BBC World Service launches first Pidgin service


BBC news Pudgin

Somalilandsun – On August 21st, BBC Pidgin launched  as part of the biggest expansion of the World Service since the 1940s.BBC Pidgin the first African digital service will provide impartial news, current affairs and analysis of Nigeria, West and Central Africa – as well as international news from the BBC’s global network of correspondents.  The new service will also provide the BBC’s global audience with a better understanding of the region.  

The new digital service – aimed at younger and female audiences – will also feature BBC Minute, broadcasting six times a day, with a round up of the world in 60 seconds available online and social.  New programming will also feature a specially commissioned drama which will illustrate the beauty of the language and the fun people have in following the language

World Service Director Francesca Unsworth said:  
“For more than eighty years the BBC World Service has brought trusted news to millions across the globe. I’m delighted that millions of people in Nigeria and beyond, will be able to access the BBC in such a popular language as Pidgin.”

Editorial lead Bilkisu Labaran, said: 
“We are so proud to be launching the BBC’s first digital service in Africa. Pidgin is the language spoken among so many people across West and Central Africa and for the first time we will be connecting with the next generation of speakers. Pidgin is the common thread in the region, the language of unity spoken by people from all walks of life, and we are excited at the prospect of providing this service”

BBC Pidgin will aim to serve a younger audience and women with social media playing a key role.  In addition to news and current affairs, there will be extensive coverage of culture, entertainment, entrepreneurship, science & technology, health and sport – including the English Premier League.

Editorial lead Bilkisu Labaran Outside BBCPidgin is spoken by 75m people in Nigeria alone, with additional speakers in Cameroon, Ghana, and Equatorial Guinea. It is primarily an oral language, without a standard agreed written form.  With the introduction of this new service the BBC hopes to contribute to the development of this language.

BBC Pidgin links

·       The BBC World Service is launching in 12 new languages – Afaan Oromo, Amharic, Gujarati, Igbo, Korean, Marathi, Pidgin, Punjabi, Serbian, Telugu, Tigrinya, and Yoruba.

·       BBC Minute (English) launched in 2015, and BBC World Service now partner with radio stations in countries around the world.  Partners take BBC Minute and air them on their own stations. Other versions include  BBC Minute On..  which focus on a single subject in more detail.  BBC Minute is also available to download via itunes, Spotify, Tunein and via the BBC World Service’s own website 

·       BBC World Service’s BBC Africa hub brings together the production of multilingual content about the continent on radio, on TV and online on  As it delivers content in English, French, Hausa, Kinyarwanda, Kirundi, Somali and Kiswahili, BBC Africa ensures a pan-African approach to the output, offering its audiences opportunities to join the global conversation.  BBC Africa has teams based in London and across much of sub-Saharan Africa, and has well established production centres in various cities. 

Follow BBC Africa on TwitterFacebookGoogle +InstagramSoundcloud and YouTube.

What is Pidgin English 

Simply put, Pidgin English is a mixture of English and local languages which enables people who do not share a common language to communicate. Read More 

The Pidgin team


Top 12 Pidgin Phrases:

1. Na you sabiThat’s your business, I’ll leave you to it

2. WahalaDeyWe have a problem
3. I no fit shoutI don’t want to be stressed, I can’t be bothered  
4. Na so e beIt is what it is
5. Wetindey happenWhat’s happening, what’s going on
6. No wahalaNo problem
7. How far naHow are you? How is it?
8. How bodyHow are you doing, how is your health
9. Yawa don gasThere’s trouble
10. Nawa ohI can’t believe it, exclamation!
11. You too muchWhen you look good or do something great
12. Notin do youYou are on point