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1.1 Background of the Study
1.2 Statement of the problem
1.3 Research Objectives
1.4 Research Questions
1.6 Scope of the Study
1.7 Operational Definition of Terms

2.1 Introduction
2.2 Conceptual review
2.2.1 The Origin and Concept of Nigerian Pidgin English
2.2.2 The Pervasiveness and Influence of Pidgin English
2.2.3 Variations of NigP within Nigeria
2.2.4 International Recognition
2.2.5 Active Audience
2.2.6 Audiences and Pleasure
2.3 An Overview of Super-sport Pidgin Channel
2.4 Theoretical Framework
2.4.1 The Preponderance Theory

3.0. Introduction
3.1 Research Design
3.2 Population of the Study
3.3 Sample Size and Sampling Technique
3.4 Data Collection Instrument
3.5 Validity and Reliability of Instrument
3.6 Procedure of Data Administration
3.7 Method of Data Analysis

4.0 Introduction
4.1 Data Presentation and Analysis
5.2 Conclusion
5.2 Recommendations




2.1 Introduction

This chapter will present the literature review of the study. The presentation will be done under the three main sections which includes the conceptual review, theoretical review and summary of the literature reviewed.

2.2 Conceptual review

2.2.1 The Origin and Concept of Nigerian Pidgin English

Nigerian pidgin is basically an English-based pidgin and a Creole language by nature. Wikipedia (2017), the free encyclopaedia states this is so because most speakers of the language are not native speakers, although many children do learn it right from childhood. Pidgin or “brokin”, as it fondly called, is spoken as a defacto lingua franca across Nigeria. Elugbe and Omamor (1991), in their effort to define the concept pidgin, opines that it is “some kind of a marginal language that arises to fulfil specific communication needs in welldefined circumstances.”

The above position indicates that pidgin is not an official lingualfranca, but a subsidiary language employed for interaction particularly by individuals who do not share the same language. Elugbe and Omamor, quoting Hall (1966), stated further that there are two indices that qualified a language as pidgin. In their idea, for a language to be eligible as pidgin, “Its grammatical structure and its vocabulary must be sharply reduced; secondly, the resultant language must be native to none of those who use it” (Elugbe & Omamor, 1991). In agreement with the above statement, Rickford (1998) confirmed that:

A pidgin usually combines elements of the native language of its users and is typically simpler than those native languages in so far as it has fewer words, less morphology, and a more restricted range of phonological and syntactic options.

Nigeria, according to Awodiya (2006), has about 250 ethnic groups. Wikipedia (2017) states that each of the over 250 ethnic groups in Nigeria can interact in pidgin, though they usually add their own variations to it. The following examples are used to demonstrate this reality:

The Yorubas use the words such ‘Se’ [pronounced Shay] and ‘abi’ when speaking pidgin. These are often used at the start or end of an intoned sentence or question. E.g., “you are coming right?” becomes “Se you dey come?” or “you dey come abi?”… The Igbos added the word “Nna” also used at the beginning of some sentences to show camaraderie. E.g. “Man, that test was hard” becomes “Nna, that test hard no be small.” (Igboanusi, 2008)

The origin of Nigerian Pidgin may be difficult to accurately ascertained, however, it could be traced back to the contacts between Europeans and Nigerians. Evidence in literature shows that, as far back as the eighteenth century, Nigerian Pidgin English was already being spoken particularly in the coastal city states of the Niger Delta (Agheyisi, 1984; Ogu, 1992). Agheyisi (1984) opines that this early pidgin was restricted, if not exclusively, to the context of trade. But steadily, the social conditions as well as the introduction of schools by the missionaries and colonial governments led to its spread and development as noted by Flint (1960p.83):

… The absorption of large numbers of Ibo (Igbo) east of the Niger produced an extra-ordinary cosmopolitan effect, in which most cities became trilingual, speaking the native Ijo; Efik; Ibo (Igbo); and Pidgin English, the language of trade with Europeans. By the end of the eighteenth century, there were even rudimentary schools in Calabar for the teaching of Pidgin English, reading and writing with the object of producing clerks and book keepers.

