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YORUBA RONU ! -THIS white girl is FIGHTING TO SAVE YORUBA LANGUAGE/CULTURE-WHAT ARE YOU OMO YORUBA DOING TO SAVE IT? -she also IS SMART ENOUGH to KNOW That ORISA ARE NOT gods but Messengers from GOD JUST LIKE Jesu ati Muhammad!

April 28, 2013

FROM thenationonline.com
Nigeria is a better place than its image outside

Posted by: GBENGA ADERANTI

on April 27, 2013

in Saturday Magazine

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Dr. Paula Gomes is the only white face in the palace of the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi 111. Fast-pacing, quick-talking Gomes first visited Oyo 20 years ago; and ever since, she has been going and coming to the ancient town. Recently, the Alaafin of Oyo noticed her interest in the culture of Yoruba people and the monarch honoured her by making her his Cultural Ambassador. In this interview with GBENGA ADERANTI, this Portuguese shares her experience in Oyo in the last 20 years and why she has embarked on a crusade to preserve Yoruba culture. Excerpts:

 

What do you really do for Alaafin?

I’m the Culture Ambassador for Alaafin.

How did you meet Alaafin?

My first contact with Alaafin actually was the beginning of last year, but I have been in Oyo already for a while, coming and going.

What were you doing in Oyo before now?

I came to Oyo because of the culture. I used to come to Nigeria while I was a student of History about 20 years ago. I know Yoruba land though I cannot say very well but quite well; 20 years ago was the first time I came to Oyo and I thought there was no more culture in Oyo. When you talk about culture, culture is in everything, food, literature, the way you dress. All this time while I was a student, I always shuttled between Osogbo and Oyo. With time and mixing together with people, I saw that a lot of cultures came from the ancient town of Oyo Ile. That is why I actually came to Oyo to make more research on it.

Does that mean you are leaving Oyo after the completion of your research?

No, I’m not going to leave, I’m just telling you that while I was a student, I used to come to do research and after that I came to Oyo not on my private interest to know more but because Oyo had nothing to offer more about their own culture. If you go back to the history, you will know that Oyo Empire dominated all the kingdoms in Yorubaland and you as well know that it was when Alaafin Sango was a very strong king ruling, actually during the 7th or 8th century, that the influence of Oyo Empire in Yorubaland was massive. And much of the culture in our day not only in Yorubaland but also in the Diaspora, everything was connected to Sango. That was why I came here to know more about him and like I said, I have been around for four years. There is a lot here to be preserved because that is the history of a ethnic group that has survived outside and is really appreciated.

In Europe nowadays, we are looking for the ancient culture that has something to give to the humanity because what we are expecting from life is to live long and to live long with quality, you can have a good car, you can have lots of money but if your body is not in the equilibrium, if you die young, what is the essence of life? Life is long life with quality and quality means first of all, your body has to be strong, has to be healthy and the philosophy and the knowledge of the Yoruba is like the philosophy and culture from India and China.

Acupuncture from India is based on lots of ancient culture, they are very similar to Yoruba culture. What we are looking for is that deep knowledge of Yoruba which they have about the nature, that you can find the equilibrium between the body and the spirit, because Yoruba believe that there is one God who is called Olodumare. Then this Creator has created, and when He created the earth, He sent the energies to the earth which are divided into four elements and these are known all over the world: water, you cannot live without water; air, you cannot live without air, that is oxygen; fire and earth.

These are the four elements that the Yoruba people believe and if you go to other ancient cultures, all of them are the same. They are all talking the same language. So the Yoruba people like to personify those energies like other ancient cultures and they believe that if the body, which is the aye; the material life which is also aye and the spiritual life, which is orisa. Orisa is not God; orisa is what you cannot see, it is invisible. You have the visible world which is aye and the invisible world which is orisa, people used to think that orisa is another God, it is not. It is not the correct translation because when you say orisa sango, orisa osun, all the 401 orisa are the invisible power of the nature. They are everywhere in the world. You cannot live without water, you cannot live without air, so people should be very careful when they translate.

We don’t say Olodumare Sango, Olodumare Osun . When you have the equilibrium of the invisible world, aye and not visible world, orisa, you have what you need to live, you have ase, you have power; it is very simple. These people have philosophy, these people have a very strong knowledge which is given through Ifa. It is an oral history coming from very ancient times like all the other ancient cultures, and these need to be preserved. That is why I’m here, to try in my own capacity to show the Yoruba people that they are very valuable.

How vast are you in Yoruba language?

Mo ti gbo die die, sugbon Yoruba ko rorun (I understand smattering Yoruba, but it is not easy).

How old are you now?

Normally you should not ask a lady how old she is.

You should be…..

(Cuts in) I will not tell you.

What about your family?

I have my family, like I said, I go and come back but I have been here for two years without going home.

I’m talking about your husband and children?

Well, I will not like to go to my private life; you know that is very private. I will just like to talk generally; I will not like to say anything about my private life.

Some people spell your name Gomez why is yours Gomes?

My name is a Portuguese name, it ends with an ‘s’ it is Portuguese but if it is ‘z’, it is Spanish.

Have you read anything about Suzanne Wenger?

Yes, I know her very well. Like I said, I’ve been coming for 20 years, I used to be in Osogbo, so I knew Suzan Wenger very well. Actually I can say that she was and she is an inspiration for me because she really tried for Osogbo and Osun State, especially Osogbo. Today, what is there, people should be very grateful because if not for her who fought for it, it would have gone long time ago. She really preserved what people who said were the bush, the history of Osun Osogbo. Every people has its own history. People are crazy to travel abroad to go and see our culture, let me tell you, you have to appreciate your culture as well because we preserve our culture, so you have to preserve your culture as well. That is what I’m trying to do. I know Suzanne very well.

Don’t you sometimes feel you are going Suzanne Wenger’s line?

Look, I’m not Suzanne, I don’t want to follow Suzanne’s line, I want to follow my inside. I want to follow what my inside says. Suzanne did what her inside said; me, I’m doing what my inside tells me. So I can never be Suzanne because each individual is unique and special, so I don’t want to imitate Suzanne and I don’t want to be Suzanne. Do you understand me? Suzanne is Suzanne. She was a great person that I have in my heart; I only follow what my inside tells me, so I can never be Suzanne because if I try to be Suzanne, I’m not myself. I’m just doing what I feel is correct to do. I’m not an artist, Suzanne was an artist so I can never try to be an artist but I have passion for this culture because I believe it can give a lot to humanity; the way India people and Chinese people are, they are already giving to the humanity.

I believe that Yoruba people can give as well but for that to happen, Yoruba must be proud of themselves and they are not, they are losing their own identity, the Indian people are not like that, they preserve their culture and they are proud of it. Chinese people, they are proud of their culture. They teach their own children to continue and today, if you go to Europe, if you’re a VIP, instead of you to go to hospital, you go for alternative medicine. Because we got to a point that we realised that all the chemical medicine you take will cure one part and destroy the other part.

Actually what you want in life is to live long, it is through the natural thing that your body can stay longer, do you understand? People want to go to Europe, people want to go to America, what kind of life do we live? A lot of people are dying too young through heart attack; the life we live is to go to work and come back home. You know we are an old continent but now we are turning the thing around. We want to go back to what we don’t have anymore; we want to eat bio-ecological, we are tired of plastic food because of cancer.

If you put a Yoruba child who has nothing inside one compound and you put a white child, which one is stronger? Why do you think Europeans live longer? It is because we have access to medicine for free because the society is organised, but if we don’t have access to medicine and the hospital to maintain us alive, we cannot live the way you people live because you are too close to nature.

I know you are not in the Niger Delta area, but foreigners are constantly being warned to be wary of Nigeria, do you sometimes get scared that you could be kidnapped too?

Look, let me talk about myself, I do go to Delta State, I’m not afraid to go. I think that the image which is given to the outside world about Nigeria is different from actually what is happening in Nigeria. I’m not saying that it is not dangerous but Nigerian people are very nice. I think the government should rebrand. For example, when you think about Brazil, you think about football and carnival, but there are people who are still eating from the garbage. There are people when you go outside they will steal your things.

But when you talk about Brazil, people think about football and carnival, people don’t talk about those who eat in the garbage or people robbing people. I’m in Oyo, nobody robs me, I travel, I don’t have any trouble with anybody. But when you talk about Nigeria, you think about 419; they tell you it is a bad place, why don’t you rebrand it? Nigeria has many things to offer the people outside. People love your culture, people really appreciate your culture but they are afraid because of the image that have been created. If government rebrands the country, I believe that bit by bit, people will start coming because of culture. So there is need to rebrand.

People go to America; me I don’t have anything to do in America. I studied in America, I went back to Europe because if you go to America, you have to be careful, if you are not careful, somebody may follow his gang and they will shoot you. You train your children to shoot because they can just come and kill you. Do you understand? Everything has to have an equilibrium, Nigeria needs to be rebranded because it has a lot to give to people. I cannot talk about Hausa and Ibo, I can only talk about Yoruba, that is what I know. Yoruba people are beautiful, the culture is beautiful, people are friendly and they should not lose their identity because if they lose their identity, they will never find it. They can never be white, I cannot be black. I have to accept who I’m and people should be free and be proud of what they have.

The introduction of foreign religion has eroded the belief system of the Yoruba people, what do you think will happen in the nearest future?

I don’t like to talk about religion because for me it is a private thing, religion is like politics, you are a Christian or Muslim, you are ACN or PDP or whatever. Religion is something that is private, but you know if you go back to the history, it was always a problem with religion, religion tries always to dominate and control and when you talk about Africa, especially West Africa, it has suffered a lot, through the slavery, families were destroyed, alot of blood in the name of money was shed. Religion for me, I respect everybody, I don’t look at people from their religion, I respect people because everybody is special and everybody is a creation of God. So, that is why I don’t want to go deep into religion.

Religion is a personal belief it is not only going to be today, it is yesterday and going to be tomorrow and the process that is going on now in Nigeria was in Europe before. Life is a mystery and because it is a mystery, people try to control people through religion. Me, I don’t believe in anything, I believe in what I feel because I’m a creation of God but I respect everybody and every belief, if you tell me now that this is what you believe, this chair, I will respect you.

You were talking about your support for nature and local herbs (agbo), Yoruba herbs are from nature, do you drink agbo?

Yes of course, it is not only Yoruba, we Europeans we use herbs, we have different herbs, different teas. Why do you eat efo (vegetables), why do you eat all these vegetables? Why? Because you need vitamins and minerals, so the herbs are here to help us but the new sicknesses that are in the world, they are killing people. They are sicknesses that you can cure or maintain but you destroy other parts of your body. This is not a belief, this is science, that is natural science not a belief, a belief is something you cannot prove, but 1+1=2, that is science. Yoruba herbs are science; they are natural science, not a belief. If you are feeling something, you take the herbs, like a natural tea, if you feel better, your body has eliminated what is not good.

It is not only the Yoruba people that use herbs, if you go to my country, we have alternative medicine which we are preserving, we use alternative medicine. We are no more going to doctors and Yoruba have big knowledge in this science and they are putting it as a belief because culture is part of everything, what you eat is part of your culture.

At times I wonder why people like you will leave your comfort zone for a place like this where you have to struggle to get things done. What was on your mind when you were coming here?

It depends on what you call comfort. What is comfort for you?

Light, good roads etc.

In life, we cannot have everything, if you have light 24 hours, if you have good roads, we have everything, we stay in AC office, and you leave for AC cars. Lots of people are getting sick because AC is provoking problems in the lungs. A lot of people in Europe are now putting the AC off and now open their windows. I do say we’ve given the experience to them and we want to go back to olden days. In the office we have the AC, we have the car, we don’t have to walk too much. We take the car, we go to the supermarket. We have everything we need from the supermarket, we go home, we have the TV, we get the quality of life. We human beings are meant to live up to 120 years, but at times we don’t live more than 50 and 60 because we need comfort of life, we have no exercise and we eat junk food. Lots of children are born already with diabetes and cancer because they want comfort of life.

In life, there are positive and negative sides. The individual is responsible for his own life . So we have to look the other way. Most people in our own generation in Europe, we want freedom, they want to live long. We are tired of all this imposing life style, we want freedom, we want relief, we want long life. Most people in Europe are isolated, they live alone, is it not better to live in community? We should live together. Are we meant to live alone inside houses?

A lot of people in Europe have problem with depression, they have neurotic problem because of the life they live. They are not living the life creature gave us. We are living a plastic life, we are staying alone isolating ourselves, in front of television 24 hours. No exercise, is that a good life? Can our bodies live long? It is not possible. Good life is fresh air, to breathe, to exercise. Good life depends on the concept of each individual. I love privacy, but I want to live long.

The last time I saw you, you were not wearing Yoruba attire, today, you are not still wearing Yoruba attire, why?

You know I have to be what I’m, I can never be a Yoruba. I don’t mind, sometimes I dress in batik an indigo or adire. I’m not Yoruba, the same way you are not from my culture. I have to be who I’m and I have to dress the way I feel comfortable. That is why I’m not putting on Yoruba dressing. You people are putting on Yoruba dress because it is beautiful in you, when you put on Yoruba dress, you look elegant. I used to say that and I’m not the only person, that you people have natural beauty; even if you don’t have anything when you dress, even if you go to the market, even if you go to clean something, the way your people dress, you look elegant and it looks magical. So I have to dress the way I feel comfortable with.

