Archive for the ‘YORUBA’ Category
BROTHER WOLE SOYINKA ON “A MISGOVERNED GOVERNOR!”:AN ATTEMPT TO MORTGAGE YORUBA CULTURE! FROM NAIJABLOG.BLOGSPOT.COMAugust 26, 2008
Saturday, August 23, 2008
A MISGOVERNED GOVERNOR – by Wole Soyinka
What a pity that some individuals, especially in leadership positions, have never learnt to leave well alone! Oyinlola, embattled governor of Osun State on multiple fronts, raced to Sydney, Australia, to seek audience with Ulli Beier, seeking a way out of the unsavory dilemma into which he had been thrust by his former military boss to whom his allegiance remains fixated over and above the claims of truth, culture, decency, and the people of Osun state over whom he was presumably ‘elected’; to preside. His mission: to seek a face-saving formula from the Beiers.
Ever his gracious, Yoruba acculturated self, Ulli Beier consented to receive him but – alone, without his entourage. There – and I do not speculate – he was duly scolded like the errant scion of a royal house he is, called to order, reminded by his elderly host of a long cultural collaboration with his late father. Oyinlola emerged duly chastened, knowing that he had no choice but to revert to the path of honour. However, does he leave well alone? No, he had to present the nation with his own version of that closed-door session, laying the seeds of further distractions and/or new ways to pursue a tenacious agenda. It is not by accident that the FESTAC collection has been mentioned in documents connected to this saga of acquisitive obsession. We had better start screaming right now, even before ‘facts’ become facts, and a national acquisition ends in the bowels of presidential Laundromats.
Now, what are these ‘facts’ that Oyinlola advises his betters to verify before exercising their ‘elder statesman’ interventionist compulsion? It is a demeaning exercise, but I must try public patience with a reiteration of some already stated facts – facts as in factual, without the inverted commas. The following are excerpts from a letter of 4 July 2007 to Mr. Koichiro Matsura, Director-General of UNESCO, by Ambassador Michael Omolewa, the Nigerian Permanent Delegate to UNESCO:
“Permit me to present to you formally my Government’s proposal: the Government of Nigeria has decided that the Institute shall be established on the premises of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library in Abeokuta, Ogun State……”
Now, turn to page 3 of that letter, under “Explanatory Note” and see the guaranteed contents of this Institute. I quote:
“Ulli and Georgina Beier have signed an agreement with the Government in which they agreed to transfer their archive and collection of some 10,000 items of books, articles, photographs, negatives and albums, films, videos, audio cassettes, record CDs, ephemera about concerts and exhibitions and other cultural items and material pertaining to Nigerian and in particular Yoruba culture…..”
Will Prince Oyinlola kindly tell the nation to which Institute, according to Omolewa’s letter, this collection was to be transferred?
In the immediately preceding paragraph, Ambassador Omolewa actually assures the Director-General that sub-branches of the Obasanjo Library based Institute will be created, the first of which shall be the ‘ULLI AND GEORGINA BEIER CENTRE FOR BLACK CULTURE AND INTERNATIONAL UNDERSTANDING” This was the picture presented to Ulli Beier, only for this laudable recognition to be appropriated by the Olusegun Obasanjo Library, on behalf of which the UNESCO Category II accreditation was to be sought.
It is a tedious, ignoble affair, and I have already laid out the heart of the matter in my earlier article that alerted UNESCO to the danger of it being turned into a Laundromat for Failed Rulers. So let me cut straight though the brambles of deceit, manipulation and confusionist tactics at ambassadorial level. Here is the title of the actual petition that went before the Executive Board – Document 177 Ex/69) of 17 September 2007- for presentation to the General Assembly:
“PROPOSAL FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF AN INSTITUTE FOR AFRICAN CULTURE AND INTERNATIONAL UNDERSTANDING AT THE OLUSEGUN OBASANJO LIBRARY IN ABEOKUTA, OGUN STATE NIGERIA, AS A CATEGORY 2 CENTRE UNDER THE AUSPICES OF UNESCO”
Lo and behold, the ULLI AND GEORGINA BEIER CENTRE FOR BLACK CULTURE AND INTERENATIONAL UNDERSTANDING, on the basis of which the archives were bought, presented to the Director-General for endorsement in July 2007 by the Nigerian Government through her Ambassador Omolewa, has become, by September of the same year, the OLUSEGUN OBASANJO INSTITUTE. Based on what credentials? The ability to swallow, intact, the Ulli and Georgina collection, salted and spiced by public funds. This was the Grand Larceny that would have become a fait accompli in April this year, but for the naturally resented intervention of those who are now advised to get their ‘facts’ straight. The shameless posturing of Oyinlola takes one’s breath away.