Equally, Elugbe and Omamor (1991) states that “Nigerian Pidgin rose from the contact between multilingual coastal communities of Nigeria and visiting European explorers/traders – first, the Portuguese, then briefly the Dutch and finally the English”. As a result of this, there was an urgent need to converse in a mutual language. A Portuguese-based Pidgin was developed initially but it was later swapped for an English based pidgin which is still widely spoken till today. Jowitt (2000p.15) puts it this way:

Nigerian Pidgin undoubtedly originated and developed its standard forms during the period 3000 years that elapsed between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries. Its vocabulary is drawn from English, with Portuguese probably the source of such common words as dash, palaver and sabby (or sabe).

This is because the visiting Europeans traders/explorer probably felt it was not important to learn the language of the locals possibly for the reason that they were more superior to their local hosts hence, reluctant to study a local language. On the other hand, it might actually be because of the myriads of dialects and languages that the local host speaks. Consequently, the foreigners began to interact with Nigerians in their language.

Elugbe and Omamor (1991) put it that “Nigerians had to accommodate the visiting Englishmen by resorting to some makeshift form of English”. Hence, NigPE according to Jowitt (2000p.15) “served as a language of trade for communication between Englishmen and Nigerians living along the Nigerian coast and Pidgin was useful because it could be learned easily by both races”. This was essentially because trade was the principal interest of each side, and the Europeans did not see any reason to penetrate the interior. However, in the 19th century, when the Europeans, especially, the Englishmen, developed other interest in the people and their land, hence, with their religious and political desires, the Englishmen did penetrate the interior. It was therefore expected for Pidgin to function as a vital means of communication between the indigenes and the invader. And after independence, the Standard English language became the official language of Nigeria.

Despite the use of Standard English language as the nation’s lingua franca, it is still evident that many a people of Nigeria still prefer to converse in NigPE. Mafeni (1971) notes that NigPE has grown into an extensively spoken language in Nigeria and that many town and city residents are at least bilingual in NigPE and one indigenous language, usually their mother tongue. In consonance with Mafeni, Faraclas (2004) submits that NigPE is spoken, today, by millions of people, especially the younger age bracket signifying various linguistic areas of the Nigerian society. Relating to the numerical strength of NigPE speakers in Nigeria, Ihemere (2006), states that Nigerian pidgin is the native language of approximately three (3) to five (5) million people and is a second language for at least another 75 million people. Faraclas (2004p.828) has this to say:

Well over half of the 140 million inhabitants of Nigeria are now fluent speakers of the language, making NPE the most widely spoken language in Nigeria, as well as the indigenous African language with the largest number of speakers. Given the rapid spread of NPE among younger Nigerians, this proportion should increase to cover over seventy or eighty per cent by the time the present generation of children reaches adulthood. There is no Creole language worldwide with nearly as many speakers as NPE.

Before now, NigPE seems to have no prominence as most speakers only embraced and associated themselves with the language by using it for communication when necessary. It is instructive to note that despite the common use of Pidgin in Nigeria notwithstanding, it has not yet acquire any official recognition in the country. However, the continuous use of NigPE by Nigerians has led to its rising status in the country. In other words, NigPE has remained one of the languages with vitality in the society despite its unofficial recognition.

Although hypothetically speaking, no language is linguistically minor or major, genuine or bastardised, people tend to perceive Nigerian Pidgin English as a corrupt, bastardised or substandard language (Igboanusi 2008; Mann 1996). As pointed out by Elugbe and Omamor (1991), these perceptions of general public to NigPE are not based on any sound or logical reasoning. In spite of the fact that NigPE is spoken by the majority of the total population of Nigeria today (Faraclas 2004; Igboanusi 2008) and despite its use by people from different walks of life including graduates and professionals (Akande 2008), the general attitudes of the majority of Nigerians towards NigPE are still not inspiring. In relation to this, Deuber (2005p.183) says:

Although a major lingua franca, it has no official recognition; even without any policy statements, it performs a growing range of functions, including, for example, that of a medium of public broadcasting, but no efforts have been made to develop it in order for it to be able to cope with these functions, as has been done for the major and to some extent also for minor indigenous languages.

