THE PLACE OF TRADITIONAL MODES OF COMMUNICATION IN THE ERA OF MODERN / NEW COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY (A STUDY OF AWKA SOUTHLOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF ANAMBRA STATE)
This study is geared towards exploring the place of traditional mode of communication in the era of modern / new communication technologies in Awka South Local Government Area of Anambra State. Modern technology has developed our society today through its beneficial impacts in transmission of information which enhances societal developmental change both cultural and moral values which Awka South is equally among. Traditional mode of communication through research shall be viewed as a major instrument that imbibed modern trend in communication. In other to show case its aid in community development through information dissemination and management, the traditional mode has greater in information dissemination in ensuring effective transmission of cultural values of Awka South into modern communication. The finding of the study are that various traditional modes of communication in town which are very important since they tend to unify modern communication with that of traditional mode. The method adopted in this research is random sample; systematic sampling was used to enable the three villages under case study to select at least 250 people needed for this research work.
In this examination of communication and society, it is necessary to have an idea of what the two basic terms means by way of definition and explanation. Communication has been defined by the Oxford Advanced Learners’ Dictionary of current English as the process of imparting thought, knowledge or intelligence verbal or written form from a source to a receiver. Edward Sapir also recognized “communication as a fundamental social process”.
Another definition of communication is that communication is the passing on or transmission of message with the use of language to heterogeneous audience.
From the above definitions, it is seen that the two concepts have something in common; that holds them is the relationship that exist between them.
Communication generally is a fundamental social process which essentially has to do with any discipline or activity that is concerned with human society and behavior.
Therefore, it has been identified as “the basis of human existence, for it is at the heat of all society intercourse.
In our day-to-day life, we interact with one another by way of communication. This society cannot exist without communication for it is the only mechanism through which human interaction exists.
Living generally also depend on communication for even our body system cannot function without communication with one another through contact.
Communication also takes place when an individual talks to a follow individual, when an idea is made known to a group and when a concept is disclosed.
There is also a need for communication among human groups, as this is the Chief factor for creation of unity and continuity for the society and the vehicle for the conveyance of the culture. But it does not suffice to say that communication itself can be meaningful and effective without its association with other thing and other processes.
This is because, communication does not exist on its own in a vacuum, rather it exist in the society and function among persons.
It emanates from members of the society and assumes a social network. Going form one person to another and linking itself to means of its transmission through a channel, which is the mass media. This leads to a chain of process. Thus “through communication which exist between two persons or one person as the source to a group of person, ideas, needs information is conveyed through the channel. This message is decoded at the society who is the audience. By way of this life in the communication process, the channels of communication contributes tremendously to the propagation of information and the continued existence of the society.
It is pertinent to point out at this juncture, that every communication or message has its targeted audience to whom it is directed to. And when such a message gets to the audience an aim has been achieved. Also, when the audience is able to decode the encoded message as the effect compliance, another aim which is the ultimate aim is equally achieved in the face of these, what then is the essence of communication.
The aim of communication is to create awareness, education or enlightenment and through such awareness created, to elicit response, compliance, a change of attitude in respect or re-enforce them.
Traditional Communication in Igbo Land
Before the white man came in Igbo land, the oral communication was the system of interaction in the area. The town crier performed a very important function by collecting and spreading very important information among his people, he served as an intermediary between the heads of the people and report their feelings to them.
Most of the time, the town criers had to embellish whatever message they had for the villages with riddles, idioms and proverbs or may even code the message in order to drive home the news in the light of this, the town carier were and are very popular among the village-folks, who are always ready to listen to them so as to be abreast with current news and events even today. In spite of the numerous electronic, broadcast stations with their educative and informative program, most villages still enjoy the functions of the tradition town carriers which are often more effective.
The main instrument of communication used by the town caries in Igbo land is the gong and flute. In addition to this there are other instruments used in non-herbal communication in Igbo land. Among these are the metallic and wooden instruments, signs and symbols. Wooden gong (Ekwe) metallic gong and xylophone (ngelegwu) etc are metallic and wooden instrument used for communication while the palm fruit at its tender stage (omu) is also an instrument of communication.
The notes from this communication instrument signs and symbols are interpreted very well by the people, to whom they are directed. The sounding of the wooden gong (ekwe) and the valorous gong (ikoro) in the night normally depicts dangers in Ngwo. This could be that, thieves or armed robbers are around and they are used to keep everybody at alert.
Much importance is attached by the village folk to non-verbal means of communication. Achebe attested this in “Things fall Apart”, when he wrote that …Umohia was still swallowed up in sleep and silence when the Ekwe began to talk, men stirred on their bamboo beds and listen anxiously.
Equally writing on the important characteristics the place of traditional mode of communication, Ugboajah (1979) pointed that “communication in traditional Nigeria communicates is mainly a matter of human inter.-relationship so to accept action will effect established relationship that is what said is as important as who said it.