More facts? In the Memorandum of Understanding signed by Babaloola Borishade, Minister of Culture, on behalf of the Nigerian Government,and dated 10th May, 2007, the honourable Minister provides the genesis of the conspiracy to appropriate the Beier archives in paragraph 5 (Background). In the Minister’s words:
‘Subsequently President Olusegun Obasanjo requested Professor Borisade, Professor Omolewa, and Hans d’Orville to explore and negotiate with Mr. and Mrs. Beier the terms and arrangements of a transfer of the archive from Sydney in a newly to be created centre in Oshogbo, as part of a new Institute for Black Culture and International Understanding being established under UNESCO s auspices at the Olusegun Obasanjo Library”
Put all those ‘facts’ together, and all they form is a crooked line. As it happens however, a substantive issue has been raised that must be confronted by UNESCO. Now that Oyinlola’s authoritative voice has been raised to assure the nation, and the people of Osun state, that the archives will now go where they were originally designated, what does that make of the earlier aspirant, now thwarted custodian, the Obasanjo Library? In cultural terms, a koroo isana. An empty matchbox, and I consider it my duty to pass on this development, and its implications, formally to UNESCO in my capacity as Goodwill Ambassador, among other hats I occasionally put on my head.
My prolonged collaboration with that institution indicates quite plainly that it endorses actualities, be they of Nature or man’s intelligence – Angkor Wat, Osun Grove, Sintra, Abu Simbel, the Alhambra, active programmes with records to show for their existence, specialised institutions etc. etc. I have yet to learn that ‘yet-to-be-created’ notions, expectations and intentions, even when backed by five-star hotels and promissory notes and government subsidies qualify for UNESCO designations. Functioning is the ultimate criteria, not simply a building, or complex. Those who want to pursue illusions are free to do so. It is when attempts are made to stuff such illusions with the palpable life labour of others as credentials that we are forced to bring the House of Cards crashing down on their heads.
Facts, Prince Oyinlola? There are plenty more, but we’ll reserve them for the effective time and place. My advice to you is that you stick to the guardianship and preservation of those archives when they arrive in Oshogbo – at least, while you’re still governor. For the unfinished part of this tawdry business, the dateline is October/November, UNESCO, Paris. We’ll see you there, with your entourage – or whoever is governor. In the meantime, let the appropriate Ministry – and public – take stock of all the bits and pieces the nation has managed to salvage from FESTAC.
A Press conference, foreign architects in attendance, has already bragged of building a museum in the Library complex. New functions for a Presidential Library are being touted that were not canvassed during the extortionist exercise that launched the five-star hotel and yet-to-be-created Institutes. Experts, scholars and diplomats are already under recruitment. Tracks are being laid to ease the passage of FESTAC archives into the baskets of the Presidential Laundromat, upon whose porous containers the UNESCO recognition as a cultural estate will now be based. Mischief is yet afoot, let no one be deceived.
There are some guests , when they leave the house, you have to count the forks and knives.
(published with kind permission from the author)
Beyond the Pale
Hydroquinone, widely used in skin lightening creams, is soon to be banned altogether.BY Prisca McGuire
Poisoning, convulsions, asthma, leukaemia, liver damage, anaphylactic shock and infertility are not conditions normally associated with cosmetics. However, prolonged use of certain cosmetic creams, which contain bleaching agents, has been linked with all of the above.
In recent years, despite rigorous campaigning to raise awareness about the dangers of excessive exposure to the sun, the serious health risks which can arise from using unregulated bleaching creams has received little or no attention.
