In this paper, the researchers look at the uniqueness of indigenous language and how figurative language is used to communicate meaning in telecommunication Yoruba advertisements. There are four major telecommunication operators in Nigeria- MTN, Airtel, GLO and 9 mobile. The highest two operators with active subscribers-MTN and Airtel were chosen for this study. All MTN Yoruba advertisements and all airtel Yoruba advertisements were the population of the study. Through random sampling, MTN Smart Recharge advertisement and Airtel Goody bag advertisement were the sample. The qualitative textual analysis was employed to examine the figurative languages used in MTN Smart Recharge Yoruba advertisement and Airtel Goody bag Yoruba advertisement. The researchers found that 12 figurative languages were used and described in 25 presentations (Metaphor, allusion, symbolism, eulogy, sarcasm, pun, anaphora, repetition, hyperbole, simile, alliteration, rhetorical question) in the two selected advertisements. We, therefore, recommend among others that advertisers, not just telecommunication companies should pay serious attention to the use of figurative language that can attract the audience to their services and show the uniqueness of indigenous language.


Advertising, Figurative Language, Indigenous Language, Telecommunication, Yoruba, Qualitative Textual Analysis

Author Bio(s)

Dr. Kehinde Oyesomi is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Mass Communication, Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria. She is currently a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Communication, North West University, Mafikeng Campus, South Africa. Her responsibilities as a lecturer include teaching, advising, project supervision, research, and community development. Her research interests are on Gender, media, indigenous communication, political communication, and development communication. She possesses a strong positive character and determination to contribute to scholarship in her area of discipline. She also possesses the ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously and efficiently and to work smartly and resourcefully in a fast-paced environment. She has published in several local and high impact international journals. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: kehinde.oyesomi@covenantuniversity.edu.ng.

Prof. Abiodun Salawu is Professor of Journalism, Communication and Media Studies and Director of the research entity, Indigenous Language Media in Africa (ILMA). He has taught and researched journalism for over two decades in Nigeria and South Africa. Prior to his academic career, he practiced journalism in a number of print media organisations in Nigeria. He has to his credit, scores of scholarly publications in academic journals and books. He has also edited three books and authored one. He is a regular presenter of papers at local and international conferences. He is a co-vice chair of the journalism section of IAMCR and a member of editorial/advisory boards of a number of journals. He is rated by the NRF as an established researcher and he is a member of the Codesria’s College of Senior Academic Mentors. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: abiodun.salawu@nwu.ac.za.


The authors acknowledge the Indigenous Language Media of Africa (ILMA), North-West University, Mafikeng campus for financial support. The authors also acknowledge Dr. Tunde Adegbola, the Executive Director of African Language Technology Initiative for the assistance rendered in the clarifications of some texts and putting of toner marks to the Yoruba advertisements.

Publication Date


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.





To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.