Checkout the Foreign Countries Where Nigerian Languages are Spoken

As known, the major Nigerian languages are three, and they are Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba languages. There are 516 languages in all. According to Buzz, Nigeria holds the third position on the list of nations with the most languages. Due to the slave trade era, people who speak these languages have spread to several places around the world. Yoruba is the most spoken language outside Nigeria and Africa.

Here are the foreign countries, where the three major language of Nigeria are spoken:

Igbo: Cuba, Barbados, Jamaica, The Dominican Republic, Bahamas, Sierra Leone, Equatorial Guinea, Brazil, and Cameroon.
Let’s examine the inception of the Igbo Language in three of the aforementioned countries.


The inception of the Igbo language in Brazil can be traced back to the time Brazil bought 37% of all African slaves. Records have it that about 4 million slaves were sold to Brazil.

Slaves from what is known as Nigeria today were also part of the 37% slaves that were sold to Brazil. The Igbo people formed a reasonable number of these slaves. This was how the Igbo Language was introduced to Brazil.

At the time slavery ended, the slaves faced a number of cultural challenges. The Brazilian government and its people tried to frustrate the freed slaves. Many laws were established to eliminate them, until 1985, when the dictatorship form of leadership ended. This was the time the freed slaves finally gained total freedom and were allowed to live peacefully in the foreign land.

The Igbo people, due to their number were able to establish their communities, where the Igbo language is spoken till date.


The inception of the Igbo language in the United States can also be traced back to the time of slave trade. The Igbo slaves were believed to be rebellious. American history has it that the Igbo slaves during the time they served their slave masters committed suicide, with the ideology that they would reincarnate in their land. There traced back to the time of slave trade. The Igbo slaves were known to the America was another time, when the Igbo slaves took over the slave ship that was conveying them to America. They drowned themselves in the ocean, and the event makes one of the unforgettable events recorded in the history of the United States of America.

The Igbo people today dominate cities of Maryland and Virginia, were their ancestors served during the slave trade. This was how the Igbo language was established in the United States. However, it should be noted, that there are two classes of people with Igbo ancestry in the United States. They are those who migrated during the Nigerian Civil War and those whose ancestors were taken forcefully as slaves during the transatlantic slave trade era.

Sierra Leone

What if I told you, that the first president of Sierra Leone was an Igbo man? Well, that is true. His name is Christopher Okoro Cole. He was made the president on April, 1971. He also served as the Governor-General of Sierra Leone before becoming president. An Igbo mans was also made the Military Head of State of Sierra Leone in 1992.

An Igbo ex-slave by the name, Simon Jonas penned down the first manuscript written in Igbo language. He titled this manuscript “Isoama-Ibo Premier”. This manuscript was not only written, but it was published into a book in Sierra Leone. The famous Yoruba ex-slave and missionary, Ajayi crowther was the publisher of this famous book, which talks about the slave trade which happened in Igbo land.

It should be noted that Sierra Leone served as home to freed slaves, after slave trade was abolished. It was mapped out and named by the Portuguese in 1462. In 1807, the British had organized a colony for ‘Black Loyalists’ at free town, which became the capital of Sierra Leone.

Yoruba: Togo, Brazil, Benin Republic, North America, the Cuba, Sierra Leone, UK, Europe, Liberia.
Let’s examine the inception of the Igbo Language in three of the aforementioned countries.


The inception of the Yoruba language can be traced back to the time, when African slaves were forcefully taken by the Spanish conquistadors to the Caribbean for cheap labour. After the abolishment of slave trade, the Yoruba people made remarkable contributions to the formation of the Cuban society. Not only did they contribute to the formation of the Cuban society, but they also established their religion. The established religion forms one of the Cuban religions today. This was how the Yoruba language was introduced to Cuba.


Yoruba language is allegedly an official language in Brazil and according to sources, the Yoruba language will be added to the country’s school curriculum. The inception of Yoruba language dates back to the time, when slave trade was in prevalence.

The Yoruba people formed a larger portion of the 4 million slaves bought by Brazil, and this gave the Yoruba an opportunity to establish their own communities, after gaining total freedom. This was how the Yoruba language was introduced into Brazil.

North America

It may interest you to know that there is a Yoruba village in the North America, named “Oyotunji. This village has its own King, who is referred to as an “Oba” and the village is regarded as North America’s oldest authentic African village.

The first international community, named after the Oyo empire was created in the 1970, and the name literally means “Oyo returns”

Hausa: Sudan, Niger, Central African Republic, Togo, Congo, Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Chad and Cameroon.

The inception of Hausa language in these foreign countries is different from inception of the other two languages (Igbo and Yoruba languages) in other foreign countries. There were Hausa kingdoms from the onset, situated between the Niger River and Lake Chad (the modern day northern Nigeria). The Hausaland lay across the aforementioned countries. They were engaged in fishing, agriculture, blacksmithing, and salt-mining. Kano was the most powerful city-state, and had become the base for the trans-Saharan trade in salt, leather, cloth, and grain.

However, the bond between the Hausa Kingdoms was broken, when Usuman dan Fodio finally conquered the Hausa states in 1808.
The language was not taken to these countries, but it existed before the formation of these countries. Hausa remains the largest ethnic group in sub-Saharan Africa.


Ayano Praise, CEO and Admin of Naija Interest. He is into story writing, relationship talks, motivational/inspirational and lot more.

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