Concerned about the plight of millions of blacks in the Diaspora that are desirous of tracing their roots and heritage but without any institutional support or proper lead, renowned historian, filmmaker and cultural ambassador, Oladotun Taylor, is poised to redress this age-long anomaly with the production of a docu-drama titled, ‘Did You Sell Us’.
Taylor disclosed that the idea derives from the contentious historical theory that there were Africans that colluded with foreign slave trade merchants during the slave trade era in Africa. According to him, “It is high time that we as Africans rose to help our brothers and sisters in the Diaspora many of whom have lost their identities and origin due to no fault of theirs. This has been a part of my missions as a cultural ambassador. They are in millions. We need to find and link up with them.
The documentary is a partnership between Taylor’s Roots and Heritage Renaissance Initiative (RHRI), and two American entrepreneurs, Gena Hampton and TaShunda Scott. “I will be leading my two Black American partners to Nigeria and, particularly, to the cradle of mankind, the palace of the Ooni of Ife, HRM Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, on a fact-finding mission as part of production activities for this project. To my African brothers and sisters across the globe who are in this dilemma, I say, help is on the way.”
Hampton, a professional business consultant and American radio broadcaster, said, “I am more than happy to be working with Ambassador Taylor on this very insightful and humanitarian project. Everyone deserves to know their identity, their true origin irrespective of wherever they live and work or find themselves across the world. I am so passionate about this and I will do everything within my capacity for the actualisation of this fantastic project.”
Similarly, TaShunda Scott, a public service expert in the city of Texas, USA, said, “For me, this is just one of the reasons for our existence, to be our brother’s keeper. This project will help the millions of Africans in the Diaspora who can’t trace their origin. African governments need to do more in tracing and identifying their citizens scattered across the world and they should also support initiatives like this.”
Thus, he tasked the Hon. Abike Dabiri-led Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) and other similar commissions and agencies across the African continent to do more in tracing and identifying Nigerians and Africans at large in the Diaspora that are eager to trace their origin.
Appointed a cultural ambassador by the Ooni of Ife for his passion and commitment to the elevation of Yoruba culture and tradition some years ago, Taylor announced that the revered monarch will play a key role in actualising the project because of his advocacy for unity among blacks across the world.
Indeed, as part of his efforts to foster peace among Africans in the Diaspora and reunite the descendants of the Yoruba race, the Ooni, on a visit to Bahia, in Brazil, pronounced the city the headquarters of Yoruba Nation in the Americas.
Taylor and his partners would be chaperoned to the Ooni’s palace by his co-ambassador, Morounranti Ashabi Alebiosu, a cultural enthusiast and former Senior Special Assistant to former Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola of Lagos State on Tourism and Inter-Governmental Relations. Also an accomplished broadcaster, baritone-voiced Taylor has lent his voice to hundreds of movies, reality shows, radio programmes, jingles and documentaries e.t.c. He is also the brain behind many contemporary music videos.