The imperative of culture to community and national development was again brought to the fore at this year’s World Indigenous Day Celebration held in Lagos, penultimate Wednesday.
The event which was marked with pomp and ceremony brought together dignitaries including culture advocates, scholars, artists, art aficionados, among others. Also in attendance was the president of Eko Club, Chief Tunde Fanimokun, in his honour the event was organized by the Centre for Indigenous Communication, for his deep interest in cultural orientation, cultural rebirth as an agent of change, promotion and protection of positive indigenous values in Nigeria.
Speaking at the event, Fanimokun, iterated the commitment of Eko Club to the promotion and protection of the rich Yoruba Cultural heritage, despite the hues and cries that Yoruba culture, most especially its language is at the brink of extinction. Clad in a full Yoruba attire with a cap to match, the culture advocate who is also an accomplished technocrat said that the rich cultural values of our forefathers are what many people are envious of and are eager to emulate at all cost.
He added that all hands must be on the deck to make the positives aspects of our culture an agent of change.
“We need to revive our lost cultural values and inculcate them in our younger generations in order for them to grow with it. We have norms. We don’t dress or talk anyhow. Our Language is good and many universities abroad are teaching Yoruba studies, asides the fact that many foreigners are coming here to learn it. With people like us here in Eko Club where we treasure our cultural heritage, I am sure that our rich heritage will always be there for generations yet unborn to meet it. We won’t allow it to degenerate into extinction. Here in Eko Club, we value our cultural heritage. Culture is the symbol of future; it is the representative of the past and the basis for progress, therefore any people neglecting their culture will be like uprooting their past. To that extent, culture is very important. Culture is very important for any community to grow progressively,” he said.
Culture promoter and school proprietress, Mrs. Olufunke Fadugba, who he guest lecturer, in her presentation, said, “Though our own people are looking at our culture with disdain, those who knows the value both at home and abroad are uplifting the need to make Yoruba heritage stands out. At least UNESCO earmarked August 9th every year as the Indigenous World day, this shows that outsiders value it more than we do.”
Fadugba further stated that culture is the antidote to many changes we look or seek for in our society today.
The convener of the event, Princess Jumoke Owoola, who has been doing it for the past six years, said that the need to honour role models otherwise known as agents of change, led her organisation, Centre for Indigenous Communication, to honour Chief Tunde Fanimokun in their 2018 edition of the programme.
“We have been doing this for the past six years and I am happy that the awareness is gaining ground. Initially, many people were frowning at the need for cultural rebirth, but now reverse is the case. “They have learnt that you cannot take peoples culture away from them. Is it in the areas of dressings? Here in Africa, mad man will never go out naked, why then does a decent lady going out of her home partially dressed? Men are not left out too. We don’t talk to people anyhow because we believe that respect begets respect.
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