An Appraisal Of Traditional Media Of Communication In Rural Mobilization

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Quite recently, questions have been asked by communication scholars and media experts on the appraisal / the importance of traditional tool or artifacts of communication, such as the “town criers use of the gong, drums, gun tots, smoke signals songs, dances and masquerades etc. In rural mobilization, such as the case of Nenwe town.

Moreover, it has equally been asked also, if the traditional media of communication will enhance rural based communication and of mobilization than the modern mass media.

It is on the bases of this question that this research study proposes to highlight the salient objective philosophy of the traditional media as well as identifying the basic traditional communication tool or artifacts / its appraisal as implemented by Nenwe town in achieving effective mobilization of its citizenry.

On the other hand, this research study will also discover the usefulness and limitation of traditional media of communication if any, in mobilization process of the rural citizenry such as Nenwe town.

Finally, this research study will propose the marriage of traditional media of communication and the modern mass media for the purpose of conveying effective rural mobilization communication. It will as well encourage the utilization of other cultural studies toward other Nigerian rural communities and African indigenous communication pattern.



Language or communication is life, and life is language or communication, so goes a certain communication axiom, it is on this premise that it is a truism to say that the history of traditional modes of communication is as old as human existence on the planet earth.

From the earliest period of the primitive man, traditional modes of communication has been used to communicate information by the use of

vSmoke signals



vsound signal

To present day practice of or a media mode of communication, using the

vtown – crier


vDrum beating


traditional modes of communication can be defined as the product of the interplay between a traditional community customs and conflict, harmony and strike cultural convergence and divergences, culture specific tangibles and intangibles interpersonal relations, symbols and codes and oral traditions which includes mythology, oral literatures (poetry, story telling, proverbs)









And similar obstructions and artifacts which encompass a peoples factual, symbolic and cosmological existence from birth to death and even beyond death,

Traditional modes of communication gave way to modern mass media as a result of man’s improvement in innovations of science and technology.

However, the mass media today has sub sector (electronic and print media) but the level and rate of development of this sub – sector has led to the need for the revival of the traditional modes of communication

For examples, the mass media in Nigeria today infected with so may problems that have definitely infected its utility as a medium for development of communication these problem includes:

vThe mass media in Nigeria today is still much urban phenomenon instead of the known fact that 80% of Nigerian live in the rural area.

vThe adverse economic environments which prevent in Nigeria at present are not conducive at all to mass media growth and operation, in the print media sub – sector, for example, the cost of newsprint and other production facilities have, among other thing forced some small – scale publishers of magazine, news papers and books to go off market, while most of the still existing ones have been forced to increase their cover prices for above the reach of many Nigeria.

In the electronic media sub – sector, in addition to the fact that government monopoly of radio / television station, ownership and control have continued to militate against the growth or rapid development of  this media industry, this sub sector still has problem of cost and low professionalism to cope with.

It is against this backdrop of problems facing the mass media in Nigeria, that it has become imperative for the revitalization of the traditional modes of communication, which is more penetrative to the rural dwellers and more effective on operational mobilization strategy, as not as stimulation of mass participation of the rural people on concrete development projects.

Invariably, this need for traditional modes of communication reveal in line with the finding of rural socio – economic studies which discloses that “it is only at the village level that members of a rural community are best able to sit together for mutual consultation in search of viable solutions to community problems”, as this study intends to find out form the Nenwe people of Aminri local government area, Enugu state, Nigeria.


It is an obvious fact that over 80% of Nigerian population reside in the rural area, and because of certain factors such as



vLack of infrastructural development

The rural dwellers are ex – communicated or are made to be inaccessible to government policies and programmes, and are thus denied participation towards the articulation and implementation of these polices and programmes within the rural areas, this is as a result of negligence on the role and effectiveness of traditional modes of communication in mobilizing the rural people for development objectives.

It is based on these fundamental issues that this study will focus at spotlighting the effectiveness of traditional modes of communication in rural mobilization.

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