What does the future look like for the Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo languages in Nigeria?
A major factor that contributes to the longevity of any language is the presence of literature and art of that language, in that case the hausa, yoruba and igbo languages have alot of literature present to help future generations easily understand the languages. Also, either of these languages are compulsory subjects taught to students/ pupils at primary and secondary school levels. There’s a thriving film industry in the north Kannywood which is based on the hausa language, and the popular Nollywood film industry in the south and east produce hundreds of movies in igbo and yoruba languages. These film productions are widely popular in Nigeria and contribute to propagating the local languages and helping them gain acceptance.
As somebody already pointed out in one of the answers, alot of classic and contemporary Nigerian artists also use the yoruba, hausa, and igbo languages in their music and it’s widely accepted not only in Nigeria but across the globe.
What I would be more worried about are the languages that have no form of art, literature or music but depend solely on oral interactions to be passed down generations, such languages are more likely to go extinct in the near future because of a lack of written and electronic records in the form of music, literature and art.
I see alot of startups popping up these days with an aim to preserve local languages and develop apps that help children learn them. I commend their efforts.
But as as far as the future is concerned, the Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo languages will be here long after our children’s children are gone and forgotten.