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The Effects of Traditional Communication to modern communication in Nigeria. A case study of Effium in Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State




       Communication is the epicenter of human society, and it is as old as human existence. It has directly or indirectly been a source of human life. Communication is also a means through which many activities such as discussion, interaction, crying and fighting etc stands the test of time. Communication touches the heart of other. Social system, hence, no one can exist without interacting with one existence. According to UNESCO (1981:3) Cited in Unwakwe. According to “Communication maintain and animates life. It is also the motor and expression of the social activity and civilization, it lead people from instinct to inspiration, through variegated process and system of enquiry, command and control, it create a common pool of ideal, strengthen. The feeling of togetherness trough exchange of message and translated thought into action, reflecting every emotion and need from humblet task of human survival to supreme manifestation of creativity or destruction.

       Communication integrate knowledge, organization and power and runs as a thread linking. The earliest memory of man to his noblest aspiration through constant striving for a better life. Yes, nothing said of communication is much hence, it is, complex, this is why scholars founds it difficult to come-up with a comprehensive definition of communication. But below are workable definition of communication.

S.E Udeze (2005) communication is a process of transferring of information, ideas and attitude from one person to another. Eze (1998:62) communication is a process of sharing meaning, thought, ideas, experience information or opinion from person to person. In the other hand communication could be seen as a social process of establishing commonness of ideas, thought or information.

       Taya Weera (1991) communication is an interaction process through which person or group release to each other and share information, experience and culture. According to cohumia encyclopedia communication is “ the transfer of thought and message as contrast with transportation, the transfer of goods and person”.

       The oxford dictionary says that communication is “ the impacting, conveying or exchange of ideas knowledge etc whether by speech, writing or a “ social interaction and relation”. As a matter of fact, the system or partner of communication is no the same, its differs in modes and styles, when talk about traditional and modern model of communication system. It involve the use of traditional instrument such as Ogene, Ekwe, white chalk, palm front, feather etc. It is multi-channel communication system, and to its effect, they communicate information meaningful and clear.

       Notwithstanding, traditional mode of communication varies from place to place and unsure in nature through cultural background. Thus, traditional mode of communication is cultural heritage, a doctrine and the totality of the belief of a people handed over to other subsequent group of people. Also, Nwosu (1966:6) viewed traditional communication as the culture or cultural bound centre and emphasis its important as an area which media practitioner and marketing communicator who operate within the developing part of the world must familiarize themselves with the media practitioner should associate themselves with the rural dweller if they really want to develop the nation”.

       Beside the rural dwellers consist of 80% percent of the population, so, they must not be neglected or not reorganize. As a matter of fact people’s education, socialization must be attended to in order to enable them feel belonged or carried along. Well, some media practitioners today don’t like to identify themselves with the rural dwellers. This is as a result of the unspeakable sophisticated technology found in everywhere in the society. They have grabbed the world in a global village” and as well improve the system of communication in such a way that any one can receive information from any part of the globe. This involve the use of digital technologies like internet, GSM phone, walkie talkie, E-mail, computer, website etc.

       These are new form of communication technologies known as information communication technologies (ICT). Funny enough, radio, television newspaper and magazine are today considered as the old form of communication as a result of all the new atone mentioned modes of communication. This undoubtedly added to the neglect of traditional move of communication effectiveness in our society today. Any way, ICT have its our immeasurable value that cannot be over emphasized. But then, traditional means of communication should not be kept aside. E.g. there are some programme of development that the Government want to implement and execute in the rural area, if appropriate media is not used to carryout the programme, it will not take any positive impact in the life of the people, this illustration shows that the type of media used to extent any programme matters alots.

       Having gone this far, a brief history of the are of study will be looked into for a better comprehension and understanding of the study and their traditional mode of communication now and then.

       Effium in Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State (The area of study) is a community is Ebonyi North Senatorial zone of the State. The name came about by their kindered as a result of their great performance in hunting, farming and promotion of welfare among their negbouring communities such as Izzi in Ebonyi LGA and Ngbo people in Ohaukwu LGA.

       During this era, atamata, Oja was used to herld the attention of the people, another traditional instrument that was used then and still in use today are Ekwe (wooden gong), red calm, palm tront, which tied on the fone head during war, place at a dispute land. Whenever it is seen it communicate meaningfully to the people and can be used during traditional feast like new yam festival and others.

       Also it is however presumed that if it is not used in any occasion, such occasion has not really stood the test of time in Effium Community inclusively was Nzu on the researchers dialect (while chalk), it communicate peace, harmony, above all it indicates sacred area and till date communication information effectively and efficiently.

       Additionally, the town crier who is known as the villa broadcaster, “the foreman” of the village, “Announcer” goes about in the village and market square, stream and above all in the local churches to gather fact and figures and announce it to audience in order to be aware of what is happening around them. Masquerade, wresting and sign calls, suns hot and others have their different meaning when they are used.

       Today, the system of communication is modernized and attractive in nature. But then Effium community is still lagging behind, beside the parassive and modernized system of communication, however, this is as a matter of economic flexibility and educational standard. Although, some Effium Citizen have GSM radio, television vedio and refrigerator, but these are found only with a few persons that can afford the PHCA bill.