Do you sometimes feel home sick?

To tell you the truth, no, I don’t feel home sick. Nobody sent me here, I’m here because I want. I feel good, I feel healthy, I feel strong and I feel I’m doing what I like. I’m not the kind of person that wants to stay in the office; I don’t want to live that kind of life people call comfort, I don’t .

Do you know anything about Ifa (Oracle)?

I know what I can feel, what I can see; I can never know it well as the native people. Number one, language; for you to really know it very well, you have to start from small because it is a knowledge which is given orally, it is not a written knowledge. And there is something that is very powerful, people from generation to generation transfer this knowledge orally. See how powerful, look, we have to write them. We have to go back to religion which I don’t want to talk about, Christians and Muslims carry the Bible and Koran respectively, and do you see Yoruba carrying anything? Their brain is powerful, you know the level of capacity assimilation you are exercising with your brain but we if we don’t write it down, we forget. The question is why are you destroying all these?

How have you been coping with the food?

I don’t have any problem. I eat everything. But I don’t like snake or this kind of frog, I don’t know what they call it, I don’t like it and I don’t like bush meat but I like okete (bush rat) if it is well cooked but all the remaining, I eat everything, eba, amala, fufu, semo. I don’t like so much, but I eat eko (corn paste), moimoi , ekuru (beans paste), ewa (beans).

What do you really do for Alaafin?

I’m trying to preserve the Yoruba culture and trying to reeducate the people that they are very important, they are very valuable, that they have a lot of value and they should preserve the culture. I’m trying to promote what is ancient, what is history because without history, how can you tell your children that you are Yoruba? People without history don’t have direction. I’m trying to promote what is in existence because if Yoruba don’t want it, the international people will appreciate it. There is no problem because tomorrow, we are ready to teach your children Yoruba and we are ready to teach your children about your own culture.

How did you meet Alaafin?

As I said, I had been in Oyo already and I asked Bashorun (one of the Oyo high chiefs) to bring me to Alaafin because I wanted to meet him. For me, everybody is important, I’m not saying this king is important, this king is not important but relating to history, he (Alaafin) is the strongest king in Yorubaland. I wanted to see him and tell him that he has to preserve his culture and if he fails to preserve his culture, tomorrow, nothing will be there to show to the world. So these were the reasons I wanted to see him.

How much of support have you gotten on your crusade so far?

What kind of support?

Financial support

Nobody is helping me financially. I’m doing it by myself and now I have a foundation people can support because there is need to preserve the temple, preserve the palace. These monuments, these are culture heritage, there is need for preservation. Why do you want to go to England to see the queen and the palace? For what? Because it is history. So that is why people want to come to Nigeria and see the history of Alaafin, the history of Yoruba. This palace is the biggest and oldest palace in Yoruba land, it is falling apart. I’m trying to raise fund to repair this palace in its old originality so that Oyo children tomorrow will come and ‘say that my grandfather, my ancestors were living like this’ because I can take you to my country and tell you that my ancestors are like this.

Quite funny, why is it that it is foreigners or Yoruba people abroad that are interested in this project like this?

Go back to the history, we white people have colonised and have destroyed your culture. We brought our culture, we forced people to change inside and outside. You have lost your identity, you want to be what we are. That is why now people from outside come to support what still exists for you to appreciate.

If you go to the slavery time, look, all the slaves that went to America, if they did not practise Christianity, they would be killed. What is happening again? I believe what is happening today is that everything that our people destroyed, let’s rebuild it again, we should not be ashamed. The Europeans go to Kenya to see African culture, Africa is beautiful, African people are beautiful, why not Nigeria?

Yeye Afin Monilola TENABE TELLS US to SPEAK YORUBA to oUr CHiLDREN ATI She lives 30.YEARS. NOW in AMERIKKKA! -WHAT ARE YOU IN Yorubaland SPEAKING to Your CHILDREN! EEWO!

April 18, 2013


Thursday 18 April, 2013

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Cultural lessons from North America

2013-04-17 01:18:33

Monilola Tenabe has lived in the US for about 30 years. But her manner of speaking shows that Yoruba culture still flows in her blood. She has, understandably, gained a distinct measure of American accent and does not need to stammer between English words whenever she is speaking.

Listening to her as she speaks Yoruba, however, you would think you are listening to a woman who has lived in a ‘traditional’ town like Ibadan, Osogbo or Abeokuta. She cannot speak the language for two minutes without throwing a strong proverb into it.

She was at such her cultural best on Thursday when she spoke in Lagos on the mission of her and some other members of the National Association of Yoruba Descendants in North America. Established some 22 years ago, the group otherwise called Egbe Omo Yoruba is the umbrella body of all Yoruba groups in the Diaspora.

According to Tenabe, they are in Nigeria to explore ways in which they can contribute to the development of the South West.

“We are on this trip to see what we can do with government and other stakeholders to move the Yoruba nation forward,” she says. “We want to continue the progressive ideas championed by the sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo. We have carried on with the legacy he left and we want to do all we can to move the Yoruba nation forward.”

Also on the trip are Dr. Ayo Famuyide and Mrs. Modupe Adeyanju. They have been visiting governments of the states in the region, with Tenabe, a university administrator, saying they are offering themselves for service in whatever areas they are called to intervene. But part of their crusade is also that whenever government is asking for foreign investment, it should not focus on foreigners alone.

Says Famuyide, who is the group’s public affairs secretary, “We have enough talent to turn this country around if government will give us the same concessions it gives foreign investors.”

On how Tenabe and her colleagues have been preserving their Yoruba legacies abroad, she notes that they regularly organise programmes where they discuss home and design projects that keep them in tune. During holidays and the association’s conventions, they organise Yoruba lessons for their children, while they invite experts to lecture people on the region’s heritage. Adeyanju, a teacher, is often in charge of grooming the kids culturally.

“I also speak Yoruba to my children,” Tenabe adds. “We must take our culture seriously. And this is one of the messages we have brought home.”

WAR AGAINST USE OF white WORD “MAMA”-REPLACING AFRICAN WORDS that Mean MOTHER-LIKE “IYA” in YORUBA !-SEND US YOUR AFRICAN WORD for MOTHER SO WE CAN PUT IT ON THIS LIST!

March 11, 2013

ROM afrikannames.comAFRICAN WORDS FOR MOTHER”A mother cannot die.” -Democratic Republic of the CONGOEnjoy this list of African names.AKA (AH-kah). Mother. Nigeria (Eleme) FEKA (EH-kah). Mother earth. West Africa FINE -(EE-neh). Mother. Nigeria (Ishan) FIYA – YORUBA- MOTHERJIBOO (jee-boh). New mother. Gambia (Mandinka) FMAMAWA (MAHM-wah). Small mother. Liberia FMANYI (mahn-yee). The mother of twins. Cameroon (Mungaka) FMASALA (mah-SAH-lah). The great mother. Sudan FNAHWALLA (nah-WAHL-lah). The mother of the family. Cameroon (Mubako) FNANA (NAH-nah). Mother of the earth. Ghana FNANJAMBA (nahn-JAHM-bah). Mother of twins. Angola (Ovimbundu)NINA (NEE-nah). Mother. East Africa (Kiswahili) FNNENMA (n-NEHN-mah). Mother of beauty. Nigeria (Igbo) FNNEORA (n-neh-OH-rah). Mother loved by all. Nigeria (Igbo) FNOBANTU (noh-BAHN-too). Mother of nations. Azania (Xhosa) FNOBUNTU (noh-BOON-too). Mother of humanity. Azania (Xhosa) FNOLUNDI (noh-LOON-dee). Mother of horizons. Azania (Xhosa) FNOMALI (NOH-MAH-lee). Mother of riches. Azania (Xhosa) FNOMANDE noh-MOHN-deh). Mother of patience. Azania (Xhosa) FNOMPI (nohm-PEE). Mother of war. Azania (Xhosa) FNOMSA (NOHM-sah). Mother of kindness. Azania (Xhosa) FNONDYEBO (non-dyeh-boh). Mother of plenty. Azania (Xhosa) FNOZIZWE (noh-ZEEZ-weh). Mother of nations. Azania (Nguni)NOZUKO (noh-ZOO-koh). Mother of glory. Azania (Xhosa) FUMAYMA (o-MAH-ee-mah). Little mother. North Africa (Arabic) FUMI (OO-mee). My mother. Kiswahili FUMM (oom). Mother. North Africa (Arabic) FYENYO (yehn-yoh). Mother is rejoicing. Nigeria (Yoruba) FYEYO (yeh-YOH). Mother. Tanzania FYETUNDE (yeh-TOON-deh). The mother comes back. Nigeria (Yoruba) FYINGI (YEEN-gee). My beloved mother. NigeriaSent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN”Mama”(and Papa) were introduced into Yoruba language early by Yorubas who wanted to show they were educated, according Ojogbon Akinwunmi Isola.. So long ago that many think it is a Yoruba word! Now it has replaced -IYA almost completely! SO we must start using IYA instead and correct those who use it because word by word Yoruba is being replaced by english words killing the Yoruba Language! So do your part from today! We can and will SAVE Yoruba! Olodumare ase!
All Nigerian/­AFRICAN Languages must learn from the mistake of educated Yorubas! DO NOT mix your Language! Reclaim your word for mother first for it is the most important word in any language!
“MAMA” must be replaced with the African word in your Language?

Alaroye Newspaper IS SAVING YORUBA LANGUAGE From DESTRUCTION!-ALAO ADEDAYO FOUNDER TELLS HOW HE FINALLY SUCCEEDED IN PRODUCING A FLORISHING YORUBA NEWSPAPER ! –YORUBA IS DYING! —WHAT CAN YOU DO TO SAVE IT??-FROM VANGUARD NEWSPAPER((NIGERIA)

December 25, 2011

Mrs.Yeye Akilimali Funua Olade Alao Adedayo-Founder/savior of Yoruba Language thru his GREAT newspaper Alaroye! Do Your own part and BUY it every week, get your children to read it- FIGHT TO SAVE Yoruba Language. FROM DYING!

I stumbled four times to make Alaroye a success story – Alao Adedayo

July 8, 2011

Musa Alao Adedayo, a.k.a Agbedegbeyo, is the Publisher/Chief Executive Officer, World Information Agents Limited, the publishing company of the popular Yoruba newspaper, ALAROYE. He spoke to BASHIR ADEFAKA about himself and how he stumbled four times to get it right with the vernacular paper that has today become a success story in the newspaper industry in Nigeria. Excerpt

How did you start out in life?

I am a Muslim but I am not a biased person because God Himself never loved a biased person.  But those who know me from the beginning used to call me Alao Agbedegbeyo.  When I talk of people who know me from the beginning, they are people from the  70s, early 80s and so on.

I came from Abeokuta to Lagos in 1980 doing Ewi (lyrics) artist.  In those days as an Ewi person, you must be attached to a particular musician and I was with Dele Abiodun, who was like my master.  Ewi was like side-attraction at a show and it would come on stage while the musician and his band members were taking a rest.

I had also participated in some dramas through the likes of Jide Kosoko, Ishola Ogunsola, (Dr. I. Show Pepper) and Adebayo Salami (Oga Bello).  It was because of the Ewi that I used to present in those days that Jide Kosoko would always come to Dele Abiodun’s shows.  He would say to me, “Alao, we are having an outing somewhere and I want you to perform your Ewi there,” and I would say no problem.

How did Ewi correlated with the broadcaster that you were?

By and large as God would have it, through that channel, as I have mentioned before, I became a broadcaster.  Sometime in 1979, Radio Lagos started a programme called, Kebuyeri, which was mainly for the Awada Kerikeri group that was then run by Adebayo Salami popularly called Oga Bello.  We went to a show at Ebute Metta and Adebayo Salami and his group members had also come to that show.

It was there he saw me and said, “Ah, Alao! Radio Lagos has just given us a programme and we want you to be in it” and I said no problem.  We didn’t even discuss money because what was more important to us at that time was the job.  That was how we started the programme and it became overwhelmingly popular turning me into a celebrity.

Behind that programme, a plan was going on by the management of Radio Lagos and the producer of the programme, Adebayo Tijani, communicated to me that management was talking about me and that was how I became a newscaster with Radio Lagos reading Yoruba news at that time.

I left Radio Lagos in 1981, which was a real year of politicking in the country.  Then, Radio Nigeria Ikeja which was established within that time was located in Ikoyi and in fact when we were there, we were always abusing and calling them, “Agberekusu f’ohun Ikeja” that is, people who were on the Island claiming to be speaking from Ikeja (laughs).  I eventually found myself at the Radio Nigeria Ikeja and later NTA but I did not stay long before I left.

When you left service, where did you go?

When we joined broadcasting, most of us did not get the job because of our educational qualifications and so, when I left the NTA, it was an opportunity for me to now go and improve myself, which then took me to the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ) and then the universities for my first and later second degrees.

How did Alaroye come into the show?

It was in May 1985 when I was 25 and while I was still working as a Yoruba newsreader with the NTA that I decided to try my hands in publishing, which brought about the Alaroye.  Between May and October of 1985, I was only able to publish four editions of the tabloid that was meant to be weekly.  I was doing it alone because I had no such money to hire people.   It thus became a staggered publication because it was a one-man’s idea and as a result, no prospective partner was willing to support or invest in the business.  It was also like that because Yoruba newspaper business at that time was seen as a barren land.  So, naturally, it died.