Black skin renews itself quickly, rapidly producing new skin cells, this ability for regeneration keep our skin’s looking younger for longer. Whenever Black skin is damaged or traumatised, it produces an excess of melanin in the area. This hyper-pigmentation can result in a humble spot or cut producing a dark patch where it is healed. Skin bleaches are often used in an attempt to even out skin tone or remove dark patches caused by injury. However, in some sections of the society, particularly in African communities, skin bleaches are used to lighten the skin in the misguided belief that a lighter complexion is better.
The production of the most commonly used bleaching agent, hydroquinone (chemical formula C6H6O2), came about by accident, after Black workers in a rubber plant found that when a certain chemical came into contact with their skin it caused light patches of skin. The workers sued for damages as a result of their injuries, but their ‘discovery’ led to the commercial production of cosmetic creams containing hydroquinone as a bleaching agent.
Hydroquinone is a very powerful chemical that it used as the key ingredient in the photographic process of development, but is also used in the rubber industry as an antioxidant, and as an agent in hair dyes. Mercury is another product often used in some cosmetic products as a bleaching agent. Severly toxic, it can cause skin to go grey or blue black, rather than lighter, and in many cases has resulted in the user suffering from mercury poisoning.
How do they work?
Bleaching creams work by stripping the skin of its natural pigmentation. However, in dark skinned people, the pigmentation is the skin’s natural protection from the sun. Bleaching doesn’t just superficially lighten the skin, it alters the skin’s ‘natural’ structure, removing and inhibiting the production of the colour creating melanin.
Once the skin has been ‘bleached’ it loses its natural protective barrier, making it susceptible to damage by the sun’s rays. This is also why many bleaching products contain either sunscreen, or come with instructions advising people to use sun protection creams along with the product. Prolonged use of these bleaching products can also prevent the formation of melanin in the deeper basal layers of the skin, which will leave the skin lighter, but also leave it more vulnerable to damage. Hydroquinone in particular, has been found to damage the connective tissue in the skin and cartilage, hence its removal from skincare products.
People who use bleaching products can end up with rough and blotchy skin, and then get caught up in the ‘bleaching trap’ by using more cream to try and correct the problem, and by doing so, find themsevles causing even more damage to their skin. Alternatively, they may find that because of exposure to the sun, their ‘lightened skin’ gets darker.
Up until now it has been legal to sell and promote skin bleaches which contain a maximum of two per cent hydroquinone. Although there is anecdotal evidence of shops selling under the counter creams that contain over this legal limit. Even at national and international levels, standards differ. For example, anyone caught travelling to the Gambia with cosmetics containing hydroquinone is subject to a large fine. Yet, another African country was recently prepared to pay research scientist Sujata Jolly, two million pounds to develop a bleaching cream.
Sujata told us, ‘I couldn’t take the contract. Having seen the terrible effects skin bleaching has had on some people, there was no way I was prepared to take the contract, no matter how much money they offered.’ She said, ‘I’ve been campaigning against the use of bleaching creams for years, and have written and appealed to health ministers in an attempt to get them to do something, because I feel so strongly about the dangers of using these creams.’
Sujata adds that she’s not alone. Southwark Council’s Trading Standards Council recently led a campaign against the use of bleaching creams. The campaigning efforts have finally paid off, because this time next year, hydroquinone will no longer be approved as a bleaching agent for use in cosmetic creams in
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has received a directive (Twenty-fourth Commission Directive), from the European Commission, banning the use of hydroquinone as a skin lightener. The draft of the directive clearly states that ‘Harmful secondary effects have been shown to arise following prolonged use of hydroquinone as a skin-lightening cream. This particular use of hydroquinone must not therefore be authorised’. This means that not even the current allowance of two per cent of hydroquinone in cosmetics will be approved by law. Member states are already taking measures to implement the directive. However, worryingly, some major cosmetic companies are not even aware of the directive.
Don’t Kill Your Skin With Bleachers, Warns Doctor “Healthy skin is beautiful skin whatever the color”
“Healthy skin is beautiful skin, whatever the color”, says Dr.Clive Anderson, consultant dermatologist and venereologist at Nuttall //Medical Centre, Jamaica.
The doctor’s address is part of a move to get Jamaicans aware of the dangers of skin bleaching. Accordingly, many of the island’s youth resort to bleaching or lightening the skin with various creams got off the streets.