Deuber (2005) also opines that NigPE is the most mistreated language in Nigeria since no official status is assigned to it. Elugbe and Omamor (1991) and Egbokhare (2003) all in their notions proposed that NigPE be given the status of an official or state language while Igboanusi (2008) advocates for its use as an instructional delivery tool in the early stage of primary education programme especially for children who are already exposed to NigPE as a first language of contact. One major argument in support of the adoption of NigPE as a national language is that it is neutral as it has no ethnic origin in Nigeria, thereby eliminating the challenge of ethnic prejudice. Igboanusi (2008) examines how NigPE could be empowered in Nigeria and remarks that education is ‘the most important institution through which to raise the value of NP [NigPE]’. However, Igboanusi’s (2008) study indicates that there is no agreement among his subjects as to whether NigPE should be given any official status as some of them consider, among other things, that NigPE has no economic significance.

On the other hand, it has been regrettably observed that a large number of people across various sectors of the Nigerian society mostly those who are highly placed government officials, teachers, and some “elitist” students in the secondary schools and tertiary institutions tend to abhor its use. This is because they erroneously perceive NigPE as a mediocre or sub-standard language primarily destined for the semi-illiterates and illiterates members of the society (Agheyisi 1971). Instead, in place of NigPE, they have deified the use of English and the three officially acknowledged indigenous languages (i.e. Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba) for communication.

In spite of all these assumptions, NigPE has assumed a significant role in communication in Nigeria, especially between and among ethnic groups that do not share a common language. It has also acquired some status that emanates from the roles that it plays in Nigerian society. Furthermore, it could be argued that NigPE has improved the transmission of national ideas, socio-cultural, linguistic and political developments as well as peace and unity in the country since it is the only language that both the educated and the uneducated, irrespective of their ethnic affinities, can easily identify with. Akande (2008p.38) notes that:

There is a sense in which NigPE could be regarded as a marker of identity and solidarity. It is an inter-ethnic code available to Nigerians who have no other common language. Nigerian Pidgin English could, for this reason, be seen as a language that in a sense projects national integration in Nigeria. Thus many linguists and scholars have called continually for the official recognition of NigPE, but such demands have been overruled (Awonusi 1990; Egbokhare 2003; Elugbe & Omamor 1991; Elugbe 1995; Mann 1998; 2000; Ndolo 1989). However, in recent times, the government at all levels have come to be aware of the vital role that NigPE plays in bridging the gaps between them and the masses. Nowadays, it is quite common to see jingles, posters, stickers and government campaigns for national awareness and mutual co-existence prepared in NigPE and disseminated in the same language through the mass media channels.

Whether we used it or not, Nigerian Pidgin is fundamental to the lives of many Nigerians and it has become first language for many in Nigeria today, especially in the Niger Delta states of Delta and Edo. It has even been assumed that Nigerian Pidgin has creolized in these parts of Nigeria (Dada, 2013). It is not uncommon to hear Pidgin English used when transacting business for instance in the markets and in the military bases and barracks across the nation where there are people of diverse culture and language, while, still been regarded as an informal language and thus best suited for informal situations where verbal interactions are incontestable. Informal interaction includes interpersonal communication, trade transactions and sometimes, formal situations like radio/television broadcasts and programmes. Thus, the deliberate and conscious use of an informal language in a formal communication setting entails the use of Pidgin English in advertisement dissemination in Nigeria and this is the very purpose of the present study.

2.2.2 The Pervasiveness and Influence of Pidgin English

Pidgin English is very pervasive in the entire Nigerian nation. Yinka (2010) echoes this point when he states that long considered the language of the uneducated, Nigerian Pidgin with its oscillating tones and playful imagery, is now spoken by Nigerians of every age, social class and regional origin. Underscoring the functionality of the Pidgin English in Nigeria, Yinka (2010) states pointedly that:

In a country with wide disparity in education provision, Pidgin operates as a de facto lingua franca; a bridge between social classes, ethnicities and educational levels. Public announcements and information campaigns are often made in Pidgin which has a wider reach than Standard English, the official language.

Yinka (2010) also states that it is with this understanding that Wazobia FM, the first radio station in Nigeria to broadcast all its programmes and sundry announcements exclusively in Pidgin, was established. Also, in a further attempt at giving official status to Pidgin English in Nigeria, the Naija Languej Akademi was set up recently, with a mandate to establish standard rules and official dictionary for Pidgin English spelling and grammar.