Further effort was made at resuscitating the paper in 1990 but it couldn’t get to the vendors,  though it was being published. It was to be launched that year so that some funds could be raised. On the day of the launching, a prominent member of the community who was a friend of both the chief launcher and chairman, Lai Balogun, died. So it was a wrong day for the Alaroye’s show as the whole community was thrown into mourning and no one remembered the launch.

In 1994 when I made the third attempt at the publication, I was convinced that Alaroye would one day emerge a success story because, for four weeks, I was able to publish the weekly paper consecutively and throughtout the period,  it was well circulated and generally accepted.

And because I had acquired more knowledge about all it required to make a successful print media, Alaroye was able to stand and  able to meet the standard of a newspaper. Yet, it couldn’t go far because I could not raise the required fund to keep it going.  And for two years, it remained like that until July 2, 1996, when we were able to revisit it and tried our best to make it what it is today.  That was the fourth attempt and it has now come to stay.

I thank God that today, Alaroye is seen not as a happenstance, but a planned revolution in the newspaper industry in Nigeria.  And it is so because, no Yoruba newspaper has been so successful because most of the earlier issues, people have said, were translataion of English newspapers or repetition of news items already carried on radio and television.

Alaroye is original for its thorough analysis, research works and investigative journalism that many have appreciated as having put the newspaper on a very high pedestal. It informs, educates, entertains and analyses events as they unfold through the Yoruba culture. For this, it circulates in Nigeria, wherever Yoruba domicile, with the print run sometimes as high as 150,000 copies per week.  I have the reason to really thank God today because, in Nigeria, particularly among the Yorubas, Alaroye is a language. It is the culture.

The Conference of Yoruba Leaders showcased by your newspaper, which debuted in 2002, hasn’t seemed to produce any result considering the fact that Yorubas are still intolerably disunited.  What is the problem?

The problem we have in Yorubaland is the way we play our own politics.  What Alaroye is trying to do is to serve as a bridge to bring all the leaders together.  There is need for a connecting point, which will connect all Yoruba people with one another.  We have very, very intelligent, well exposed and highly patriotic sons and daughters of Yorubaland.  We cannot run away from the fact that we are Yorubas; we had been Yoruba people before Nigeria and we will remain Yoruba people within Nigeria.

Yes, political party differences are there but we should be able to know that there is difference between politics and governance.  So, during election, you can abuse and criticize yourselves but once election is over, issue of governance becomes the central point while politicking is set aside for another election season.  And if you are the governor, you should see yourself as the father of all, as the head of government and people should see the governor beyond his party but as the leader that all of us should relate well with as one of our own.

In the year 2002, I went to Papa Abraham Adesanya and I said to him, “E ma bawon se oselu.  Ema bawon da si oro oselu.  Asiwaju Yoruba ni ki’e je” (That Papa should not be part of politics other Yorubas played but that he should be okay with himself as Leader of the Yoruba Nation).

He asked me why.  We talked a lot about it and he agreed with me.  Not only that I went to discuss it with him, we made it a critical editorial issue, which some of the Afenifere members then responded to.


[

YORUBA!-SAVE YORUBA LANGUAGE BY USING IT EVERYWHERE YOU CAN,WRITING IT,READING IT,SPEAKING IT TO YOUR CHILDREN ONLY AT HOME,AND HAVING “BEST YORUBA SPEAKING CONTESTS” AT EVERY EVENT YOU CAN(IGBEYAWO,IPADE ATI GBOGBE!)-FEMI OSOFISAN HAS TRANSLATED THIS PLAY INTO YORUBA FOR GOMINA FASOLA, TUNDE KELANI ATI GBOGBO WON OMO YORUBA!

October 19, 2010

FROM thenationonlineng.net

Old play, new language
Edozie Udeze 17/10/2010 00:00:00

Who is Afraid of Solarin? a play by Professor Femi Osofisan, has always been a symbolic one. It is so because it is a comic treatise on what makes Nigeria and Nigerians unique. In the play, Osofisan uses plenty of comic scenes and statements to portray the story of a society where things work upside down. The name Solarin is used symbolically because of his role in trying to give a better direction to Nigerians and to the Nigerian state. The play chronicles Nigeria’s many socio-political problems in such a way that the audience are made to feel the impact while the play is on stage. You can’t help but laugh and hiss and then wonder the sort of society Nigeria is and why the people are what they are.

This was why it was selected as the independence play this year by the trio of Mufu Onifade, Tunde Kelani and the Lagos State government. However, the play which was translated into the Yoruba language by Dotun Ogundeji as Yeepa! Solaarin Nbo!!, is meant to send home the message to the larger Yoruba theatre audience.

In this new experiment, the message is supposed to sink deeper, so that people who love to see the lighter side of Nigerian myriad of problems dramatized on stage, would have a better view of it. The few days the play was on stage in Lagos last week proved that a lot of people were really eager to laugh away the problems of the society. Not only that the artistes led by Ropo Ewenla were on top of their game on stage, the large turnout of theatre lovers showed that the choice of the play was apt and appropriate.

To make the play appeal more to the audience, the producers introduced an opening glee. This marriage of convenience between opening glee and full-length drama presentation was Mainframe and National Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners (NANTAP) Lagos chapter’s synergetic way of joining the Lagos State government in celebrating the 50th independence anniversary of Nigeria. This way, there was no moment of boredom. The artistes were able to appeal to the audience to wake up to the realities of the moment; to make Nigeria great.

Is this Nigeria of our dreams in 1960? That seemed to be the question raised on stage by the actors. Ewenla, the lead character was able to convince the audience that we need to do more; we need to work harder and be more honest to make Nigeria a better place for all and sundry.
Yeepa! Is an exclamation that something hilarious or ominous is about to happen and that people should sit up to welcome it. This situation calls for an acclaim, calling the Nigerian people that there are more than meet the eye. Solarin was an enigma of some sort when he was alive. Although the name is hyperbolic in a way, it goes to portray a visionary leader who saw long before now what the Nigerian society portended. Now the play in his name says it all.

Anywhere this play goes on stage, the euphoric appeal it gives leaves much to be desired. The Yoruba version of it also did much more; the message seeped deeper into the fabric of the audience whose laughter and hisses tore deep into the night. And so, it is kudos to Onifade for his sense of humour and wisdom. The play truly helped to embellish the mood of the moment and bring Nigerians back to that moment of reflection.

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Your name: Your e-mail address: Your website: Add your comments: YORUBA LANGUAGE IS DYING ALONG WITH OTHER NIGERIAN/AFRICAN LANGUAGES SO WE MUST DO AS MUCH OF THIS AS POSSIBLE-USE THE MOTHER TONGUE FOR ALL PLAYS,EVENTS,PUBLICATIONS THAT YOU CAN AND SAVE AFRICAN LANGUAGES! TAKE CARE OF YOUR MOTHER TONGUE LIKE OTHER SELF-RESPECTING PEOPLE IN THE WORLD DO-IT IS YOUR FIRST LANGUAGE, NOT YOUR SECOND AND GOD GAVE IT TO YOU SO CHERISH IT,SPEAK IT ONLY IN YOUR HOME TO YOUR CHILDREN AND LET OUR MOTHER TONGUE LIVE!

“THE DEATH OF YORUBA LANGUAGE?-YORUBA IS DYING-YORUBAS ARE BUSY MIXING/DESTROYING THE LANGUAGE WITH ENGLISH-AT YORUBA WEDDING CEREMONIES,CHURCHES,PRIVATE SCHOOLS ETC.-STOP KILLING YORUBA LANGUAGE:YORUBA RUNU!

July 3, 2010

FROM speakyoruba.blogspot.com

LEARN YORUBA LANGUAGE-THE MOST BEAUTIFUL LANGUAGE!

Saturday, July 3, 2010
“THE DEATH OF YORUBA LANGUAGE?”-BY YEYE AKILIMALI FUNUA OLADE(ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GUARDIAN NEWSPAPER,2005
((originally first published in the guardian newspaper)

She is the Chief librarian of the African Heritage Research Library,and in this article, makes a case for Yoruba language

THAT English, the ready-made weapon of British-American cultural imperialism, is not just trying to destroy African languages, but is attacking all other languages worldwide, I agree. Ojoogbon Akinwunmi Isola, related to me during a discussion with Ojoogbon Babatunde Fafunwa, the problem the French are having with English. He stated that the French government had recently warned all French broadcasters to stop polluting French with English, as is now popular in general French conversation, or face dismissal.

The greatest tragedy in Yorubaland today, however, regarding language is the dominating trend to speak only English to their children, making it their first language, then sending them to private nursery school, who only teach in English and causing Yoruba children to value English above all other languages! (After all their WAEC will not be in Yoruba, one highly*educated Yoruba man told me!) And see the result! These English-speaking children will rudely use English to disrespect all and sundry (after all English does not have pronouns of respect for anybody). Ask them or some of their parents and they will tell you they don’t know the original Yoruba for the popular phrases that many literate and non-literate leaders and followers commonly use throughout Yorubaland.

As a Black-American, who has come back to her Yoruba roots these past 26 years in Nigeria, I want to break down in tears over this “iyonu”! How can Yorubas kill their own language? What sort of curse is this? Obviously the curse of european-american imperialism/colonialism/slavery! As a result I have declared “War Against Destroying Our Nigerian Languages” from today. And it must start from Yorubaland. Are not the Yorubas the “wisest and the greatest”? As everything good seems to start from Yorubaland in Nigeria, “let it be so”. Full-blooded Yoruba, as of today should consciously seek not to mix English with their Yoruba. Yoruba leaders must slowly speak, watching their tongues, not to include any English word inside their Yoruba.

It has gotten to a state where such leaders cannot avoid mixing English as they speak Yoruba and their every sentence includes whole English phrases! The late Yoruba leader, Oloye Bola Ige was a pure Yoruba language speaker and other Yoruba leaders should follow his example. All clubs and organisations in Yorubaland should hold bi-annual and annual Yoruba Speaking Competitions for the “Best Yoruba Speaker”, with heavy monetary prizes (N20,000 plus) to get Yorubas to consciously practice speaking Yoruba without any English mixture. Yoruba broadcasters are guilty of promoting this deadly trend. In schools, Yoruba teachers must stress the importance of not mixing Yoruba. All private schools in Yorubaland must be required to have classes in Yoruba language from nursery through secondary school levels. And any student who fails to pass Yoruba in Yorubaland must not be allowed to graduate!

The Yoruba press must be commended for indeed holding the banner high and not polluting Yoruba with English. More effort, however, must be made to eliminate “pasito”, “professor”, “dokita” words as most of them have genuine Yoruba words that can be enlisted and popularised among their readers. Yoruba departments in Nigerian and foreign universities must start churning out more research on modernising Yoruba for technical, scientific and other vocabulary and making it available through special courses for the media and the general Yoruba public. Yoruba writers must begin to write and publish bilingual publications. For any publication they publish in English, its Yoruba equivalent must be done. In the same book (Yoruba-from the front, turn upside down, English from the back) is one way to do it or in a title simultaneously released. More books, magazines, other publications like club histories, year books must be published in Yoruba. Yoruba music too, has been assaulted by Yoruba artists, unknowingly killing Yoruba language. The mixture of English has reached a new high in Fuji. Yoruba gospel has started mixing English inside Yoruba songs within Yoruba cassettes, adding along side complete English songs! Olodumare!

Such artists must be warned—no more killing of the language in this manner. If it is English you want then put that on an English cassette. Do not replace our God-given Yoruba in a Yoruba music cassette! Yoruba movie practitioners are perhaps the biggest offenders and must take up this challenge to save Yoruba language. English nixing should absolutely be banned in all Yoruba films. I have not researched the topic but I suspect that Hausa, is probably the most unpolluted language in Nigeria, and in all their films that I have seen no English there at all. The beauty of the Yoruba language must be showcased by having more Yoruba Cultural Festivals to be held by all clubs and organisations in Yorubaland annually.

Odua’s People Congress and other enforcers of law and order in Yorubaland must be in the vanguard, not only by stressing among its members that Yoruba should not be polluted but by holding bi*Annual Yoruba Speaking competitions for the “Best Yoruba Speaker”. They must lead the way in correct Y oruba speaking and have literacy classes for all their members to learn to read in Yoruba and encourag them to speak Yoruba in the home to their children: Yoruba must become again the first language of Yorubas at home and abroad. A private Yoruba school system must be set up. These schools will teach all subjects in Yoruba from nursery up to the university eventually. If it must be like a “mushroom school”, starting with nursery school first and adding class by class this must be done. This Yoruba Academy can be supported extensively by Yorubas abroad, eventually having board houses were Yoruba children from abroad can join their counterparts here, (including all “classes of children, street children etc.) This Yoruba Academy will inculcate Yoruba culture into our children also. With the help of our Yoruba scholars we can build on Ojoogbon Babatunde Fafunwa’s successful “Mother-tongue Education” at University of Ife in the 60s. Afterall, even UNESCO has proven that Mother-tongue Education is the best for all children.