Government health officials plan to launch a campaign against skin bleaching, dubbed ‘Don’t kill the skin’, next month. They intend to use advertisements, literature and talks to convince people about the harm of bleaching. bleaching may lead to melanoma, one of the leading causes of death in the island, warn doctors.
Most of the creams contain hydroquinone, a chemical that counteracts melanin; the natural pigment responsible for the tone of skin or complexion.
Hydroquinone is a prescription drug in Europe and highly regulated in the U.S.
Melanin has the role of protecting the skin from harmful effects of the sun, hence using any cream that suppresses melanin production, can only have adverse effects, according to doctors.
The government has banned creams by the names Neprosone Gel, Hyprogel, Dermo Gel Plus and Movate Cream among others. In addition to the heavy campaigning against bleaching, fines of 50,000 Jamaican dollars will be charged for the illegal sale of banned skin lighteners under the country’s Food and Drug Act.
Doctors list the side effects of bleaching creams as skin cancer, thinning of the skin, irreversible stretch marks, easy bruising and tearing of the skin, rashes, enlarged blood vessels, susceptibility to infection, delayed wound healing, hyper pigmentation, acne and hormonal disturbances.
‘Beauty’ does seem to come at a very high cost.
Beyoncé Knowles & the Skin-Whitening Controversy
by max blunt at 04:35PM (CEST) on August 11, 2008 | Permanent Link | Cosmos
Cosmetics company L’Oreal has been accused of
“whitening” singer Beyoncé Knowles’ skin colour in
a series of press ads in women’s magazines in the US
The ads for L’Oreal Paris’ Feria hair color product,
are in the Elle, Allure and Essence magazines
Cosmetics company L’Oreal has been accused of “whitening” singer Beyoncé Knowles’ skin colour in a series of press ads in women’s magazines in the US.
The ads, for L’Oreal Paris’ Feria hair colour product, feature in the September editions of Elle, Allure and Essence magazines in the US.
In the ads the 26-year-old star, who is married to rapper Jay Z, appears to be much whiter than typical pictures of the singer-cum-actress.
There has been a backlash in the US over the images. The New York post said that the “digital lightening” made her “virtually unrecognisable”.
Gossip website TMZ described the Beyoncé images as “bleached out” and “Photoshopped”, launching an online poll to ask if the whitening was “a slap to blacks?”.
However, L’Oreal maintained there has been no lightening of the singer’s complexion in the ads.
“We highly value our relationship with Ms Knowles. It is categorically untrue that L’Oreal Paris altered Ms Knowles’ features or skin tone in the campaign for Feria hair color,” the company said in a statement.
Knowles has worked with the cosmetics company since 2001.
Millions of Black Women ‘Bleach’ Their Skin [Source]
It’s great that L’Oreal has publicly denied that it had deliberately tried to make Beyoncé appear whiter in its latest campaign.
However, “bleaching” is still a huge issue for young women around the world.
The 27-year-old singer, who has an African American father and Creole mother, is naturally light-skinned, with dark brown hair, but appears with very pale skin and strawberry blonde hair as the face of L’Oreal.
She appears, if not exactly “white” then definitely racially ambiguous. It is a tactic Beyoncé appears to have used herself previously – perhaps to make her image more commercial.
Her trademark has been very long blonde hair extensions and yes, looking as light as possible. Whether or not this was her actual intention, her commercial success is undeniable.
Beyond her endorsements, as a solo artist she has sold many millions of albums and singles worldwide, dwarfing the solo earnings of other members of the Grammy-winning girl group Destiny’s Child, who incidentally are much darker.
This is not the first time advertisers have been accused of white-washing. There was uproar when the black “Halifax man”, appeared to have become progressively lighter and his voice was dubbed.
Halifax denied the accusation. Then there was the infamous Ford company photo where black faces were simply changed to white. Ford apologised.
But the problem goes beyond the airbrushing and whitewashing of global corporations.
“Bleaching” is a huge industry in developing countries. This legacy of slavery or colonization, where lighter-skinned or white people were given visible privileges over hundreds of years has resulted in societies where the lighter you are, the higher your status socially and economically.
In India, women strive to achieve the “wheat” colour much-requested on Asian dating websites. In the Caribbean, light skin is also highly desired while in African countries even seemingly minor variations in skin tone can contribute to ethnic conflict.