       Moreso, Effium have negbouring communities that have the same difficulties with them. Some of them include Igbenda, Igbuoke and Ezeokoha. These communities have the same history cultural background with Effium communities and as well migrated from Ezza in the central senatorial district of the state. But today Effium settle in north senatorial zone of Ebonyi State.

       Interestingly, Effium Citizen as known as IBINI-UKPABI or EREM-OKOTA worshiper and it is very active, it is a cerebrated every month of August yearly, However this study aimed at finding out the (role) effectiveness of modern mode of traditional mode of communication in the rural area as compared to the traditional mode of communication. Its acceptability by the realist and their encountered during development planning. Thus, Effium community has been choosen to illustrated this,


         It is no longer a news that the world, even the most primitive area is moving into new communication are like computer, website, E-mail internet, and phone. The question is, how effective have these garjet been in the rural areas, socialization, Education, development and mobilization?. The researcher want to find out hence the problem.

  1. To evaluate the level of practice of modern and traditional modes of communication in Effium town, however modern mode of communication play a vital or crucial role in the current rural development. But it is necessary to know the extreme of its effectiveness towards rural development.
  2. To know how Effium community has developed because of information and communication technologies development. But it is necessary to know the extreme of its effectiveness towards rural development.


      The objective or purpose of this study is to really ascertain the level of effectiveness of traditional communication when compared with the modern ways of communication as in relation to their role in rural area development, the research want to know the most preferred and reachable among them, know the facilities available in both traditional mode of communication and modern mode of communication.

       Also, to know the problem Effium Citizen encounter in the two system of communication usage and the effect of the modern media of communication on citizen and whether it has stronger effect on the citizen of Effium community.


      The principle thing in communication is to comprehend or understand the message passed across. As a matter of fact, it has the following significance:

       The importance of the study tend to help compare the role of modern and traditional mode of communication in the rural development, it also enlightens or inspires the development planner to see the rural setting as a place development planning should take off from, if the set objective really want to be achieved.

       Additionally, it exposes mass communication student into sub-area in traditional media of communication in various communities which before now they were not of such sub-areas. And it will help the development agenda or planner to see the need to involve the rural dwellers in communication process.


The x –ray of the problems and the objectives which the study tends to achieve have been made earlier on.

  • Will Effium youth prefer modern mode of communication to local or traditional mode of communication?
  • What factor determines the selection of system of communication to use?
  • Traditional and modern modes of communication which one has more positive effect towards rural development?
  • Is information really needed in rural setting during development planning as well as the involvement of the rural dwellers during programme implementation?


       Development media theory in mass communication field have been choosen for this study;

       The development media theory is needed here for it creates avenue for the socialization of the audience, allow them to participate in nation building. It unfolds and realize the creative potentials of man, thereby enabling him to improve in his material need being and make positive impact in his environment.

       And when this is in place, development springs up in the environment. This in other words show that it is the people that develop an area. Thus, without paying attention to people’s education, organization, re-orientation, socialization and discipline, there will be no true development.

       Also, this theory saw the need to join the Government to implement its programme and policies to people as need help to achieve its aims or objectives by ensuring effective communication in order to attain this, it programme planners, implementers and executors from the end users. Since it is presumably believe that it is only this media theory that allow audience participation.

       In addition, its plays a vital role in bridging the gap between the haves and have not in the society.


     In order to ensure stress free while reading . This work, the researcher deemed it necessary to give a clean explanation of some words and phrase as found in this study. These are

  • Communication: Simply means the way of gathering information inform of interacting and dissemination of information or message to the needed people.
  • Traditional mode of communication: This means all forms or way of attracting attention such as facial expression, signs, touch, pictures sound and music. It can also be verbal interpersonal and group through which one mind influence another in rural area. Simply it is the traditional way of communication.
  • Rural dwellers: These are people that live in different villages. They are also the people involve in the study.
  • Modern mode of communication: This involve all the new communication technologies found in both rural and urban area used for information gathering processing, receiving and disseminating .
  • Information: Is a processed, gathered fact and figures that is event, programme that look place and produced into message inform of information communication or usage or consumption.
  • Development: In this study, it means an improvement, an enlightenment, modernization in the rural setting,
  • Modern mass media: It is the means or the possible way of impacting information and influencing the ideas, knowledge, thought and feeling of numerous numbers of people.


Hygeinus N.A. (1999): techniques and Mechanics of Feature      Article Writing, J.T.C. Publishers.

Nathan, O.N. (1990) Traditional Channels of comm. and Rural        Development Policy Implement: The Neglected Symbolic    Relationship in (Ed) Ikechukwu Nwosu in Mass Comm. And     National Development. Aba Frontier Publishers Limited.

Onah I (2004): The role of Traditional Communication in    Managing Discrimination and Isolation in (Ed) Prof Nwosu, W.Isoni Communication Media and Conflict Management.   Enugu ACCE Prime Lagel Publisher.

Uwakwe .O. (2003); Communication: An Overview in (ed)       Onyeka Uwakwe in Communication and National      Development, Africa-Link Books.

Oxford Advance Learner’s Dictionary, Oxford University Press.

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