Let Yoruba Language not die! God has given the Yoruba race a language to be proud of, anywhere in the world (there are at least 60 million or more Yoruba speakers throughout the world). Let’s not destroy it with our own mouths! Let us pass it on in its richness to our children, daily in our home. Let us proudly speak it daily, read it daily, champion it daily. Yorubas cannot remain great without our language. And let us be in the vanguard of saving all Nigerian and African languages. Biu, Ogoni, Urhorbo, Igele, Ogoja, Ebira, Idoma, Efik, Tiv, Langale: Tangale, Kagona, Kutep, Oron, Legdo, Bubiaro, Esan, Afima, lsekiri, Ijaw, Edo, Ikenne, Joba, Gwari, lbo, Igala, Hausa, speakers are you listening?

http://www.tribune.com.ng/16062007/arts.html
LOVE CONQUERS ALL
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06-16-2007 11:46 AM#2vince
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Death ke?!Iro o!Agbedo!
Eledumare teaming up with Orunmila will never let it happen!
Eewo orisha!
Ko gbodo shele!
Ka ma ri!
Long live,yoruba language and all the other african lingos,ojare!
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06-16-2007 11:54 AM#3vince
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The writer is a little bit too optimistic,though.Speaking yoruba without polluting it….sorry,supporting it with ede geesi in this modern times,is a bit dificult o!But i can understand where he/she is coming from,and going to.
Now here is something really strange(just in case none of you have observed it yet),when you try to “speak” 100% yoruba,you’ll mostly find the going very tough,but start writing it and you find it a lot easier!Now,that’s weird!How can one be able to write a language in it’s pure form,while one finds it so tough to speak it?
Maybe somebody can explain that to me.

My final parting salvo is this,”Kolo metality is still very much alive and kicking.Africans are still playing the i-want-to-belong-in-a-whiteman’s-world game as if their lives depend on it.”

Don’t be surprised to discover that quite a number of africans unconsciously harbour the belief that the more western you are,the closer you are to entering the kingdom of heaven.No english name,no visa to heaven.No ability to speak english,and the gates of heaven will remain closed on you for eternity.
It is a neverending struggle to “fit in”, for the black race.Pathetic.
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06-16-2007 12:41 PM#4praizes2000
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Yoruba cannot remain great without our language.

True talk my sista, i hope we will all learn especially the so called rich men that prefer private school for their kids.

What happened to afasefetepe, afahonferigipe my Yoruba langage that i learnt in my school (Naija) in those days.
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06-16-2007 01:08 PM#5kolinzo
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This writer is not lying at all o. Yoruba Language is not the only language gradually goint into extinction but the Yoruba local dialects as well. Kolo mentality has a lot to do with this. However, I have taken it upon myself to play my part of the Yoruba language preservation -which means Yooba would be the first language for my unborn child. What parts are you guys going to take?
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06-16-2007 02:10 PM#6Peaches
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tough one. My friend only a few weeks ago baptized her daughter: Mirabelle! I just wondered what was wrong with Motunrayo or Modupe or something like that. Shame!
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06-17-2007 06:53 AM#7vince
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Originally Posted by kolinzo
This writer is not lying at all o. Yoruba Language is not the only language gradually goint into extinction but the Yoruba local dialects as well. Kolo mentality has a lot to do with this. However, I have taken it upon myself to play my part of the Yoruba language preservation -which means Yooba would be the first language for my unborn child. What parts are you guys going to take?
If i ever start making movies,99% of them will be in naija lingos,and a lion share will be in my own native tongue,yooba.That will be my own preservation contribution.
And no foreign name for my pickin,as well.
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06-17-2007 03:31 PM#8Tiron
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Yes, we all have a part to play in keeping our indigenous languages alive.

I have an unusual and uncommon Yoruba first name. When I first started in my professional field, students and fellow colleagues used to smile whenever I introduced myself to a new group. No one EVER forgot/forgets my name.

My children, though UK born and bred, also have Yoruba names. They also understand some Yoruba. I speak it to them diluted with English in most cases I admit!

I have this British Naija friend called Shola. She gets mad whenever some of her “Asan” Naija friends or English colleagues/friends pronounce her name “Show-u-lar”. In fact, it was one of the reasons why she fell out with an “asan”, plum-in-her-mouth, friend of hers recently.
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06-17-2007 04:36 PM#9gqbabe
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http://www.tribune.com.ng/16062007/arts.html
i agree wif the text in purple but i think the text in bold is bullcrap!
http://r.yuwie.com/partypeoplepresents – Get paid to browse!!!

Lord – Forgive Us Our Trepasses As We Forgive Those Who Trespass Against Us
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06-18-2007 08:16 AM#10vince
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Originally Posted by gqbabe
i agree wif the text in purple but i think the text in bold is bullcrap!
I think it is in order.A concrete,even draconian steps like that need to be taken to preserve that precious gift from God to us,yoruba language.
The british did it to us with their language and left us to continue to do it to ourselves(no english,no graduation).
So why can’t the yorubas do it for the sake of preserving their own language in yorubaland?
Bullcrap,it is not.IMHO.

I just think that those sleeping yoruba intellects need to wake up from their slumber and get down to updating and upgrading yoruba language to fit the modern era.
Telling modern yorubas to start speaking old yoruba is very unfrealistic.The language needs to be modernised to fit our era.
How they set out to do this is their headache.Shebi they are the intellects.
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06-18-2007 11:51 AM#11Gen Sani Abacha
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Originally Posted by vince
If i ever start making movies,99% of them will be in naija lingos,and a lion share will be in my own native tongue,yooba.That will be my own preservation contribution.
And no foreign name for my pickin,as well.
That’s why I have made a commitment to write fiction in Yoruba as well as English!
UP ISI-EWU!! UP NIGERIA!!!
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06-18-2007 11:54 AM#12Gen Sani Abacha
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Originally Posted by vince
I think it is in order.A concrete,even draconian steps like that need to be taken to preserve that precious gift from God to us,yoruba language.
The british did it to us with their language and left us to continue to do it to ourselves(no english,no graduation).
So why can’t the yorubas do it for the sake of preserving their own language in yorubaland?
Bullcrap,it is not.IMHO.

I just think that those sleeping yoruba intellects need to wake up from their slumber and get down to updating and upgrading yoruba language to fit the modern era.
Telling modern yorubas to start speaking old yoruba is very unfrealistic.The language needs to be modernised to fit our era.
How they set out to do this is their headache.Shebi they are the intellects.
They have already been on it for the past 30 years. Check out Prof Longe’s efforts towards a Yoruba language publication of the mathematical theories underpining computer science. He did this back in the early 1980s. Someone else also published a dictionary of Engineering physics in Yoruba, that was in the early 1990s. You should try to find out the activities/publications and research of the Yoruba Studies Association of Nigeria(Egbe Ilosiwaju Imo Ijinle Yoruba Naijiria).

ciao
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06-18-2007 02:56 PM#13vince
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Originally Posted by Gen Sani Abacha
They have already been on it for the past 30 years. Check out Prof Longe’s efforts towards a Yoruba language publication of the mathematical theories underpining computer science. He did this back in the early 1980s. Someone else also published a dictionary of Engineering physics in Yoruba, that was in the early 1990s. You should try to find out the activities/publications and research of the Yoruba Studies Association of Nigeria(Egbe Ilosiwaju Imo Ijinle Yoruba Naijiria).

ciao
All their efforts since all that time has little influence on the yoruba acaedemia,talkless of on the common man.And that is the sticking point.
These yoruba studies association,does it have a website?I am keen to link up.
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06-18-2007 03:32 PM#14gqbabe
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when i was younger, my mom used to yab me tht when God was creating me He put cotton buds in my ear cos other than english i dnt understand any other language. Now if it is made compulsory that you pass yoruba to graduate, then some1 like me wld never graduate. Or if tht person managed to pass, then they’d not be able to communicate wif non-yorubas, as the likelihood of them understandn another language is negligible!
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06-19-2007 04:25 AM#15Gen Sani Abacha
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Originally Posted by vince
All their efforts since all that time has little influence on the yoruba acaedemia,talkless of on the common man.And that is the sticking point.
These yoruba studies association,does it have a website?I am keen to link up.
Remember Prof Akinwunmi Isola, the author of Oleku the book and the scriptwriter of the film ? He is part of that cadre of academics. They have a lot of input into the teaching syllabus of Yoruba language. They also act as consultants sometimes for major Yoruba movies. They also advise government on language policy(although the govt doesn’t seem to take any notice of their advise!).
I don’t the Yoruba Studies Association has a website, neither do their sister organisation, the Yoruba Teachers Association of Nigeria.
UP ISI-EWU!! UP NIGERIA!!!

YORUBA LANGUAGE IS DYING! EVERYDAY YORUBAS ARE BUSY REPLACING IT WITH ENGLISH,MIXING IT IN THEIR SPEAKING,PRAYING,YORUBA WEDDING CEREMONIES,EVERYWHERE THEY ARE KILLING IT! YORUBA ACADEMY TO THE RESCUE!

April 19, 2010

nigeriabestforum.com

SOYINKA, FAFUNWA, OTHERS HEAD YORUBA ACADEMY
Written by furtune Education Mar 30, 2010

Soyinka, Fafunwa, others head Yoruba Academy
By Gbenga Adeniji, Published: Tuesday, 30 Mar 2010

Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka; former Minister of Education, Prof. Babatunde Fafunwa; Prof. Bolanle Awe; lecturer and playwright, Prof. Akinwunmi Isola, and many other distinguished indigenes of Yoruba land are to serve as members, Board of Trustees of The Yoruba Academy, whose governing organs will be inaugurated in Ibadan, Oyo State, on Wednesday.

The centre was conceived at the Yoruba Retreat held at the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture, Ibadan in October, 2007.

According to a statement issued on Tuesday by the National Publicity Secretary of Afenifere Renewal Group, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, the organs to be inaugurated are; the Board of Trustees and Governing Council.

Also, the event is expected to attract distinguished sons and daughters of Yoruba land both at home and in the Diaspora.

Other members of the Board of Trustees are Mrs. Francesca Emmanuel; Prof. Wale Omole; Gen. Alani Akinrinade (rtd); Justice Bolarinwa Babalakin; Prof. Olabiyi Yayi; Mrs. Jumoke Anifowose; Mr. Wale Oshun; and the Democratic Peoples Alliance governorship candidate in Lagos State in 2007, Mr. Jimi Agbaje. The Chairman of the Board is Fafunwa.

Besides, the statement added that members of the Governing Council include Prof. Wale Omole, who is the chairman; Dr. Tunde Adegbola; Chief Adebayo Faleti; Dr. Charles Akinola; Prof. Mobolaji Aluko, Mr. Kayode Samuel, Dr.Wale Adebanwi, Mr. Tola Mobolurin, Miss Yetunde Sekoni, Mr. Dipo Famakinwa, Prince Oye Oyewumi, Dr. Iyabo Bassir, Dr. Sola Olorunyomi; Mr. Tunde Kelani, Mr. Francis Ojo; Prof. Kunle Lawal; and Dr. Tunji Olowolafe.

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FROM chidioparareports.blogspot.com

Monday, March 29, 2010
News Release: Yoruba Academy for inauguration
[Yoruba Art]

The Yoruba Academy, which was conceived at the Yoruba Retreat, held at the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan in 2008 becomes real with the inauguration of the Governance organs in Ibadan on Wednesday, March 31, 2010.

Billed for the Academy’s House at 25, Dejo Oyelese Street, Old Bodija Estate, Ibadan at 11.00am prompt, the event attracts who-is-who in the Yoruba nation-homeland and Diaspora.