Containing the active ingredients hydroquinone and/or mercury, bleaching creams have been linked with the disfiguring condition ochronosis, marked by the darkening and thickening of the skin.
Also, there is the appearance of tiny dome-shaped bumps and greyish-brown spots, according to the US FDA which proposed a ban on skin-lightening creams without a prescription back in 2006.
In the UK, the amount of hydroquinone allowed in retail skin-lightening creams has been limited to just 2% but demand means there is a ready unofficial market for stronger potions.
Ironically, skin-lightening creams are often a misnomer, since after discontinuing use, normal sun exposure can make you darker than before.
Women can then become psychologically addicted to creams and over years destroy not just their complexions, but also their health and self-esteem.
Marketers are well aware of how a “white” or “black” face on packaging can affect sales.
The purpose of the recent Italian Vogue issue featuring completely black models was mainly to combat the widely held perception that black faces “don’t sell”.
However, advertisers may not be aware of how younger girls are influenced by images of women being airbrushed ever lighter, skinnier, blonder.
L’Oreal have denied that their actions were deliberate, but nevertheless yet another message, that the whiter you are the more successful you will be, has been sent.
“SKIN BLEACHING IS DANGEROUS”SAYS BEAUTIFUL BLACK SKINNED TINUOLA OGINNI FROM NIGERIAN TRIBUNE NEWSPAPER 2008August 26, 2008
Skin bleaching is dangerous
updated: Friday 04-07-2008
She is Tinu Oginni, a beauty and make-up expert based in the United Kingdom, with a mission to create more awareness about the long term effect of using bleaching products to change skin tone by people of all ages and background. She also wants to create more awareness on why we are dark in colour and enable us build our confidence in being black, enrich our lives and reveal our hidden beauty so that we live in good state of health.
According to her, in this modern appearance- conscious society in which we live, there is a myth that lighter, pale complexion portrays beauty, riches, success, and people are often commended on the fairness of their skin. “This misguided belief has resulted in making a lot of people bow to this social pressure, which is enormous and cuts across all the strata of our society.”
“It is imperative, therefore, on our part that we put a halt to this. Banning of products containing hydroquinone and mercury will not stop the products from entering Nigeria, but the only way to make a positive impact on preventing this anormaly from spreading is to create more awareness about the long term effects of using skin bleaching products on our skin,” said Ogini.
She stated that in order to combat this problem, confidence teaching must start in the homes and then in the schools to enable children value themselves, i.e, their colour, religion, culture, family, country.” “Beauty is more than skin deep. The radiance that shines through an individual and her comportments are all attributes that attest not only to her beauty but also her confidence.
To change your skin colour is to betray your maker and your faith, for in the realm of religion there must be no room for vanity, “ she said. Bleaching, according to her, is most certainly not pleasing in the eyes of the Lord. “In order to change the psyche of our people, I am organizing a national crusade across the six geo-political zones of Nigeria in which various lectures intended to expose the negative underpinnings of bleaching will be delivered by scholars and researchers such as dermatologists, psychologists, beauticians and religious leaders among others.”
Areas of concern will include: Why we have our skin colour; medical, social, spiritual and economic implications of bleaching our skin. The campaign against this anomally aims to educate through the aggressive use of the mass media such as, television, radio jingles, newspapers, magazines, flyers, posters, bill board, public campaign, seminars and workshop.
What is bleaching?
Bleaching is using products that contain hydroquinone and mercury to change our colour. There is also a new product in market containing kajoic acid. All these products work by inhibiting the production of melanin. Hydroquinone is a severely toxic and very powerful chemical used in photo processing, the manufacture of rubber and is an active agent in hair dye. Mercury in the form of Mercury Chloride and Ammoniated Mercury is carcinogenic (Cancer-causing agent). They appear on the list of toxic substances that can only be purchased via pharmacies with prescribed labels of toxicity.
What are the long term effects of using bleaching products on our skin?
Bleaching leads to increase thinning of the skin and stretch marks.
Bleaching is associated to being a carcinogen. (Cancer- causing agent).
Bleaching pills are toxic and can cause damage to internal organs such as kidney and liver.
