Yoruba (èdè Yorùbá)
Yoruba is one of the four official languages of Nigeria and is a member of the Volta-Niger branch of the Niger-Congo family of languages. It is spoken by about 22 million people in southwest Nigeria, Benin, Togo, the UK, Brazil and the USA.
Yoruba first appeared in writing during the 19th century. The first Yoruba publications were a number of teaching booklets produced by John Raban in 1830-2. The person who made the biggest contribution to Yoruba literacy was Bishop Ajayi (Samual) Crowther (1806-1891), who studied many of the languages of Nigeria, including Yoruba, and wrote and translated in some of them.
Crowther was also the first Christian bishop of West African origin. A Yoruba orthography appeared in about 1850, though it has undergone a number of changes since then.