The two organs for inauguration are the Board of Trustees and Governing Council make up as follows:

Members of the Board of Trustees:
1. Professor Babatunde Aliyu Fafunwa – Chairman
2. Professor (Mrs.) Bolanle Awe
3. Professor Wole Soyinka
4. Mrs. Francesca Emmanuel
5. Professor Akinwunmi Isola
6. Professor Wale Omole
7. General Alani Akinrinade
8.Justice Bolarinwa Babalakin
9. Professor Olabiyi Yayi
10. Mrs. Jumoke Anifowose
11. Hon. Wale Oshun
12. Mr. Jimi Agbaje

Members of the Governing Council:
1. Professor Wale Omole – Chairman
2. Dr. Tunde Adegbola
3. Alagba Adebayo Faleti
4. Dr. Charles “Diji Akinola
5. Mr. Tola Mobolurin
6. Miss Yetunde Sekoni
7. Mr. Dipo Famakinwa
8. Prince Oye Oyewumi
9. Dr. Iyabo Bassir
10. Dr. Sola Olorunyomi
11. Mr. Tunde Kelani
12. Engr. Francis Ojo
13. Dr. Tunji Olowolafe
14. Professor Kunle Lawal
15. Mr. Kayode Samuel
16. Dr. Wale Adebanwi
17. Professor Bolaji Aluko

‘Yinka Odumakin
For: The Yoruba Academy
Posted by Public Information Project Management(PIPROM) at 9:02 AM

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from newstarng.com

Yoruba Academy to the rescue PDF Print E-mail
Written by OLAIDE OYELUDE
Monday, 05 April 2010 02:57

NEWS STAR

On Wednesday, March 31, a very unique event that signified very sincere and pragmatic steps towards protection and preservation of Yoruba race and heritage took place in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital. The event was the inauguration of the Board of Trustees and Governing Council for the Yoruba Academy. Emeritus Professor Olu Akinkugbe was the chairman at the occasion witnessed by notable personalities in the Yorubaland including Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Dimeji Bankole, former Governor of Osun State, Chief Bisi Akande and Speaker, Oyo State House of Assembly, Hon. Moroof Atilola, among others.
The Yoruba Academy is an independent, non-profit governmental organization created as a multi-disciplinary institution, charged with the task of bringing together everyone committed to the best traditions of the promotion of modern democratic life and ensure the preservation of Yoruba language, culture, social practices, values and institutions. The Academy is also committed to engaging in, encouraging and funding research and systematic reflections on the history, culture, position and future of the Yoruba in the context of Nigeria and in a globalizing world, towards helping to create and sustain freedom for all and life more abundant.
The Yoruba Academy is borne out of concern that the race is being relegated in virtually all spheres of life especially in such areas as education, commerce and business. A retreat was subsequently organized in 2007 by a group of Yoruba professionals and activists. The retreat which took place in Ibadan was attended by Yoruba political leaders, business men and women with the aim of charting a way forward for the Yoruba. One of the outcomes of the retreat was a declaration that a Yoruba Academy is needed to ensure renaissance of Yoruba culture, capture the soul of its youth and re-establish the pride of the Yoruba race and increase its capacity to contribute to the international community. The Yoruba Academy subsequently opened office in Ibadan in August 2008.
Activities of the Academy focus on such programmes as children and youth, resource repository/database, Research into such indicative focus areas including Yoruba culture, Yoruba religion and divinity, Yoruba language and linguistics, science and technology in Yoruba, Yoruba jurisprudence, as well in Yoruba strategic development studies, among others.
Expectedly, the event attracted comments and suggestions. Speaker Bankole urged the Academy to look into the areas the Yoruba are lagging which they used to play leading roles before, especially in education, banking and information management. His words: “The race before the Academy is not a one hundred metres race. It is indeed a long distance race and I believe the Academy needs to pursue it with vigour and zeal so that our future generation will be proud of our race. In the last 10 years, it seems the Yoruba have been relegated from the leading role they used to play in the areas of education, business and commerce and even in information management. These are the things the Yoruba Academy has to face so that we may have a better future.”
Speaking on the importance of the Academy, Professor Akinkugbe said: “The idea of the Yoruba Academy has become very critical, to further the need for the promotion of self-confidence, a strong Yoruba identity to develop our intellectual capacity and colour, to propel our minds, body and spirit, to identify with the urgent need to preserve and continue to nurture who we are, as well as being able to assert our Yorubaness without reservations about our history not living merely on our past glory.”
Fafunwa also noted that: “Yoruba is a complete race and the Academy is out to promote all aspects of the Yoruba including our culture, our enterprises, our uniqueness and so on. Yoruba as a language, ranks sixth among the world spoken languages after English language, French, Arab, Spanish and Portuguese. Yoruba should not be relegated to the background for whatever reasons. Is it the complete gentlemanness of the Yoruba or the Yoruba flair for fair hearing before deciding on any issue? Is it the beauty of Yoruba language or its versatility? We should bequeath a worthy legacy that our future generation will be very proud of.”
In his contribution, the chairman of the Governing Council, Prof. Omole, said: “The Yoruba Academy is not partisan. Rather the Academy is to protect the interests of all Yoruba irrespective of their political leanings, religious persuasions and business interests. All that the Academy is out for is to ensure that Yoruba either now or in the future, continue to enjoy the pride of place while our culture, our heritage which makes us unique, are protected and preserved for the sake of the present and future generations. Yoruba are a proud people and the Academy will strive to make us discover that pride again.”
The 12-member Board of Trustees(BOT) for the Academy former Education Minister, Professor Aliyu Babatunde Fafunwa as chairman. Other trustees are General Alani Akinrinade, Mrs Jumoke Anifowose, Professor Bolanle Awe, Justice Bolarinwa Babalaki, Mr. Jimi Agbaje, Mrs Francesca Emmanuel, Professor Akinwunmi Isola, Professor Wale Omole, Hon. Wale Osun, Professor Wole Soyinka and Professor Olabiyi Yayi. The BOT is a team of eminent Yoruba persons from diverse professions, representing the Yoruba in Nigeria and in the Diaspora. The Board is expected to provide strategic direction and set the agenda for the Academy. It also ensures that the activities of the Academy remain mandate-focused while it also safe-guards independence of the Academy.
Former Vice Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Professor Wale Omole, is the chairman of the Academy’s 17-member Governing Council. Other council members include Dr. Wale Adebanwi, Dr. Tunde Adegbola, Dr. Charles ‘Diji Akinola, Professor Bolaji Aluko,Dr. Iyabo Basir, Alagba Adebayo Faleti, Mr. Dipo Famakinwa, Mr. Tunde Kelani, Professor Kunle Lawal, Mr. Tola Mobolurin , Engineer Francis Ojo, Dr. Sola Olorunyomi, Dr. Tunji Olowolafe, Prince Oye Oyewunmi, Mr. Kayode Samuel and Ms Yetunde Sekoni.
Just like BOT, members of the Governing Council are drawn from professionals with significant relevant skills and experience to guide the management of the Academy. The Council is responsible for the overall governance of the Academy while it sets up, empowers and mandates committees of the Academy as required. The Council is also responsible for the maintenance of programme integrity while it equally provides strategic direction for the management and operations of team of the Academy. The Council also provides support and external linkages while at the same time, provides ‘custodian, stewardship and accountability’ roles in the Academy.
No doubt, the younger generation of Yoruba looks up to the sustenance of an enviable legacy of a race that the future generation will equally be proud of.

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FROM tribune.com

Yoruba Academy: Fighting the cause of the Yoruba people

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Written by Segun Taiwo

Recently, members of the Board of Trustees and Governing Council of the Yoruba Academy were inaugurated in Ibadan. Segun Taiwo, who was at the event, reports on the resolve of the body to advance the understanding and appreciation of Yoruba history, language, culture and civilisation.

[From right, Justice Bolarinwa Babalakin; Chief Bisi Akande and Professor Bolanle Awe, during the inauguration of members of the Board of Trustees and Governing Council of the Yoruba Academy in Ibadan last week. Photo: Tunde Babajide.]

From right, Justice Bolarinwa Babalakin; Chief Bisi Akande and Professor Bolanle Awe, during the inauguration of members of the Board of Trustees and Governing Council of the Yoruba Academy in Ibadan last week. Photo: Tunde Babajide.
In a bid to promote the Yoruba language, social practices, norms, values and institutions, Yoruba leaders have come together to form the Yoruba Academy, with the recent inauguration of the body’s Board of Trustees and Governing Council members in Ibadan.

Concerned about the rate at which Yoruba values and institutions are being relegated to the background, the body will ensure the preservation of the Yoruba language, social practices, norms and values, through research and systematic reflections on the history, culture, position and future of the Yoruba in the context of Nigeria and in a globalising world.

Also, in a bid to meet its objectives, the Academy will welcome individuals and organisations interested in the development of the Yoruba as a distinct ethnic entity.

In his opening address at the inauguration, the chairman of the event, Professor Oladipo Akinkugbe, expressed confidence that the Academy would restored the glory and pride of the Yoruba people.

Prof. Akinkugbe, who lamented the present state of the Yoruba nation, then called on all Yoruba people, irrespective of political, social or educational differences, to come together and salvage the situation.

While also speaking, the highest ranking Yoruba man in the current political dispensation, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Dimeji Bankole, lamented that Yorubas were no longer in the scheme of things in the country.

Citing the area of education and communications as example, Hon. Bankole said it was unfortunate the woeful performance of students from the South West in their final school certificate examinations, while saying the race has also lost its grip on the electronic and print media in the country.

“It is, therefore, a good development that the Yoruba Academy is being inaugurated to put the race in its rightful position in the country,” the Speaker said.

Other eminent Yoruba personalities at the event, also spoke on the need for the Yoruba people to retake its place in the scheme of things in the country, and in the world at large.

A former Osun State governor and chairman of the Action Congress (AC), Chief Bisi Akande, said Yoruba people should set aside their differences and work for the progress of the race.

Members of the Board of Trustees comprising Prof. Babatunde Fafunwa, who is chairman; Mr. Jimi Agbaje, General Alani Akinrinade, Mrs. Jumoke Anifowose, Prof. Bolanle Awe, Justice Bolarinwa Babalakin, Mrs. Francesca Emmanuel, Prof. Akinwumi Isola, Prof. Wale Omole, Hon. Wale Oshun, Prof. Wole Soyinka and Prof. Olabiyi Yai, were then presented and inaugurated, while members of the governing council, comprising Prof. Wale Omole (chairman), Dr. Wale Adebanwi, Dr. Tunde Adegbola, Dr. Charles ‘Diji Akinola, Prof. Bolaji Aluko, Dr. Iyabo Bassir, Pa. Adebayo Faleti, Mr. Dipo Famakinwa, Mr. Tunde Kelani, Prof. Kunle Lawal, Mr. Tola Mobolurin, Engr. Francis Ojo, Dr. Sola Olorunyomi, Dr. Tunji Olowolafe, Prince Oye Oyewumi, Mr. Kayode Samuel and Ms. Yetunde Sekoni, were also installed.

BLACK PEOPLE/AFRICANS!-SPEAK ONLY AFRICAN LANGUAGES TO YOUR CHILDREN IN YOUR HOUSE IF YOU WANT AFRICAN CHILDREN WITH AFRICAN BEHAVIOUR AND VALUES!-FROM ALL ALLAFRICA.COM WITH AFRI

February 15, 2010

FROM allafrica.com

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Daily Independent (Lagos)

Nigeria: Enforcing Indigenous Languages in Homes
Yemi Adebisi
14 February 2010

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Lagos — The National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), a parastatal of the Federal Ministry of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation appears to be set to encourage the use of indigenous languages in Nigerian homes.

The institute also frowns at the mode of dressing of most Nigerian children, which it described as ‘near nudity,’ blaming this on the nonchalant attitude of Nigerian parents and the lack of respect for Nigerian culture. It has therefore assured that it would use its medium to address the total emancipation of Nigerian cultural details and encourage its proliferation. This would, according to the institute, help to market the value of Nigerian culture, home and abroad, when the essence and awareness of the culture is encouraged.

Apparently, the recent visit of the executive secretary/chief executive officer of NICO, Dr. Barclays F. Ayakoroma to Lagos office was primarily designed by the institute to gear up arrangement to start off the new academic session of its cultural institute. It was during the visit that Ayakoroma, in his chat with the media, unveiled plans to take Nigeria culture to all the nooks and crannies of the country and to ensure that it yields positive results than ever. NICO was established by Decree 93 of 1993.

The Institute has the primary responsibility of harnessing Nigeria’s cultural resources to meet the challenges of social integration, peace, unity and national development. It also serves as vital force for promoting Nigeria’s programme of Cultural Diplomacy and energising the various cultural establishments in the new direction advocated by Nigeria’s Cultural Policy and the World Decade for Cultural Development (1988-1997) declared by the United Nations.

NICO has a vision to be the apex and leading Cultural Training Institute in Nigeria and Nigeria’s contribution to world progress and civilisation through research and documentation, cultural assets and services, both tangible and intangible.

NICO is also committed to train cultural development officers, motivators and communicators who would be grounded in Nigerian cultural realities, philosophy and practices that are essential for national integration, peace, unity and development in a multi-ethnic nation.

It would be recalled that the institute has presented for graduation, the first set of students in the Certificate, Graduate and Diploma in Cultural Studies. By November 2009, registration processes started for the second set. Ayakoroma visited Lagos to ensure the successful take off of the new academic session. According to him, he was satisfied with the current academic programme and expressed hope that sooner, the training school will be in its rightful place in the culture sector. The vision of NICO is to run a school that will produce graduands that will occupy strategic position in various cultural institutions.

“Just like the Federal Training School trains clerical officers all over the country, ASCON trains administrative officers, and NIPS trains top government officers in the civil service and the military, we are positioning ourselves to train cultural workers at the middle and top level of cultural administration,” he said.

The secretary observed that NICO would only gain its relevance in the scheme of things when it comes out with some programmes that will impact the lives of the generality of the people. At the national level, according to him, there are programmes lined up, but specifically, the indigenous language programme appears to be a strategic option. With the notion that many Nigerians are not intact, language wise and that most of Nigerian children find it difficult speaking indigenous language, because of inter-tribal marriages and so on, NICO has developed a programme that will encourage the speaking of the indigenous languages.

“If these children are given the opportunity to learn indigenous languages, they approach them with every sense of commitment. This programme has gained ground to some extent. In the last long vacation of Nigerian primary and secondary schools, the programme took place in the six zonal offices of NICO.”

The institute has set up an agenda to introduce a programme entitled ‘Language in the Barracks’ to support its vision to immortalize indigenous languages. This is with the intention of taking indigenous language training scheme to police and military barracks. It was discovered, however, that among some military or police families, the wives might be Yoruba while the husbands, Igbo. It boils down on the challenge of the particular language that the children will be disposed to speak. NICO therefore believes that with this programme, parents as well as children will have the opportunity to learn those languages. The institute has also concluded plans, according to the executive secretary, to start a television programme called ‘WAZOBIA Quiz’. They are looking at a scenario whereby the parents and their children come for a quiz programme based on culture such as ‘Nigerian People and Places’. Such segment will be in the three Nigeria major languages.