Bleaching leaves odour which is anything from stale, mousy, to fishy
Skin bleaching can cause rough, blotchy skin, leaving it with a spotty cavier appearance.
Why do people use skin bleaching products?
1. Uneven complexion tone (skin with blemishes).
2. Consumers being lured by marketing ploy.
3. Lack of basic information and education on why we are dark in colour (ignorance).
4. Social pressure (some consider bleaching as fashionable).
There is usually an underlying cause for uneven complexion tone. They include: Eczema, acne, poor nutrition. Visit a dermatologist, do not apply unprescribed cream on your skin! Manufacturers of skin bleaching products use marketing ploy to lure customers, i.e putting toning and lightening in the same sentence.
Skin lightening and toning are two different things Lightening is bleaching. Toning is freshenening up your skin. Manufacturers of skin bleaching products may not be fully versed with the side effect of their products. Some products present misleading labels or are economical with the truth (i.e. 2% hydroquinone while it contains 6% or even more). Manufacturers of skin bleaching products coming into Nigeria must label their products to include the proper warning label i.e (bleaching may harm your skin)
A lot of people lack basic information and education on why our skin is dark in colour.In Nigeria shinning of the sun is intense. God created us with the right skin type to survive the harshness. Our body produces melanin which protects our skin from the harmful (ultra violet ray of the sun). Without melanin production, we would need to cover our skin with sun screen; without melanin production, our skin will be vulnerable and risk a greater chance of developing cancer. The more melanin we produce the darker we are. We are beautiful creatures that God made and gave us different skin tone. All colours are beautiful but there are ways we can care for our skin by maintaining or improving its look and texture. Fortunately, a woman skin does not have to be truly flawless to look like it is, the steps to create a perfect finish starts with a great skin care programme, i.e,
Cleanse your skin to remove make-up and impurities.
Exfoliate your skin to remove dead surface cells.
Freshen your skin to tone and refine pores.
Moisturize your skin for soft, smooth skin.
Protect your skin from environmental damage using foundation while colour cosmetics will produce the fabulous finish when required.
NIGERIAN SISTER TINUOLA OGINNI CAMPAIGNS AGAINST BLEACHING OUR BEAUTIFUL BLACK SKIN! FROM NIGERIAN TRIBUNE,JUNE 2008August 26, 2008
A Nigerian’s campaign against skin bleaching
updated: Friday 13-06-2008
(L-R) Miss Tinuola Oginni, addressing
blacks resident in the United Kingdon
during one of her numerous campaigns
against skin bleaching.Assistant Editor, Jackson Udom, just back from London, writes on what Miss Tinuola Oginni, a London-based make-up artiste, is doing on the streets of London, with her solo crusade against bleaching by blacks resident in London and her plans to take the battle to her roots.
The bleaching culture crept into the consciousness of Nigerians several years ago, with little or nothing done to check its spread, which, surprisingly, cuts across virtually all sexes, class and groups.
Despite its grevious health consequences, Nigerians, particularly, the women and some men have turned deaf ear to the health implications of bleaching. But one Nigerian has decided to take the bull by the horn, and that person is London-based Miss Tinuola Oginni.
Nigerian Tribune encountered this amazon on the streets of London on three different occasions preaching against bleaching, and this caught the attention of this reporter, which led to the attempt at unravelling the reasons behind such a public crusade by a Nigerian against bleaching in a foreign land largely peopled by whites.
According to those who spoke with Nigerian Tribune on what they described as “the yeoman war against bleaching” by the London-trained make-up artist, “the crusade against bleaching has taken Tinu to virtually all the nooks and crannies of the United Kingdom. It is aimed at discouraging or completely eradicating the spirit of bleaching among Africans. She is more concerned about the health implications associated with bleaching and that is why she goes around the UK to let the people believe in the colour of their skin”.
Nigerian Tribune also gathered that she has also taken her crusade against bleaching to churches particularly those with predominantly African. It was further learnt that the crusade has, on a daily basis, been receiving the support of religious organisations.
In a chat with Nigerian Tribune at one of the venues of her anti-bleaching crusade, the make-up artiste said she was moved to preach against bleaching because of what she witnessed when her very close friend was to undergo an operation in the hospital.