According to Yeye (2010), the Akademi is a project set up in 2009 with French Government funding, to promote research in the social sciences and the humanities, as well as enhance collaborative work between scholars in France and West Africa. In promoting the case for a standardized Nigerian Pidgin English, the Akademi argues that Nigerian Pidgin has acquired a mass of native as a means of communication between local people and European traders. Still on the importance of Nigerian Pidgin, Yeye (2010) states that:

Interest in Pidgin is not only intellectual but also political. Because similar forms of Pidgin are shared across West Africa’s English speaking countries, many believe it could evolve from a national lingua franca to a regional one.

Beyond these spheres, Pidgin English has also strategically dominated the Nigerian entertainment sector, especially with reference to music, comedy and home videos. Meanwhile, writing on NigPE, Jowitt (1990) remarks that recently NigPE has attained the feat of dignity not only among the illiterates but also the literate members of the society. He notes that the use of pidgin signals proximity and informality and, that it is good for cracking jokes. Hence, Yeye (2010) remarks that in Nigerian entertainment, a lot of songs sung in Pidgin have gained prominence just as most contemporary musicians and comedians have acquired fame by performing in Pidgin. Among past and present entertainers listed by Yeye (2010) in this regard are: Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Femi Kuti, Charley Boy, Mike Okri, Prince Nico Mbaga, Junior and Pretty, Tuface, D’banj, Sunny Nneji, Timaya, I Go Dye, Ali Baba, Basket Mouth, Gordons among several others. Ifode’s (1983) attempts to put NigPE in the general social context may also provide an insight as follows:

The main contexts of NPE use are markets, hotels, motor parks, government and private offices and schools at all levels. In markets and motor parks, it is the primary mode of communication. In the schools, NPE is prevented from becoming primary by the social stigma attached to it as a non-standard variety of the former colonial language. Some churches reproduce this stigma and hold on to Standard English, while others use NPE as the primary medium. The same can be said of offices, where social hierarchy is the primary determinant of pidgin use (p.201).

Nigerian Pidgin English is no longer restricted in its use. It could be rightly argued that Nigerian Pidgin is a lingua franca in the country. This is so because it is the most effective means of communication and interaction among the illiterate and even the literate people of different ethno-linguistic backgrounds (Bello, 2015). Jibril (1995) asserts that:

Today, the function of Nigerian Pidgin has become more extensive. Apart from expanding its territorial spreads as a lingua franca on ethnically heterogeneous areas… It is now used in radio and television broadcasts and in poetry and drama. At present, there are many “areas of Nigeria where Nigerian Pidgin has acquired mothertongue status” Elugbe (1991). In some areas, it is adopted as a second language. The peculiar use of Nigerian Pidgin as a first or second language is common among the people of Rivers, Port Harcourt, Delta and Edo-Benin parts of Nigeria, where it is predominantly used among the speakers for communication needs (Bello, 2015).

However, this does not imply that Nigerian Pidgin is not spoken in other parts of the country, but the greater number of users is predominant in the areas mentioned above. According to a Nigerian playwright, Tunde Fatunde, who has adopted the use of Nigerian Pidgin in his work “Nigerian Pidgin is the only language possessed in common by all… people and their families” .In the academic and literary circle, Pidgin is increasingly gaining ground on playwrights like Tunde Fatunde and Ken Saro-Wiwa writing in Pidgin English as a primary mode of communication (Okome, 2001). These instances have proved that NigPE is imperative in advertisements and broadcasting in Nigeria.

