is a threatened, if not endangered language because, no matter how many initiatives and meetings we attend to encourage people to speak Ìgbò, our language will never truly flourish until we write and read widely in Ìgbò.

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