“If the father is speaking Yoruba and Hausa for example, and the wife is Igbo, we expect that one of the children that will appear with you for the programme will also speak one of the languages. We believe it will be an interesting programme and it will enhance or energise the study or interest of Nigerian languages,” he said. This, to an extent, might help improve the readiness of Nigerian families to cherish the more the indigenous languages. NICO declared its intention to encourage the speaking of indigenous languages at homes and offices in Nigeria and not having English as lingua franca in respected homes. Other roundtable programme of the institute include annual roundtable conference, workshop on ‘Repositioning Cultural Workers for Improved Productivity’, World Culture Day celebration in May among others. The secretary also intimidated the media about the plan of the institute to start cultural club in secondary schools. This will be taking to secondary schools to catch the young ones culturally, like the debating and literary societies. The intention of the institute is for the children to appreciate every area of Nigerian culture, be it music or dressing.

He expressed his disappointment on how Nigerian parents are showing lackadaisical attitude to the dressing mode of most Nigerian children. According to him, some of these children go on the street almost in nudity. “It is very worrisome. The jeans, T-shirts, and the type of short sketches that our children wear in the name of fashion are really worrisome. That is why we are also looking at organising a programme called ‘Nigeria’s Dress Culture’. We want to look at aspect of dress culture.”

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Some Nigerian universities have been observed to institutionalised dress codes. Ayakoroma therefore appealed that such institutions should be encouraged, because if the students are allowed to dress the way they want, “very soon we will begin to see nude boys and girls on our streets in the name of fashion.”

NICO has vowed to step up actions on the creation of awareness on the essence and importance of culture in Nigeria. Culture, according to him, is what makes a man. He therefore warned that with the level of richness of Nigerian culture, it would be very unfortunate if Nigerian parents failed to carry their children along and sell them to the western world in the name of civilisation.

He also significantly pointed out that for Nigeria to move forward, there is a need for Nigerians to cooperate with the institute to appraise the level of corruption in Nigeria from cultural point of view.

IREKE ONIBUDO BY D.O. FAGUNWA HITS THE STAGE BOTH IN YORUBA LANGUAGE AND ENGLISH THANKS TO CHAMS,NIGERIA!-FROM NIGERIAN COMPASS NEWSPAPER

December 2, 2009

IREKE ONIBUDO-A NOVEL FOR THE GREATEST YORUBA NOVELIST D.O. FAGUNWA,PERFORMED AS A PLAY IN YORUBA LANGUAGE AND ENGLISH BY CHAMS PLC NIGERIA,NOV. 2009IREKE ONIBUDO-A NOVEL FOR THE GREATEST YORUBA NOVELIST D.O. FAGUNWA,PERFORMED AS A PLAY IN YORUBA LANGUAGE AND ENGLISH BY CHAMS PLC NIGERIA,NOV. 2009

IREKE ONIBUDO-FAGUNWA'S GREAT YORUBA NOVEL ON STAGE,COMPLIMENTS OF CHAMS NIGERIA!

IREKE ONIBUDO-FAGUNWA'S GREAT YORUBA NOVEL ON STAGE TO CHAMS,NIGERIA!

FROM compassnews.net

Wednesday, Dec 02nd
Last update:11:29:27 PM GMT

‘Fabulous Adventures…’ of Nigeria’s theatre Monday, 23 November 2009 00:00 Nigerian Compass
Veteran art critic, PITA OKUTE who watched the recent presentation of The Fabulous Adventures of a Sugarcane Man, Femi Osofisan’s English language stage adaptation of D. O. Fagunwa’s Yoruba novel

Ireke Onibudo, at the National Arts Theatre appraises the production against the background of the development of the stage performing art in Nigeria.

AT the end, a critic complained that the play was too long. I agreed. Three hours or so of dance and drama may be quite hard on the backsides. But having observed that “nowadays all the money goes to musical jamborees and comedy shows rather than serious or cerebral activities,” one suspects that the translator-playwright, Femi Osofisan, sought to compensate: To enlighten and entertain at once. Ergo – the song and dance routines that trailed the tale at every turn. Perhaps, there was just a chorus or two too many, but the overall effect was somewhat cheery.

Clearly, the greater challenge of his spirited dramatic interpretation lay in deconstructing the epic narrative of Ireke Onibudo from the infinite canvas of the novel to the less extensive stage of the National Art Theater’s Cinema Hall II. Such spatial limitations do not matter to Osofisan, whose enduring style is to extend the stage far beyond its allotted boundary into the audience. Complain, if you will, about the relevance of all that ‘movement.’ The artistic director, Tunde Awosanmi has bought into this peculiar trademark and in The Fabulous Adventures of a Sugarcane Man, he and the playwright create resonating chords for a moral tale birthed on mental, physical, moral and spiritual trials. In this regard, the wanderings of Oba Ireke (Kunle Agboola) and the reporter Beyioku (Olugbemi Adekambi) amidst the audience denote the hero’s strange but enthralling odyssey from pauper to oba – the king.

By will power, moral restraint and sheer good fortune, Ireke triumphs over adversity to become a celebrated warlord and noble man. His story runs alongside a fable told by his dead mother: the heinous murder of the Tiger’s children by the sly, wicked Fox. With an animal cast to embellish the narrative, the stage is set for spectacles of engaging folk theatre. Colourful and confusing in turns, the performance is overdone sometimes by tedious dialogue and spurious acting. The narrators, a blend of characters and voices add to the overall dullness. Osofisan’s commendable effort is overshadowed by pervading myopia. One is hard put to understand why his gargantuan translation of Fagunwa’s novel stopped merely at this leaving the entire song and dance sketches of the play to be rendered in vernacular. Thus, the strong and unpalatable suggestion that there is a river of interpretation he was too scared or ill equipped to cross. In the end, non-Yoruba speaking audiences may either feel greatly enriched by word plays they hardly understand or grossly cheated of their deserved enjoyment.
Nonetheless, the varying abilities of Tunde Oshinaike (Young Ireke), Charles Ihumiodu (Oba Alupayida), Kunle Agboola and Omotara Soretire (Ifepade) combine to pull the play through. Oshinaike exhibits great presence of mind throughout and is the live-wire of this engaging theatrical package.

Still, The Fabulous Adventures of a Sugarcane Man mirrors at large the curious trajectory of Nigerian theatre in the last four decades: From the eventful era of Hubert Ogunde, Moses Olaiya Adejumo, Duro Ladipo and many others to those far off days when theatre groups from the universities toured the country with incisive productions for the masses and corporate interventions such as Ajo Productions held up the flag of Nigerian drama in the turbulent socio-political winds.

Thereafter, the sly, wicked fox of ill-conceived government policies like Structural Adjustment Programme devoured the growing spirit of a blossoming Nigerian theatre. The craft endured a wilderness of dwindled public support, severe competition from local and foreign television and the local home video industry among other alternative media.

It would be stretching the parallels a bit to suggest that the monster has finally been slain and that theatre has finally come into its own as a result. Yet, one can not fail to observe a growing love affair between Corporate Nigeria and the Nigerian stage. The Chams Theatre Series a yearly “feast of theatre” hosted by Chams Plc, a computer hardware and maintenance services company, exemplifies this happy trend. The series kicked off in 2008 with the production of D. O. Fagunwa’s Ogboju Ode Ninu Igbo and theatre lovers around the country are mightily thrilled that Chams is helping to keep their beloved craft alive and well.

The Series has lived up to a promise of enlivening the pleasure of the people and enlarging the pockets of practitioners. To paraphrase Osofisan, Chams employs over a hundred theatre artistes for about three months every year and offers free, to live audiences, a vivid experience of theatre that the people yearn for but which is so hard to come by these days. Here, one might add, is corporate social responsibility at its eclectic best.

The event at the National Theatre ended with a dance drill which was topped by a significant question from the cast. Chams ye da? (Where is your Chams?), they chanted and the management of the visionary Nigerian company went on stage to take a deserved bow with the happy cast and production crew.

It is easy to imagine that they might also be asking the same important question in Enugu, Port Harcourt, Calabar, Makurdi, Kaduna and other such places, where the people are also yearning for ‘vivid’ theatrical experience. It is even easier to believe that the Chams Theatre Series might also berth in those places soon, if only to prove that the theatre tradition in Nigeria does not begin in Ibadan and end in Abuja after rolling through Lagos, Akure and Ondo.
Kudos still to Chams Plc.
===========================================================================================FROM CHAMS.COM

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kicksofftonational acclaimtheatre series The Chams TheatreSeries kicked offto great public and criticalacclaim acrossNigeria in September 2008 withperformances across four citiesand two adaptations of D.O.Fagunwa’s classic Ogboju OdeNinu Igbo Irunmale.——————————————————————————–

Audiences trooped out in largenumbers for the English and Yorubatheatrical performances of OgbojuOde or The Forest of a ThousandDaemons in Lagos, Ibadan, Abuja andIfe.The enthusiasm, interest andsubsequent appreciation of theperformances underscored the fact ofthe Chams Theatre Series helping to filla gap in the cultural life of Nigeria.According to Mr. DemolaAladekomo, Group Managing Director,“The Chams Theatre Series is a strategicintervention and contribution ofChams plc to the rejuvenation of theArts and stage culture in Nigeria. It isalso a means of promoting our cultureand re-orienting Nigerians to the valuesthat we hold dear. We believe thosevalues should prompt action in oursociety.”The Ogboju Ode performances are“the beginning of what we envisageas a long journey of discovery andsharing”, Aladekomo informed guests.It was a great beginning indeed.Extensive reportage and reviews in themedia confirmed the strong interestpresentation of the plays elicited withlocal and international stakeholders ofthe company.Culture and Tourism ministerMr. Olatokunbo Kayode wrote into offer official Federal Governmentrecognition and support of the effortby Chams plc to provide corporatesupport for the revival of theatreculture in Nigeria.Chams plc sponsored productionof the plays after acquiring the rightsto the works of D.O. Fagunwa

the family of the late author and theD.O. Fagunwa Foundation. Fagunwa’sdaughter was a star guest at the Lagosperformance of the Yoruba adaptationon Sunday, September 14 at theMuson Centre. Other guests includedChief Segun Olusola, Chief Mrs. DerinOsoba, Rev Olu Odejimi, doyen ofthe Nigerian Stock Exchange, Rev OlaMakinde, Prelate of the MethodistChurch Nigeria. There were also Mr.Tayo Aderinokun, MD of GuarantyTrust Bank, Ahmed Yerima, Tani Obaro,MD, SystemSpec, as well as othermajor players in the banking, financialservices and oil and gas sectors.Town met gown in Ibadan as thecivil society joined the academia towatch presentation of the play. Theaudience spilled over and activelyparticipated in the presentation.Diplomats and members of theNational Assembly joined a largenumber of stakeholders in theinformation and communication“The Chams Theatre Seriesis a strategic interventionof Chams Plc to therejuvenation of the arts andstage culture in Nigeria.”cOver stOrycover story6 | futureteNse6 | futureteNseThe presentation of Ogboju Ode Ninu IgboIrunmale is the first in a journey of atleast seven years in the first instance forthe Chams Theatre Series. Chams plc has acquired he rights tothe five works of D.O. Fagunwa. The company plansto present a theatrical adaptation of one work eachyear. Add this to other works by other Nigerianauthors and it is easy to understand what the chiefexecutive Mr. Demola Aladekomo described as “thebeginning of what we envisage as a long journey ofdiscovery and sharing”.Next in line for 2009 is the work Ireke Onibudo.Daniel Olorunfemi Fagunwa was born in 1932 inOkeigbo in present day Ondo State. He was a teacherand writer. He died in 1963 at a relatively young agebut with many accomplishments under his name.According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, OgbojuOde Ninu Igbo Irunmale (Night of a Thousand Daemons,was the first full-length novel published in the Yorubalanguage. His secondnovel, Igbo Olodumare (“The Forest of God”), waspublished in 1949. He also wrote Ireke Onibudo (1949;“The Sugarcane of the Guardian”), Irinkerindo NinuIgbo Elegbeje (1954; “Wanderings in the Forest ofElegbeje”), and Adiitu Olodumare (1961; “The Secretof the Almighty”); a number of short stories; and twotravel books.Fagunwa’s works characteristically take the form ofloosely constructed picaresque fairy tales containingmany folklore elements: spirits, monsters, gods,magic, and witchcraft. His language is vivid: a sadman “hangs his face like a banana leaf,” a liar “hasblood in his belly but spits white saliva.” Every eventpoints to a moral, and he reinforces this moral toneby his use of Christian concepts and of traditionaland invented proverbs.Fagunwa’s imagery, humour, wordplay, and rhetoricreveal an extensive knowledge of classical Yoruba. Hewas also influenced by such Western works as JohnBunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress, which were translatedinto Yoruba by missionaries.Some Yorubaintellectuals dislikedFagunwa’s lack of concernwith contemporary socialissues. Other criticspointed to his knowledgeof the Yoruba mind, hiscareful observation of themanners and mannerismsof his characters, and hisskill as a storyteller.Long Journey of Discovery and Sharing

