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O’dua Museum, Hall of Fame: Preserving a people’s legacy
Posted by: Our Reporter
on April 13, 2013
in Travels on Saturday
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The transformation was rapid and dramatic. Suddenly one was transported from the sophistication of a cosmopolitan high-rise building in the centre of a city to a rural setting more than 40 years ago.
Such is the transformation that one experiences on visiting the recently commissioned O’odua Museum and Hall of Fame in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
As the guard opened the wooden door with intricate designs to usher one in, the voice of the late Hubert Ogunde could be heard singing in Yoruba. It was as if he was just around the corner. As one climbed the staircase to the museum floor, one was no longer on the 20th floor of the Cocoa House.
One was transported back in time to the years gone by. What one felt all around was the African essence.
Both sides of the wall are decorated with batiks. A traditional African mat is rolled out on the floor.
The next point is the corridor with a signpost signalling that the museum is on the right, while the Hall of Fame is on the left. Museums, all over the world, always have special appeal. So, the first place to visit was the museum. Even before seeing some of the artifacts, the ambience created was purely rural: local mats used on the floor, red earthen walls, bamboo sticks used as part of the declaration.
The museum captures the totally of Yoruba way of life in the old days. Pots and bronze carvings of different sizes are displayed. The different kinds of Yoruba drums are also arranged neatly.
Appurtenances of royalty such as beads, horse-tail, crowns and walking sticks are displayed at the royalty section.
One of the most interesting section of the museum is the war section where old war weapons such as guns are on display. The treaty that brought an end to the Yoruba war of the 19th century titled Proclamation of Peace at Kiriji-Mesin Battlefield was boldly displayed.
Professor Wole Soyinka, who declared the place open early this month, commended the management of O’dua Investment Limited and had this to say: “The museum showcases the beginning of Yoruba technology and the ingenuity of our forbearers, but I want to say there is still more to do now that an appeal has been made to people to donate materials to enrich the arts, crafts and antiquities contents of the museum.
“Let me say that it is with a thought of nostalgia that I return to the Cocoa House and I must say I am very happy with what I have seen here.
”Cocoa House is one of those firsts Yoruba recorded in Nigeria. This area specifically used to be the centre of arts and Yoruba culture. But the negative side of it is that Nigeria once went into a downward spin, including Cocoa House and the University of Ibadan. The deterioration was much. Everything decayed and the famous Cocoa House could not save itself. But what we have seen so far impressed me, from the Ground Floor to the Top Floor of this building. This Cocoa House is the contemporary Oranmiyan staff for Yoruba.”
The curator of the museum, Mr. Babajide Famuyiwa, explained the reason behind the establishment of the museum: “ It is created to showcase the essence of the Yoruba people. What the Yoruba call Omoluabi. The Yoruba people have played a major part in the economic development of the country. They have helped in the development of every sphere of endeavour in the country. So in that wise, it was decided that we should look at these and bring them in focus. That informed the creation of the O’odua Museum and Hall of Fame.
“It is not only about the pre-colonial artifacts that are on display. Colonial era items that had influenced life in the past are also there. For those who may not have heard of gramophone, polaroid camera, type-writer and so on, they will find the museum useful. The museum would be a treasure trove for many young persons wishing to know more about the past.
“The Hall of Fame section is a kind of pantheon for Yoruba personalities from all walks of life. They include the late Professor Awojobi, Hubert Ogunde, Mrs. Funmilayo Ransome Kuti , Rashidi Yekini and many others.
“A tour of the hall of fame and museum has an icing. One has an opportunity for a wonderful bird-eye view of the Ibadan city. There are also strong binoculars that one could use to view any part of Ibadan.
“There are two sections to it, the museum and the hall of fame. Let us start with the museum.
In the museum, we try to showcase some Yoruba artifacts. There are certain peculiarities with the ancient civilization in the ancient time. This is reflected in the collections we have in the museum. We have musical instruments, pottery, craft in terms of traditional weaving. What we try to do is to exhibit and display some of the things that the Yoruba used in those days.