2.2.3 Variations of NigP within Nigeria

According to Obiechina (1984 cited in Abdullahi–Idiagbon, 2010:52) there are five major variants of NigP: Bendel, Calabar, Lagos, Kano/Maiduguri and Port Harcourt. Each variant is characterized by a preponderant influence of its substrate language on its form and usage (Abdullahi-Idiagbon, 2010). Meanwhile, new varieties of Nigerian pidgin have developed, these include the Ikom-Ogoja and Ugep varieties in the northern and central parts of Cross River State respectively (Iwuchukwu& Okafor, 2011). NigP has “three sets of social lects”23(Faraclas, 1996: 2; Ihemere, 2006:298; Mowarin, 2010: 2). They are basilect, acrolect and mesolect varieties, using the analysis of sociolects of pidgins and creoles by Bickerton (1975). The creolised variety, which is significantly influenced by the Nigerian Standard English is acrolectal, while the basilectal is a repidginised variety most distinct from English language, and influenced by Nigerian languages. The third is the mesolectal, which is the speech of those who learnt English as a first language or mother tongue. Nigerians are known to “change their lect or variety of NigP” in relation to the social context (Ihemere, 2006:298).

2.2.4 International Recognition

In recent years, international recognition has been accorded NigP which has given momentum to the currency NigP enjoys. Specifically, the United Nations (UN), admits that NigP is “becoming more and more important as a language” (OHCHR,1998)48. It has therefore translated two vital UN documents into NigP. They include the UN Charter and the Millenium Development Goals (MDG). Google has also recently introduced a NigP interface for searchers (Sonuga, 2012; Loy, 2011) 49. These are testaments to the political and economic capital which NigP has gained. It is also in alignment with Coulmas’ (1992) assertion that “a language’s value increases by every speaker who acquires it …the more people learn a language, the more useful it becomes, and the more useful it is, the more people want to learn it” (Coulmas,1992:80).

2.2.5 Active Audience

Active audiences are social subjects who live in social formations and are constituted by a complex socio-historical trajectories that draw on what is both textual and social (Fiske,1987; Ross and Nightingale, 2003; Brooker and Jermyn, 2003). Meanings are therefore determined socially and its production is similar to how subjectivity is constructed in the society. Meanwhile, audiences’ subjectivity is derived from mediated and real social experiences. As a result, the reader produces meanings derived from “the intersection of his/her social history with the social forces structured into a text” (Fiske, 1987: 82). The active audience is thus involved in a discursive, social process of negotiating meanings that offer a semi-controlling role (Grossberg cited in Fiske, 1987: 82).

Media texts must provoke a diversity of readers/audiences to the production of meanings and pleasure; there must also be a corresponding provision of textual space for these meanings to be articulated with their social interests. When this occurs, a media text or media form becomes popular. Essentially however, it is only when readers or audiences can articulate their interests with the textual meanings on offer that the texts become pleasurable. Naficy (1993) uses the notion of active audience to also explain how identity groups, even when dispersed within the audience, can “cultivate shared interests, define agendas for the production of particular media events, produce the required media materials and identify exhibition strategies to secure participation in the … media scape” (Naficy cited in Ross and Nightingale, 2003:67).

2.2.6 Audiences and Pleasure

Pleasure is produced when readers/audiences articulate their interests in media forms such as a radio station or its programmes. A text produces two types of pleasure, ‘jouissance’, the intense physical pleasure which operates beyond culture and ideology; and ‘plaisir’, a cultural, more mundane variation (Barthes, 1973; 1975; Fiske, 1987). Barthes sees pleasure as cultural109, he notes that “the more culture, the greater, more diverse, the pleasure will be” (Barthes, 1975:51). He states further that a text that gives pleasure kindles an encounter with one’s individuality and historical subject110. It has been noted that experiencing one’s cultural heritage in the media lends authority that takes the story to the realm of the historical-social (Ross and Nightingale, 2003111). Pleasure can be found by conforming to dominant ideology or in negotiating or rejecting the dominant ideology (Kerr et al, 2006).

Fiske associates the obtaining of pleasure with resistance to structure of domination because “pleasure requires a sense of control over meanings and active participation in the cultural process” (Fiske, 1987b:19). The pleasure involved in sense-making means meaning has rational, cognitive and affective dimensions (Dahlgren, 1998: 299). Morley (1981) thus addresses the issue of ‘taste publics’, by specifying the inter-discursive articulations in the production of salience and pleasure; and stressing the need to see the diversity of tastes and cultural competencies as socially organised and patterned. He argues for a shift away from the political dimensions of communication and the well-being of the ideological propositions of the text; to the relevance and comprehension dimensions of decoding (Morley, 1981b; Strelitz, 2000; Moores, 2003). Pleasure is, however, both a concept and an experience which is constructed in relation to multiple sources ranging from textual to social and contextual (Kerr et al, 2006). It is “an open ended, multi-faceted and an exceedingly complex concept” (Salen and Zimmerman, 2003: 355).