technology world to watch theperformance at the Congress Hall ofthe Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.By the time, it got to the Ile Ife onSeptember 24, enthusiasm and interestwas at fever pitch. Not surprisingly, theeager audience crashed through somedoors to ensure space in the OdoduwaHall of the Obafemi AwolowoUniversity. There was standing roomonly as the hall was brimful.The Chams Theatre Series has therights to the five works of Fagunwaand would sponsor one play eachyear. Aladekomo said the firm hasalso acquired the rights to works bywriters from other parts of Nigeriain order to broaden the appeal aswell as showcase the universality ofpositive values shared by Nigeriancommunities.Professor Femi Osofisan of theUniversity of Ibadan, wrote the“The Chams Theatre Serieshas the rights to five worksof Fagunwa and wouldsponsor one play eachyear.”futureteNse | 7futureteNse | 7D. O. Fagunwa’s Ogboju Ode tells an inter-esting adventure story of the journey ofthe intrepid hunter Akaraogun into thestrange land of Langbodo. His journeytakes him through many weird experi-ences and encounters with spirits, elves, mermaids,witches, monsters and the multifarious dwellers of theforest. He returns to a heroic welcome and takes timeto enthral his fellow citizens with hair-raising ac-counts of his escapades.Akaraogun grows in influence as news of his incred-ible journey spreads. He elicits the envy of the titularhead of the community.The monarch then comes up with a creative schemeto send this potential rival out of sight. He dreams upan assignment to fetch a missing treasure from Lang-bodo. Who better to lead the expedition but the manof valour and courage Akaraogun? Akaraogun enlistssix other brave hunters and then go on an excitingjourney of discovery suffused with dangers and thrills.Play wrights Prof Femi Osofisan and Prof Akinwun-mi Isola present interesting dimensions to the OgbojuOde story that deepened audience appreciation of thestory. Watching each play was like watching a differentbut similar account.Osofisan’s The Forest of a Thousand Daemons is akinto a dance drama with plenty of dances, chants andoriginal songs. He puts an interesting twist to thetale as the hunters accomplish the last of many teststhe good king of the nearest town to Langbodo givesthem. Now reduced to four men after the death oftheir colleagues, the adventurers learn to their surpriseyet relief that Langbodo is not a physical space but astate of being where humans come to a fuller realisa-tion of their essence and learn to live in love and har-mony with other beings.Osofisan’s Akaraogun, the protagonist, is a youngman, full of energy and verve, as are his fellow war-riors.Osofisan and artistic director Dr. Tunde Awosanmi say they sourced the rich repertoire of songs in theplay mainly from Yoruba oral tradition including therepertory of the hunter’s guild. Femi Osofisan, TundeAwosanmi and Tunde Adeyemo provided additionalcompositions.Akaraogun in Prof Isola’s Ogboju Ode is a greyingand bent old man who recounts to a scribe the inter-esting narrative of his travels through the forests ofdemons. Isola uses the flashback technique as the nowaged Akaraogun looks back at the adventures he andhis fellow hunters undertook. They arrive at the physi-cal location Langbodo and bring back to their home-land many goodies from the far away land.Proverbs, oratory and dance are alsostrong in the Yoruba presentation. Rendering in theoriginal language enriches the texture, depth of mean-ing and eloquence.Dif erent Takes on An Interesting TaleProfs Femi Osofisan and Akinwunmi Ishola

English adaptation while ProfessorAkinwumi Isola of the ObafemiAwolowo University wrote the Yorubaadaptation.Speaking on the significanceof the performances, Prof FemiOsofisan, a former General Managerof the National Theatre, asserted, “Byselecting this work, Chams is renderingan immeasurable service to thepreservation of our culture, at a timewhen our country like others in the so-called Third World are faced with themenace of globalisation. Certainly, suchprojects as this will help the processof our cultural rebirth. Fagunwa hasshown us that we have our ownfolklore and fables, our stories and sagacOver stOrycover story8 | futureteNse8 | futureteNseand heroes as authentically rich, andenriching, as any other in the worldrepertory. With him, we can also standup and announce that we are also partof the ancient heritage that first gavemeaning to humanity.”Presentation of the Ogboju Ode plays byChams plc provided direct employmentto 82 theatre practitioners and indirectemployment to many more, thusfulfilling its mission as a corporatesocial investment.This is the testimony of the technicalconsultant to the Chams Theatre Series, Prof FemiOsofisan.Speaking at a press briefing before theformal presentation of the plays, Osofisan,an experienced hand in theatre management,administration and teaching, said the involvementof Chams plc has helped revive morale amongstthespians.Theatre often involves many other aspects ofthe arts, from music through choreography andinto fields such as costuming. Osofisan said thatby sponsoring these major productions, Chams hadprovided employment for the cast and crew overmany months.A 48-person cast and crew featured inThe Forest of a Thousand Daemons while thecast of Ogboju Ode had 36 persons.CSR Mission AccomplishedGuests at the Lobby of the ConGress haLL attransCorp hiLton, venue of the abuja showMr aLadekoMo with aLhaji GboyeGa aruLoGun at the ibadan showMr & Mrs aLadekoMo weLCoMinG the priMate of the MethodistChurCh of niGeria, his eMinenCe, dr sunday oLa Makindethe ChairMan, prof. a.d. akinde with Miss diwura aGunwa,dauGhter of the Late pLaywriGht

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HomeSunday MagazineScreenWhen the stage depicts our loss
When the stage depicts our loss
By VICTOR AKANDEPublished 8/11/2009ScreenRating: Unrated
For as long as we can remember, we have allowed those basic values of art and culture to die; stage play being one of them. Have you ever wondered why as a parent you are struck by nostalgia each time you visit your country home? Have you paused to ask why some of our brothers abroad prefer to speak with us in our native tongue rather than in English? The answer is not farfetched; we value ourselves at a distance. My brother in-law was on yahoo chat with my wife a few days ago and in all the three-paged dialogue, hardly did I see a full sentence in English language. Beyond that, it was obvious he found relish in Yoruba proverbs and idiomatic expressions. Gbenga has lived in South Africa for five years now.

My wife’s boss is another example. Dele, while in Nigeria spoke through his nose; it amazes than amuses my wife that her oga desires so much the feel of being a Nigerian with the spontaneity at which he infused Yoruba language in their phone conversations. You may not understand how far away you are from your culture until you take out time to see a stage play. I did, and it was mind blowing.

Have you heard about the young lady called Nneka Egbuna? She won the MOBO award in the African singers’ category last month. But that is not the story. Nneka, half Nigerian-half German, used to think she was white skin until she left the shores of Nigeria. Today her music is for the emancipation of the black man, not only from colour bar, but of the glorious abundance of life, wisdom, and riches deposited by God on the soil and airspace of the black continent. That young girl is nothing short of a black activist as a victim of colour bar.
But here we are neglecting our heritage out of ignorance, and our leaders out of insensitivity have refused to promote those values that stand us out. We fall at the feet of what is called western civilisation, forgetting that the Elizabethan theatre tradition isn’t dead in Britain, just as the Shakespearean experience is still a classic.
Amidst the oddity, one corporate organisation has identified with the vision of rebranding Nigeria in the real sense by choosing not only to encourage the impoverished stage actors by engaging them for half a year but also enlivening the theatre tradition as a new leisure for children of school age.

This Information and Communication Technology firm, Chams Plc, began what it called The Chams Theatre Series in 2008 with theatrical adaptations of the D.O. Fagunwa book, Ogboju Ode Ninu Igbo Irunmale. This year, perhaps like never before, it is the story of this extraordinary adventure of the Sugarcane Man called Ireke Onibudo by the same author. It gladdens my heart to know that Chams is sponsoring this unique experience as a strategic intervention and contribution to the rejuvenation of the Arts and stage culture in Nigeria. It is thoughtful that it sees Corporate Social Responsibility initiative as also a means of promoting our culture and re-orientating Nigerians to the values that we hold dear.

The taste of the pudding is in the eating. As I savour the expertise of Prof Femi Osofisan in bringing this complex plot to stage and the exquisite delivery of the cast, I glance across my shoulder to acknowledge if my Igbo friend was in the same reverie with me. He looked more excited. I told him what he was missing in the area of the music lyrics. But he said to me that the rhythm was complimentary enough to the story. Only then did I know that even I had undermined the power of drama as a universal language. Ben, that’s his name, said that stage play is to him the best form of entertainment; he praised the Yoruba culture to high heavens.

The beauty of the road show for Ireke Onibudo which started yesterday is that although it will be presented in Yoruba and English languages, there will be two different stories entirely from a single theme, as Prof Femi Osofisan and Prof. Akinwunmi Isola, playwright the English and Yoruba languages adaptation respectively; it is only imaginable that interpretation, style, comic relief, suspense, folk song, costume, choreography, and other dramatic elements will make for separate savouring.

The company is extending the number of shows from seven, which it had last year, to eleven this year in response to popular demand. Perhaps this is one of the reasons that the sponsors will also be taking the Chams Theatre Series to schools,s allowing for students from selected schools in four cities to join adults to experience the thrill of live theatre from the D.O. Fagunwa’s collection.

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from 234next.com
Large turnout for Fagunwa play

By Akintayo Abodunrin

November 14, 2009 08:43PMT
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‘The Fabulous Adventures of a Sugarcane Man’ and ‘Agbara Ife’, being the English and Yoruba adaptations of D.O. Fagunwa’s ‘Ireke Onibudo’ by Femi Osofisan and Akinwumi Isola respectively, premiered last weekend in Lagos.

The plays opened to a packed house at Cinema Hall I, National Theatre, Iganmu, on Saturday, November 7 and Sunday, November 8. Eminent Nigerians including former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Joseph Sanusi and his wife, Doyin Ogunbiyi of Tanus Communication, poet Odia Ofeimun, chair of the Fagunwa Foundation, Diwura Fagunwa, artistic director of the National Troupe, Ahmed Yerima, chairman, board of directors, Chams plc, Reverend Bayo Akinde, Lagos State commissioner for tourism, Tokunbo Afikuyomi and other lovers of stage drama were among those who saw the play. Children drawn from schools across Lagos also saw the English adaptation on Monday, November 9 at the same venue.

The Reverend Olu Odejimi, co anchor at the opening with Dayo Olajuwon on Saturday started on a light mode with, “Say to your neighbour good afternoon and how do you do?’ Though ‘The Fabulous Adventures of a Sugarcane Man’ started almost an hour late, people patiently waited while formalities including introduction of guests and the Chams family song rendered by uniformly attired staff of the ICT company were observed.

While Isola and Kola Oyewo who directed his adaptation were at the premieres, only Tunde Awosanmi, director of the English version was present. Isola informed that Osofisan was away on sabbatical outside the country.

One source, different plays

And as Isola, author of ‘Ole Ku’, ‘Efunsetan Aniwura and other plays disclosed earlier at the press preview of the play some weeks ago, though the adaptations are from the same source material – Fagunwa’s Ireke Onibudo written in 1949, the edu-taining plays indeed differ in their treatment of love, the central theme of the original novel.

Similarly, some popular Nollywood actors in the Yoruba genre who feature in ‘Agbara Ife’ gave a good account of themselves. Peter Fatomilola, Toyosi Arigbabuwo, Samson Eluwole (Jinadu Ewele) and Kayode Olaiya (Aderupoko) who started their careers on the stage showed that their skills have not deserted them. Others including Gbolagade Akinpelu (Ogun Majek), John Adewole (Tafa Oloyede) and Jolaade Adejobi (Mama Wande) also distinguished themselves.

In a short speech at the end of ‘Agbara Ife’ on Sunday, Demola Aladekomo, Managing Director of Chams Plc, thanked the audience and stressed the importance of love. He also specially acknowledged the team responsible for the second edition of the theatre series including Fiyinfolu Okedare, Ayodeji Akindele, Isioma Eboka, Bisola Oladipo and Dayo Olajuwon.

The Chams Theatre Series debuted last year with Yoruba and English adaptations of Fagunwa’s ‘Ogboju Ode Ninu Igbo Irunmole’ by Osofisan and Isola. It is, according to Aladekomo, “a strategic intervention and contribution to the rejuvenation of the arts and stage culture in Nigeria. It is also a means of promoting our culture and re-orientating Nigerians to the values that we hold dear.”

‘Agbara Ife’ showed in Ibadan, Oyo State yesterday while ‘The Fabulous Adventures of a Sugarcane Man’ will show in the city today and tomorrow. Both plays will also be staged in Abuja and Akure before the series ends on November 30.
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Posted by seyi on Nov 21 2009

pls when is it gonna be stage in Abuja,time days and venue would be most appreciated.

Posted by Fatai on Nov 28 2009

Thank you Chams Plc.

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from tribune.com.ng

Chams set Lagos, Ibadan aglow with Ireke Onibudo
By Adewale Oshodi – Updated: Tuesday 17-11-2009

A scene in the play IN the first two weekends in the month of November, Lagos and Ibadan theatre lovers were treated to live stage performances, Ireke Onibudo, sponsored by IT giant, Chams Plc. Adewale Oshodi reports how the performances in both cities went, and what lovers of theatre in Abuja and Akure should expect when, the performance train moves to their cities.

