By Odunayo Oluwabukola, Ibadan
The Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Lekan Balogun, has lamented the continued promotion of foreign cultures and languages at the expense of Yoruba language and cultural heritage.
The Olubadan, backed by Oba Olusegun Alamu, the Alapatere of Apatere; the Chief Imam of Yorubaland, Sheik Abdulraheem Aduanigba; and Chief Kunle Adelakun, Jagunmolu Agbekoya; spoke over the weekend at the ‘Ayajo Adire Tiwantiwa,’ organised by Akinkanju Obinrin of Yoruba at the Lekan Salami Stadium, Adamasingba, Ibadan, Oyo State.
Kogi, Kwara, Osun, Ondo, Ekiti, Lagos and Oyo states are represented at the event.
Oba Balogun, represented by Chief JT Raimi, Asiwaju Iyaloja General of Oyo State, warned that a culture that is neglected is at risk of extinction.
The monarch said, “While I congratulate the organizers of this programme, I am worried that borrowed culture is fast eroding our culture. We used to dress in traditional attires but that practice is fast going into extinction. We are all guilty of adoption of borrowed culture. Yoruba culture is rich but we do not appreciate what belongs to us.
“Let us promote our culture. We are found of speaking English Language while we discard Yoruba Language and culture. When you get to China, Italy, Turkey, Bulgaria and other parts of the world, they speak their various languages. Here, they would say that without passing English Language, our children cannot gain admission into the university.
“Our daughters can no longer kneel down while our sons cannot postrate to greet. This is uncharitable. We should have have a rethink and retrace our steps. Yoruba people are rich in culture and we are blessed in commerce. We are hardworking, so we work for survival – we don’t beg. We don’t want the eyesore to continue.”
Mrs Bukola Okesola, who represented the Chairman of the occasion, Chief Lekan Alabi, stressed the need to introduce cultural training into the secondary school education curriculum for its propagation.
“As you can see today, the younger generation is not properly carried along in the cultural drive. We need to make conscious efforts to preserve our culture and tradition. The way to go about it is to encourage the upcoming generation.”
The Chief Imam of Yorubaland, Sheik Abdulraheem Aduanigba, while expressing joy on the event, stated that Kwara is a Yoruba state with Nupe and Baruba as minority tribes, adding, “In Kwara State, we have 114 Yoruba kings while there are 67 Yoruba kings in Kogi State.”
Eruobodo, noting that Yoruba is one world over, called for the projection of the culture to encourage the youth and in a bid to promote tourism.
Among those who were present on the occasion are Chief Mrs Raimi Asiwaju, Iyaloja General Oyo State; Mrs Onipede Victoria, Iyaloja Bodija Market, Ibadan; Jagun Khadijat Taiwo, Matron Akinkanju Obinrin, the President of Ilana Omo Odua in Kabba, Emmanuel Ajibero; Olugbemi, President, Okun Heritage, Ibadan; Babatunde Saheed, Chief Mrs Olawoyin Apakala, and the Panel of Judges, Mrs Adenike Oyediran, Babatunde Fadire and Olori Omolola Alex Olaitan, Dr Oyenike Adeleke, Director, Oyo State Entrepreneural; Comrade Awa Bamiji, National Coordinator.
Elizabeth Feyisayo Sanu from Ogun State came first to emerge as ‘Omidan Oodua,’ while Blessing Ayedogbon and Omowumi Taiwo from Kogi State came second and third.
In cooking competition, Oyo came first, Kogi came second while Kogi state came third.