3 Myths Holding You Back From Speaking Igbo and How To Overcome Them


Have you been trying to learn Igbo for some time now?

Are you feeling frustrated?

Do you feel lost when your family is speaking Igbo around you?

Feeling disconnected from your roots and culture?


I hear you


If you are ready to connect deeper with your family and feel more at home…


Read on…



The no 1 myth

‘I don’t have time’



I get it

You have a job

Or maybe 2

You have Kids to look after

You have a house to keep

And loads more


So what happens with your Igbo speaking?

It goes wayyyyyy down the list



Stay with me…


We make time for things that are important

We make it happen

We move meetings,

We miss Netflix shows

Heck, we even miss the kid’s dance class

To ensure we do the no 1 thing on our agenda



Am I saying Igbo should be the number one on your to do list?

Not necessarily

Though that’s ok too


What I’m saying is

Put Igbo in your diary

Add it to your daily to do list

Or at least on your Monday to Friday list

Allocate 15mins a day

30mins if you can

But allocate some time


Don’t leave it to chance

Because you may not remember

And before you know it

Another year has gone

And no progress made

You still feel out of place when your family speaks Igbo



You are here, now

To make a change

To act on your dreams

To make them real


So get out your diary out right now

And pencil in Igbo

Before finishing this article


Done that?


Let’s carry on…



No 2 myth

‘I have to learn grammar first’

Not true


Think back to how you learnt your first language

When you learnt to speak

Did you use grammar rules?

Did you have to do conjugations?

I think not


I will tell you how you did it


You acquired your first language

By listening

By watching gestures

By adding context to speech

By copying

And repeating what you heard

Yes that’s it

That’s what you did


I am telling you, now


You can do the exact same thing again

With your Igbo learning


Surround yourself with Igbo language

Igbo music

Igbo news

Igbo audio

Igbo youtube videos

Igbo podcasts

Listen loads

Watch gestures

Apply context to what you hear

Copy what you hear

And speak it

Be a parrot if you need to 😊

You know how children can repeat words on end


Do the same


You will sound silly

You will feel strange

You will sound funny

But not for long


Give it a week

4 weeks

Heck! A year even

Stick with it…

And before you know it

You sound less silly

Less strange


You start to make sense of conversations

You start to reply in Igbo

At first by giving one word answers, like kids

Then 2 words

Mixing it with English (even the natives speak ‘Engligbo’)


And ultimately

You start to speak in sentences


The question is..

Are you ready to sound silly?

Are you ready for your speech to be misunderstood a lot?

Because that’s what happen when babies talk

We don’t understand them most of the time initially


Then slowly, the babbles start to make sense

The words become clearer


The kids becomes an expert

And won’t stop talking 😊


That’s the key nwanne m

Being child-like

Forgetting self-consciousness


I know

‘Easier said than done’


But who said it will be easy

You know it already

If you’ve spent any amount of time in this fantastic place

Called ‘earth’

You know that good things take time and work





Moving on…

No 3 myth to bust


‘There are no resources’


That’s in the past

Things have changed

With the internet


There are social media pages




Dedicated to Igbo language

To speaking Igbo

To writing Igbo

BBC Igbo for instance


And there are more Igbo books

Easily available on Amazon


Igbo websites

Live Igbo classes

Online Igbo teachers and language coaches

Of which I am one


Before saying there are no resources

Check and ask

‘How many Igbo books have I read?’

‘How many Igbo videos have I watched?’

‘How many Igbo courses have I taken?’

‘Have I hired an Igbo coach/mentor?’



That’s the myths busted


Let me remind you of what we already said

And what you need to affirm daily


Say after me…

‘I have time for Igbo, it’s in my diary (you’ve put it there, haven’t you?)

‘I’m learning to speak Igbo by listening, watching and repeating what I hear’

‘I have ample resources to learn Igbo, YouTube channels, books and Igbo language coaches’


The final tip I will share today


Is to get clear on ‘why’




Why am I learning to speak Igbo?

Why do I have to learn it now?

What will happen if I don’t learn to speak it ASAP?


Write down the answer to these questions

Somewhere you can see it

And look at it

At least every week


So you can keep going

And not stop


Because that’s how you become a confident Igbo speaker

By speaking

And not stopping


You may take a break

Maybe a day

Or 1 week

But don’t let it be more than that


It doesn’t have to be lessons all the time

You can just listen to Igbo music when you’re not in the mood for formal lessons

Or listen to Igbo podcasts


‘Nuff said

Time to get to work


Before you go

Remember that I help my clients become confident Igbo speakers


If you’re struggling with making progress

Stopping and starting

Overwhelmed with all that you need to learn


Get in touch

Don’t go it alone

None of us are really self-made

We are communal creatures


Book a call with me

And find out how you can become the next confident Igbo speaker

So you can communicate with your family in Igbo

And when you are outside and you don’t want everyone to be privy to your conversation

You can jump right in, and speak in Igbo


Get in touch now

Book a call


Speak soon




I am Ijeoma Akubue. I help Igbo learners become confident Igbo speakers. My clients range from mums who are learning Igbo with their kids so they can communicate with their Igbo partners and extended family; to young people who have recently connected with their heritage and have decided to learn to speak Igbo.

To find out how I help my clients speak Igbo confidently, click the link below.