“We tried to look at the concept of Omoluabi, that is, those who have lived according to certain Yoruba societal moral values and made remarkable success in life through these. We like achievements of Yoruba sons and daughters in the area technology, politics, sports, arts and many other endeavours. This is what have done.
“At the Hall of Fame, we have people like Professor Soyinka, the late Hubert Ogunde, ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo , M.K.O. Abiola, Rashidi Yekini, the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the late Chief S.L. Akintola, the late Mrs. Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti and many others.”
He talked also about the media viewing centre: “The media viewing centre can take about 20 persons. The idea is that when people go round, they could come to see the video clips of some of these personalities on display in the hall of fame. They would hear there voice, see them in action through these video clips.
“The place is opened to everybody coming to the city of Ibadan. We encourage school children, university students, researchers and so on. It is open for now from Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm. We believe as time goes on, the management would consider adding weekends to the opening days. For now, the fee has not been officially sanctioned. It is not likely to be more than 200 naira per person. “
The O’dua Museum and Hall of Fame has succeeded in adding to the richness of the essence of the ancient city of Ibadan. Before it used to be the University of Ibadan and few other places.
MODERN AFRICAN WOMEN PREPARE FOR MARRIAGE IN ThE TRADITiONAL CALABAR FATTENING ROOM On AFRICAN REALITY TV! -FROM THE PUNCH NEWSPAPER,NIGERIAApril 20, 2013
Modern babes in fattening room
In a fresh and ambitious re-enactment of the Efik pre-marriage tradition, Fattening Room, six ladies drawn from different parts of Africa land in seclusion, writes AKEEM LASISI
At a time many people fear that the country’s many cultural practices are on the extinction plane, Fattening Room, a major bridal practice of the Efik People of Cross River, appears to have got a new lease of life. It will soon become a spectacle to be watched on the screen, through the acts of six modern ladies who have just experienced it.
The producer, EbonyLife, which has come up with some powerful reality shows in recent times, describes Fattening Room as an authentic experience set in the historically significant city of Calabar, also home to the famous Calabar Cultural Festival.
“The Fattening Room is unique to the Efik culture of Nigeria and is practised when young women enter a house of seclusion to learn everything a woman needs to know about running an honourable home, raising children that are as good as gold and managing to keep her husband happy and at home,” the company’s Director of Reality Programmes, Pamela Ofoegbu, notes.
The organisation believes that the time has come to discover the inner chambers of tradition that have always been reserved for women only, when six young ladies from across Africa enter the Fattening Room for the very first time.
She adds, “The ladies start the series in the strict Efik tradition and journey towards modern invention while always honouring their African roots. It has been an incredible journey back to time as we celebrate our rich African heritage on a beautiful trado-modern backdrop. Our ladies from Botswana, South Africa, Zambia, Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya emerged from the Fattening Room with a better appreciation of the Efik culture and tradition and also of themselves as strong African women full of value and worth.”
Just ‘escaping’ from the room are Roselyn Ashkar, a fashion model and journalist from Ghana; Sally Berold, an adventurer and freelance experiential marketing specialist from South Africa; Stephanie Unachukwu, a Nigerian designer and Patricia Kihoto, a singer, actress and radio personality from Kenya.
Others are Thsepo Maphanyanye, a publicity and public relations executive from Botswana, and Limpo Funjika, a business development manager and aspiring TV presenter from Zambia.
While the Series Producer at EbonyLife, founded by Mo Abudu, Priscilia Nzimiro, says producing the Fattening Room has been a wonderful and enlightening experience, with Content Director, Kenneth Gyang, lauding the treat as being engaging, the cast generally say the experience has been revealing.
Says Tshepo, “Participating in the fattening room has certainly been a surge of all kinds of emotions but best of all it has been without a doubt an incredible journey of discovery and a once in a lifetime opportunity of exposure to such a rich culture experienced alongside an amazing circle of young women from nations across Africa.Certainly one of my best experiences.”