2.3 An Overview of Super-sport Pidgin Channel

SuperSport is a South African-based group of television channels carried on the DStv & Canal+ satellite platforms alongside the GOtv terrestrial platform and Showmax Pro for live sports programming. It provides sports content in South Africa, Nigeria and many other African countries.

SuperSport previously also had operations in Europe in the Scandinavian, Benelux, Italy, Eastern Europe, Greek & Cypriot regions and had sports channels started by FilmNet, being owned by MultiChoice at the time which have since been replaced. They also had operations in Thailand, under the current name True Sport & Egypt and Middle East via Cable Network of Egypt (CNE) & Arab Radio and Television Network respectively.

The channel broadcasts most of the major sporting events and leagues of association football, rugby, cricket, tennis, golf, motorsport, cycling, boxing, wrestling, hockey, athletics. It was formerly the world’s largest broadcaster of live rugby and cricket (having been overtaken by Sky Sports), and also the world’s second largest Premier League broadcaster, broadcasting matches live and, where possible, in HD through the Premier League’s Content Service Sr.

Apart from its satellite channels, SuperSport also feeds content to M-Net, CSN and occasionally to M-Net HD. As of September 2020, much the same way Sky Sports has done, SuperSport started to run thematic channels with most major sports getting their own channels.

SuperSport Pidgin is a sports channel launched in 2018 by MultiChoice Group, a South African media company. The channel offers live sports coverage, analysis, and commentary in Pidgin, a creole language spoken in West Africa and parts of Central Africa. The programming on SuperSport Pidgin includes coverage of various sporting events, including football, boxing, athletics, and basketball, among others. The channel also features interviews with athletes, coaches, and other sports personalities, as well as highlights and analysis of major sporting events.

The channel is targeted at the Nigerian and other West African audiences who prefer to consume sports content in Pidgin. SuperSport Pidgin has been recognized as the first-of-its-kind channel in Africa to offer live sports coverage in Pidgin, a language that is widely spoken in the region but has often been overlooked by mainstream media.Since its launch, SuperSport Pidgin has gained a significant following, with many viewers praising the channel for its authentic and relatable content. The channel has also been commended for its efforts to promote local African sports and to provide a platform for Pidgin-speaking sports journalists and commentators to showcase their skills. Overall, SuperSport Pidgin has had a positive impact on the sports broadcasting landscape in Africa, and has provided a platform for the promotion of African sports and culture.

2.4 Theoretical Framework

2.4.1 The Preponderance Theory

Media researcher and communication theorist, Denis McQuail states that this theory is the first of several typologies of the public interest concept propounded by American economist and political scientist, Anthony Downs in his economic and public interest models in 1962. According to McQuail (1992), Downs posits that the thrust of the Preponderance theory is the imperative of the media to give paramount consideration to the aggregate interests of the majority of the public. Downs refers to this as the ‘Majoritarian Way’. The public interest is held by the Preponderance theory to lies with the majority choice or what is understood to maximize the number of individual preferences. McQuail (1992p.23) argues that this can be measured:

Through the working of the market; by voting; by weight of public opinion;…Whatever happens, the public interest cannot, by this definition be on the ‘losing side’ in the sense of a being demonstrably contrary to the interest of the majority.

This research thus, maintains that the use of Pidgin English sport commentary is informed by the public interest imperative, since Pidgin English is the most accessible language to the majority of Nigerians. For as Curran, et al. (1980) as cited by McQuail (1992p.56) put it: Without narrative appeal and human interest, it is unlikely that news would be widely disseminated, or have the same value as a commodity in the news market.

On a similar note, it is widely assumed that during sport commentary evaluation, that the success or failure of advertisements could only be measured by the reach and acceptability of the message as well as feedback in form patronage of the advertised product or service –and this could only be achieved when the target market audience effectively understands the language of the medium of disseminating the advertisements and as well be able to interpret and decode the contents of the message without difficulty.



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