For the second year running, Information Technology (IT) firm, Chams Nigeria Plc, through its Chams Theatre Series (CTS) subsidiary, has demonstrated its commitment to the revival of the arts and stage culture in the country.

It all began last year, when Chams sponsored the adaptation of Daniel Olorunfemi Fagunwa’s work, Ogboju Ode Ninu Igbo Irunmale, in both English and Yoruba for stage performances in four cities across the country.

This year, another of Fagunwa’s works, Ireke Onibudo, which theatre lovers in Lagos and Ibadan had already enjoyed, will be staged in Abuja between Saturday 21 and Sunday 22, November, 2009 while the train will move to Akure between Saturday 23 and Monday 30, November, 2009.

Apart from the fact that both English and Yoruba adaptations of Ireke Onibudo are being staged free of charge for theatre lovers in these cities, students also have a special session to enjoy the play.

Already, those who have watched the play in Lagos and Ibadan can testify to the brilliance of the playwrights, who adapted the book Professor Femi Osofisan, for the English adaptation and Professor Akinwumi Isola, for the Yoruba adaptation as well as the Artistic Directors Dr. Tunde Awosanmi, for the English adaptation and Dr. Kola Oyewo, for the Yoruba adaption.

The play, Ireke Onibudo, based on Fagunwa’s 1942 book of same title, was about the adventures of an eponymous hero, Ireke Onibudo, before he finally found his true love who helped him to overcome all his troubles. The play placed emphasis on the capabilities of man in the struggle for survival.

Both adaptations gave prominence to the interplay of humour, as well the presence of all dramatic ingredients which Fagunwa injected into the writing of the play, like fables, folktales, poetry, perseverance, love etc.

The cast of both adaptations were made from seasoned theatre professionals who proved their mettle by rendering a near-perfect performance. For the English adaptation, artistes like Toyin Oshinaike, Albert Akaeze, Kunle Agboola, Charles Ihimodu, among others, and the Yoruba adaptation, artistes like Peter Fatomilola, Gbolagade Akinpelu, Samson Eluwole, Toyosi Arigbabuowo, Kayode Olaiya, among others, gave a performance that could only be described as excellent.

The fact that the translators, Professors Osofisan and Isola, as well as the artistic directors, Dr. Awosanmi and Dr. Oyewo, are among the best that could be found anywhere in the world, really had a great impact on the performances.

The play treated the audience to a series of Yoruba folklore songs, which as a result of the changing world, are no longer popular. The audience was also reminded about the beautiful Ekun Iyawo, literally bridal chant or wailing, rendered by the bride on the eve of her marriage, which is one of the final rites of marriage ceremonies in traditional Yoruba society.

The costumes used really depicted the situation in which the artistes were at a particular point in time; like Ireke’s torn agbada after being severely beaten in the town of Alupayida; or Ireke’s mother’s costume, an all white net that covered her entire head to toe, to depict a ghost when she appeared to Ireke under the sea; or even the Arogidigba (Queen of the Coast) and her lieutenants who had a silky, beautiful and shimering attire to complement the popular belief that the queen of the underwater is a stunning beauty.

The sound effects were creatively employed to intensify the reality of the setting. The effects brought life to the performance. Sounds of birds chirpings in the forest, or sounds of the underwater, as well as its usage to create an atmosphere of fear, was simply excellent.

The lights were used as transistional guide to seamlessly link the scenes. Therefore, Abuja and Akure residents can expect to also enjoy what Lagos and Ibadan theatre lovers had enjoyed by storming the Cyprian Ekwensi Centre for Arts and Culture, Abuja and Adegbemila Hall, Akure, when the performance train gets to their cities.

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FROM

PRESERVING THE CULTURAL HERITAGE OF THE YORUBA-FROM THE GUARDIAN NEWSPAPER,AUG.2009

October 19, 2009

from ngrguardiannews.com

Friday, August 28, 2009

Yoruba Academy… preserving cultural heritage of the Yoruba
By Anote Ajeluorou

IT will be an under-estimation to say that most cultures in Africa are dying. In nowhere else is this truer than in Nigeria. Most young people do not know the traditions that define their existence. Even the language, the first purveyor of a people’s culture, is fast becoming alien to such young people.

How can such negative trend be reversed to keep the soul of most ethnic groups alive? What does each ethnic group contribute to the commonwealth, and how can this be highlighted? How can the traditions of the tribe be passed on to the young ones in the face of assimilating Western pop cultures? Indeed, how can the cultural excellence of an ethnic group like Yoruba be celebrated in a wholesome way?

These are some of the questions a new intellectual think-tank known as the Yoruba Academy is attempting to answer. Set up two years ago, the academy is making its first major public outing with an art exhibition focusing on core Yoruba motifs and celebrating the traditions invested therein. With the title ‘Yoruba’, the exhibition is expository in nature as it explores pertinent issues that form the core values in Yoruba worldview.

It is the view of the organisers that African countries are adrift because they have lost touch with their past, and the values that constituted that past. And, having learnt nothing or having failed to take anything from that past that is generally agreed to be good, it is no surprise the continent is beset with crisis of confidence and identity and in the area of value orientation.

To rediscover themselves in these core areas within the Yoruba way of seeing the world, Yoruba Academy is envisaged to play a prominent role. According to Mr. Kunle Famoriyo, a member of the committee of the academy, an intellectual outpost was needed to properly articulate the rich cultural past of the Yoruba. Like every group willing to move beyond the current degradable level in every facet of society, they aim to integrate the past with the present for the continuing survival of the group and its rich heritage for coming generations.

He explained that one of the works that most exemplify what the academy stands for is Yomi Leon Ashaye’s expository piece of work ‘Ayandiran’ on display at the academy’s 25 Dejo Oyelese Street at Bodija GRA office, Ibadan. ‘Ayandiran’ depicts an old man, who represents the passing tradition, teaching a boy how to play the gungun (talking drum). The old man is cast in gray colours while bright colours suffuse the boy, whose bouyant mood is typified by his laughter with a bright future laid out before him.

“Nobody wants his tradition to die,” Famoriyo insisted. “In every ethnic group, there is a reason for its existence. God is the God of variety. Why must we allow our cultures to die? We should be able to keep them. In ‘Ayandiran’ the father or old man is passing the culture or tradition, of drumming, down the line. Is it in our time that the tradition will stop or die? Yoruba Academy is an intellectual outpost for teaching the science, culture, technology and the Yoruba ways of life to the young ones.”

He counseled that the academy shouldn’t be seen in tribal slants as it was not out to propagate ethic bigotry but that it was out to celebrate the beauty and excellence of Yoruba culture. He urged every ethnic group in the country to strive to save their respective cultures from dying as modern civilization was threatening to do. For Famoriyo, Nigeria’s lack of unity does not derive from the diversity of her cultures or ethnic groups as some ignorantly claim or believe. Rather, he said, it stemmed from the wrong political values that seek to entrench needless ethnic divisions.

“The unity we are looking for in Nigeria must not cut us off from our respective cultures and languages,” he noted. “We are too concentrated on politics we have forgotten who we are. We can’t be talking about politics all the time without serious planning on the way forward. We need to develop our people not to see politics as a place to fight; our different religions never fought among themselves. We should inculcate this into our politics.”

Famoriyo further argued that what ordinarily united the diverse peoples of the country most was not politics but the cultural heritage, which he said were sadly neglected. He stated that the respective languages and cultures of the Nigerian people held the key to the nation’s unity as cultural affinity among the different tribes was to be found in these areas.

“We are not aware that our languages are dying,” he said lamentably, “but it is so; we must keep them alive. We should not allow our languages to die. What unites us most isn’t politics but the languages and cultures that have unifying ties.”

He gave the similarities that exist in the Yoruba and Igbo lexicons in certain words. He said words like ear, nose and forest and several others bear similarity in their phonological and semantic appropriation in the two languages. He then wondered why people failed to see such areas of oneness but rather liked to emphasise the so-called difference and exploited same for political advantage that had done nothing to advance the unity of the country. “We need to recognise these things and amplify them so we can see ourselves as one.” He stressed.

Members in the committee of Yoruba Academy include Ayo Afolabi, Kayode Samuel, Dr. Charles Akinola, Dipo Famakinwa, Dr. Tunde Adegbola and Prince Oye Oyewumi. Others are Mrs. Sade Taiwo, Jimi Agbaje, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Tola Mobolurin, Mrs. Funmi Olayinka, Mrs. Jumoke Ajasin and Prince Tokunbo Ajasin.

The promoters, Famoriyo noted, would employ Yoruba Academy as a rallying point for “intellectual awareness, artistic expression, cultural reorientation and anything that will bring about the development of Yoruba people and serve as a resource centre for Yoruba civilization. We are trying to preserve our identity as a people”.

Dr. Iyabo Bassir, programme advisor to the academy also said the academy was “about being proud of who we are, what we have, about unearthing the knowledge we have that can liberate us so we can shed superstition and not be easily manipulated. It’s about doing not about talking. We need to celebrate what we are. The art show is to celebrate the expressiveness of the Yoruba in the area of culture.

“We shall also be celebrating 50 years of broadcasting in Nigeria by producing a video on broadcasting, which started here in Ibadan”.

Some of the artists said the exhibition initiative by Yoruba Academy enabled them dig deep into their roots as Yoruba to come up with the pieces. Ashaye with his expository ‘Ayandiran’ stated that he liked documenting passing civilizations for posterity and also challenging the status quo in his paintings. Fela Bolaji’s ‘Tewe Tegbo’ explores the place of traditional medicine and herbs in Yoruba socio-cultural life. “I’m trying to bring back our traditional things and the natural resources of our different herbs, fruits, and barks both for the curative and economic gains they offer,” he explained.

Ade Oluwaji’s ‘Aso Ebi’ examines the social implication of the Aso Ebi practice of wearing a similar clothing item for social events in his resin engraving, which is largely experimental. He explained that the practice was both coercive and economical depending on how one perceives the practice. His second piece ‘Ejanbakan’ has its root in the social lore of identification: Is it a fish or a crab? It could also be used to ascertain the sex of a child at birth: Is it a boy or a girl? But the social aesthetics of the question has been extended to embrace other areas of societal concern. So, is it good or bad news, positive or negative?

If the affirmation is that it is good news or a boy that is given birth to, the celebratory drums are rolled out, people are gathered and animals are slaughtered for feasting to begin. All this Oluwaji carefully represents in his colourful work to exemplify an aspect of a typical Yoruba social setting. Exploring Yoruba environment and motifs, he said, gives him joy and the exhibition is one way to showcase his talent.

Continuing on that Yoruba traditional vein is Kola Akintola’s work that explores religious mythology that is only unique to the Yoruba but also believed to be lost to a majority of people, especially the young ones. Titled ‘Ela’, another name for Ifa, the intermediary between the divine, Olodumare, and man, Akintola explained that Ela plays the mediatory role of Christ in Yoruba religious setting. He executed the abstract work on a relief on metal foil to throw up the images for clarity.

Akintola stated that he regretted that such ancient Yoruba knowledge was fast passing away and that it was being lost to this generation. Yoruba Academy, he said, was on a mission to rescue such vital local, cultural knowledge and “to bridge the gap between the past and the present, and for this generation to know and be informed”.

Another critical area for examination is the where about of some of the nation’s rich cultural objects or artifacts. Emmanuel I.M. Silva, an artist and curator of the exhibition, who has a passion for the documentation of Nigeria’s cultural history, boldly takes on this enquiry in his work, “Arugbo Ojo’.

With four representatives of the heads of Onis of Ife, Silva maintains that Nigeria might have lost more artifacts than originally claimed. That even the ones claimed to be in some museums in the country might actually be copies while the original ones had long been carted away. It is a telling piece and an indictment of the nation’s shoddy attitude to things sacred or antique. Silva advocates a change in attitude as Nigerians pay heavily to see such works outside the country not to mention the loss to the historical process.

“I’m examining many issues about the past with my work,” he explained. “Where are the artifacts? Are the correct tradition being followed by current Onis? There were sixteen minor deities that came from Olodumare. One was Oduduwa. Who are the others? We need to know. I’m passionate about documentation so we can study the history, culture and our value systems. If we don’t study them, research into them, we can’t get far in our quest for development as a nation.

Mr. A.A. Ayandepo’s sculptural set is a pantheon of the deities and their allies consisting of Ibeji, Osun, Yemoja, Oduduwa, Ogun, Sango Oya, Esu, Ipon – essential Yoruba religious motifs – and a central figure believed to be Olodumare in its mythic and grand standing. The entire piece is an installation ranged round the central figure as in a shrine.

As curator, Silva said the exhibition shows the ideals for which the Yoruba Academy stands for as a bridge between the past and the present. His words: “We need to connect the past with the present. If you don’t make the past meet the present, interact with contemporary things, it’s going to be difficult. We looked at certain defining areas of the life of a typical Yoruba community, which the artists explored in their works: music, clothing, value system, traditional medicine and reconciliation to cover the different themes that Yoruba Academy represents. It is designed to raise awareness, to help the contemporary get connected with the traditional”.

It is also the hope of the curator that the otherwise dormant cultural life of the ancient city of Ibadan ‘scattered amidst seven hills/like a broken china in the sun’ will receive a revival of sorts with Yoruba Academy art exhibition.

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