For Limpo, it has provided her an opportunity to learn; and for Patricia, it has been a lot of fun although she concedes she has learnt a lot, even about herself.
Also says Stephanie, “I have had the opportunity to learn new skills in the short amount of time I’ve been here and look forward to the rest of the show and what it holds.”
Abudu congratulates all the participants and salutes the crew for the feat at producing Fattening Room. She notes, “It is a true testimony of ‘If you can think it, you can do it.’ As a team, during one of our strategy sessions about a year ago inTinapa, we wanted to develop and produce a reality show that showcased the rich culture of Calabar that is now home to EbonyLife TV and we thought what better way to do that, than the Efik tradition of The Fattening Room! And with the genius minds of the EbonyLifeTV team at work, we gave it a treatment that will simply wow everyone when it airs! We simply took an old Efik culture and gave it a modern twist. “
OUR NIGERIAN QUADS ARE FLORISHING at 1 YEARS OLD-ALL MADE IN NIGERIA ATI BORN SAFELY THERE-FROM THE NATION NEWSPAPER,NIGERIAApril 20, 2013
Posted by: Our Reporter
on April 18, 2013
Quintuplets and two health facilities dramatise a cheer for Nigeria
and four months old, born of the same parents at the same time. The uncommon story of the Shofunlayo quintuplets –Eyitayo, Eyitope, Eyitomini, Eyimofe and Eyidayo- is the stuff of news, and they are likely to stay in the spotlight because of the circumstances of their birth. Against all odds, they survived at birth in 2011, which has earned them the titillating tag, “Five Alive.”
The two boys and three girls made history as the first quintuplets born at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Lagos, although they were conceived through Assisted Reproduction at Nordica Fertility Centre, Lagos, which recently celebrated its 10th anniversary. It is fascinating that the fifth in the line was not expected as their mother’s last scan had shown she was, in her own words, “carrying four babies.” Equally remarkable is the fact that during the Caesarian Section (CS) on her, it took the expertise of the medical team headed by Prof. Godwin Ajayi to locate and bring out the unexpected baby.
“We can do a lot of things in Nigeria, if we believe,” said the kids’ father, Wale Shofunlayo, a lawyer, who had been reportedly advised to fly his wife to India for safe delivery. His faith in Nigerian doctors eventually paid off, and he deserves kudos for his patriotic spirit. This impressive belief in the country’s health care system, despite its often publicised shortcomings, it should be observed, happened in the context of a 17-year wait for a child. It can only be imagined what level of courage and confidence made him to defy the alleged risks connected with having the children in the country. He was, after all, to go by reports, perhaps in a position to afford overseas medical attention for his wife. “For about seven months, my wife was admitted at LUTH for bed rest and I was able to pay,” he said. Also, it is a matter for conjecture the financial cost he had to bear by using the Nordica Fertility Centre, which is a private medical facility.
nship. He said: “I will say kudos to the doctors and nurses for their efforts and consistency. They have really shown that Nigeria is not lagging behind in the preservation of human lives. I am satisfied with the services rendered before and after delivery. “
Shofunlayo’s good words didn’t end there. According to him, “The only thing the doctors did was to get their hand gloves and get going. None of them requested for any gratification. This is my first experience in a public hospital and it is the best place for anybody to come for treatment.”
His testimony is certainly heart-warming; it calls for greater belief in the country’s health care system, and, indeed, greater faith in the country. It is interesting that the quintuplets were conceived through in vitro fertilisation (IVF) at a local fertility centre and born in a local hospital. It shows, without doubt, that the country is not lacking either in equipment or expertise in this area. This is a picture of possibilities that should be inspiring across various sectors.
0th anniversary just a few days after the passage of Robert Edwards, the co-founder of the 35-year-old IVF technique and British Nobel laureate who died on April 10 at age 87