“I am out on the streets against bleaching because of the experience I had when my very close friend was admitted for operation in an hospital. She did not survive the operation because she had been bleaching for over 15 years. According to the GP’s report after the operation, which was very successful, they found it difficult closing her up after the operation because her outerskin layer hadbeen destroyed due to long years of bleaching.
Because of that she died. It was a painful loss. In fact, I am yet to overcome that loss. That is just one out of very many tragedies occasioned by attempts by Africans to want to look like Europeans. They forget that God gave them that skin colour because of the weather and made the Europeans white because of their weather.”
She further said “black Africans still see bleaching as the in thing in town. I am yet to see any white man who wants to change his skin to black and that is why I have taken it upon myself to alert blacks on the dangers inherent in bleaching.”
On why she decided to carry out the campaign in London and not in Africa, the Osun State-born artiste said, “the war has to start from here because African’s resident here are largely influenced by what they see. They see the whites and they want to look like them in colour, forgetting about the health hazards associated with such things”
She however, assured that plans were underway to take the crusade against bleaching to Africa, saying, “I have Africa, the continent of the blacks, in mind. In the next couple of weeks I will move my campaign there because that is where we have the largest population of blacks, but as they say, charity begins at home. Nigeria, my country, will be my first port of call,”
According to Miss Oginni, “we will need the support of government, organisations, highly placed individuals for the success of the crusade and it is my prayer that at the end of the campaign against this social abnormality the blacks will come to the understanding of the dangers inherent in bleaching. There is dignity in the black colour because it is a special gift from God and any attempt to want to tamper with it is an indirect way of being ungrateful to God.”
© 2004 – 2008 African Newspapers of Nigeria Plc. Publishers of Nigerian Tribune, Saturday Tribune, Sunday Tribune.
All Rights Reserved
i. Promote, preserve and protect Yoruba culture and its people
ii. Offer a credible platform for Yoruba cultural revitalization
iii. Use the platform for positive economic, social, cultural and historical advancement of Yoruba as a people
iv. Serve as a good means of projecting the creativity, rich spiritual and cultural artistry of Yoruba nation
v. Inculcate in our youths the core values of the Yorubas and the concept of Omoluabi through culture to make them better citizens of the world.
The Festival of Yoruba Arts and Culture, seeks to bring to the fore, the rich cultural heritage of the Yoruba all over the world. From the South west Nigeria to the rich agrarian hinterlands of Kwara, Kogi, Edo & Delta State as far as, Ghana, Benin Republic, Brazil and even the United State of America, Europe and other continents of the world, the Yoruba nation has a culture which needs to be revisited and revive.
2.0 THE OBJECTIVE OF THE FESTIVAL
— To organise a programme that will ensure we remain a people
– To showcase the artistic and cultural values of the Yoruba nation
— To re-awaken in the consciousness of the people and the ethics embedded in the culture of the people.
— To preserve our culture and arts for the on coming generations
2.1 VERY IMPORTANT NOTE
– The Festival has no fetish inclination
– It is purely entertainment
– It involves no sacrifices of any idol
– It is only meant to re-awaken our artistic and cultural values
– It has no religious tendency
3.0 ACTION PLAN
– Pre event
– Post Event
3.1 PRE EVENT
3.1.1 Stakeholders forum
This is a forum where the agenda for the festival and the activities of the same is unveiled and other issues discussed. At the end of the meeting, a communiqué will be issued
The meeting will form the basis for follow-up activities in keeping the forth coming festival in the minds of the enlightened segments of society through the print & electronic media.
The group of Stakeholders includes:
Royal Fathers, South-West States Governors Dignitaries, Media Community, Commissioners for Culture and Tourism, Information and Youth and Sports, Ministers for Information, Culture & Tourism, Professionals and Institutes of Arts and Culture/ Tourism, Academia, Leaders of various Yoruba socio-cultural groups.
These groups have been selected into various categories such as:
3.1.2 Stakeholders’ Dinner
A found Raising Activity
The essence of this is to raise funds for the festival. This will complement sponsorship drive within selected Public & Private sector organizations.
3.2 THE EVENT
A three day extravaganza of the Yoruba culture & heritage, exhibited at street level, out door and indoor venues in a selected city within South West, Nigeria.
