Ogbonnaya Okoro translates first-ever Igbo Physics textbook

Renowned writer, linguist, and Igbo language expert, Maazi Ogbonnaya Mark Okoro has made a record milestone with the release of “Fiziksi,” the first-ever Physics textbook written in the Igbo language of Nigeria.

The recently published textbook, which he revealed online last week, is intended to guarantee accessibility, accommodate those without formal education, and encourage inclusion in science or STEM education.

Written for all Igbo speaking students of all ages, its extensive content covers basic and extensive principles of physics.

Mr. Ogbonnaya first publicly declared his interest in translating science textbooks years ago out of concerned about the dwindling use of the Igbo language, and the necessity to close the gap between traditional languages and contemporary education.

“Do you know it will make sense if we start teaching Biology, Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, Geography and every subjects in Igbo Language? It is possible. It is doable. Chinese, Japanese, French etc do this in their native languages. Aren’t they productive technologically?” he asked in an X post in 2021

He emphasized the importance of promoting cultural identity while embracing scientific knowledge, considering no reason why such can not be possible in the post-colonial African context. 

“If Bible could be domesticated, localized and understood in Igbo Language; even those who are not educated could grasp it, why do you think it’s impossible with Physics and other STEM courses?” he questioned in another post this month. 

He believes that Nigerians place more value in foreign languages, and he’s leading a subtle awareness as an Igbo language advocate, that aims to put pride in indigenous languages. 

“When it comes to mother tongue speaking in Nigeria, it’s problematic. We value foreign languages more than our language because we want to sound exposed. This I can call linguistic-inferiority-complex. English language is seen as saviour. Because of this self-disdainful look on our languages,” he said in an interview with the Sun Newspaper in 2018.

Mr. Ogbonnaya is the founder of, a website where Igbo books, academic materials are digitalised. He has over 15 years experience in teaching and researching Igbo language. He is a professional tutor of first language, second language and foreign language learners of Igbo.

He was BBC Igbo’s first translator, and through that, he formulated the rules of Igbo grammar that guided editors, broadcast journalists and every member of the BBC Igbo.

Mr. Ogbonnaya studied linguistics and Igbo language at the University of Nigeria Nsụka and subsequently studied translation and movie subtitle at Newcastle University and the University of the West of Scotland, UK.

He has translated works into the Igbo language for different national and international organizations such as the Nigerian National Bureau of Statistics, UNESCO projects, World Bank projects, United Nations, etc. He’s currently the Igbo Translations Director for Abibiman Publishers in the UK.

Mr. Ogbonnaya is also an expert in American Sign Language. He has assisted hundreds of deaf children across Nigeria to understand the rudiments of ASL, and have featured sign language in a movie – Agwaetiti Obiụtọ. He has been an American Sign Language interpreter for Talkhealth9ja TV program aired on AIT, as well as African Economic Congress 2020, where he interpreted over 42 speeches.

“Igbo language has been subjected to the state of apathy; many Igbo parents are to be blamed for this. They take pride in seeing their children speaking English–whether correct or not instead of Igbo. It is quite disheartening that children living in Igbo land do not know about the International Day for mother tongue. They are not taught about it. So, even on this special day, they are found speaking English and taking pride in it,” said Ogbonnaya. 

He’s passionate about the Igbo language and its sustainability as well as its preservation against extinction as predicted by the UNESCO. He has taught many African-Americans, Africans, whites, children and adults the Igbo language.

Mr. Ogbonnaya has written over 60 books in Igbo, and many have been approved by the Ministries of Education for all the secondary schools in the following Nigerian states: Ebonyi, Imo, Anambra, Enugwu, Abịa and Delta.

His books have been approved for undergraduate, Master and PhD students of Igbo Literature in various Nigerian universities and colleges of education in the eastern part of the country. According to him, the “Fiziksi,” is only the first of many other science textbook translations to follow. 


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