3.2.1 CHOICE OF FESTIVAL VENUE:
– Availability of appropriate venues for street level, indoor & outdoor activities
– Availability of hotels, motels & guest houses capable of accommodating anticipated local & foreign guests.
– Availability of hostels capable of serving as camps for invited performing troupes.
– Availability of good road and accessible road
3.2.2 PROGRAMME OF EVENTS
188.8.131.52 Street exhibition of Arts and Culture
A 3 – day exhibition of arts/crafts, trades, professions, vocations, food, music, agriculture etc in about two or three streets in the host town. This is to afford the entire citizenry of the host town get a feel of the festival at street level.
– Each road will accommodate specific items for exhibition
– Efforts will be made to provide literature for each exhibited item/activity
– Opportunity for food/drink vendors especially of traditional Yoruba meals to sell to visitors.
– Each road will equally play host to various traditional musical group who will provide all –day entertainment.
– Each road will also play host to selected masquerades to add colour to the street level festival.
The Streetl activities offer various opportunities such as:
Direct Sales activities
184.108.40.206 Opening Ceremony
The festival will be flagged off with funfare
220.127.116.11 States Performance
The three days have been designated for all the participating states in the South west and those in the Diaspora.
The performance will include music, poems, masquerades, dancing, dressing and other performances of special interest.
This will form the basis for the daily activities at the festival grounds.
Immediately after the opening ceremony, the first three states and their troupes begin their performances.
Performances by three other State & their troupes:
Performances by troupes from Yoruba in the Diaspora including Kwara, Kogi, Edo, Delta, Benin Republic, Ghana, Brazil, Cuba, Europe, the United State and other continents.
18.104.22.168 SPECIAL RECEPTION
The Host Governor & The Paramount Ruler will receive the visiting Governors & leading traditional rulers of the performing states each day.
This colourful display of royalty will afford us an opportunity to showcase our Royal Fathers as the centre of our modern culture.
It will equally provide the platform for governors from other state to catch the excitement of the festival thereby preparing themselves in the hosting of subsequent editions.
3.2.3 FESTIVAL GROUND OPPORTUNITIES
The festival grounds provides the following opportunities
Establishment of out door viewing/entertainment centres
Direct sales activities
3.2.4 INDOOR ACTIVITIES
This will include:
Nights of Yoruba Poetry
Night of musical entertainment
22.214.171.124 Nights of Yoruba Poetry/Drama
– Literary events spiced with rich traditional music in an inviting atmosphere.
– Invited guests will be treated to reading of rich Yoruba literature, e.g. Drama, Alamo, Ewi, Itan, Aroba, Aalo, Arofo, Ijala, Rara, Ekun Iyawo etc.
– This activity portends full/part sponsorship by various groups in the public/private sector.
126.96.36.199 The Grand Finale
This event will serve as an opportunity to felicitate with all Stakeholders for a successful hosting of the World Yoruba Festival 2008.
Dignitaries from the public & private sectors – the sponsors and representatives of the participating States & communities will be feted by the host governor.
Leading Yoruba World Class Musicians will be on the band stand supported by other artistes.
4.1 EVENTS SPONSORSHIP
These will include, but not limited to the following:
Cultural centre Rental
Sponsorship of the Culture Gala Night/Closing Ceremony
Transportation, accommodation and welfare support for the State Contingents.
Police command and other security agents for security of lives and properties.
Payment for services at the outdoor/indoor venue e.g. P.A System, Big screens.
Coverage & Broad cast on TV/Radio Stations.
Other entertainments by Artistes/Musicians
To mention but few
4.2 SPONSORSHIP CATEGORIES/CLASSIFICATION
Platinum Sponsor – Full payment for all sponsor able items
Gold Sponsors – A maximum of two sponsors who together pick up the bill for the entire festival
Silver Sponsor;s) – A maximum of four sponsors who take up full sponsorship of the event
Partners –Brands/service that pick up specific items on our sponsorship bouquet.
4.3 MEDIA PARTNERSHIP
Festival partnership will be sought from:
4.4 SERVICE PARTNERSHIP
Also, support of the following service providers and festival partners will be solicited:
Contributions are expected from all our Stakeholders as a tree does not make a forest.
The festival is our collective responsibility and its success is a joy to all of us and a pride to our great nation – The Yorubaland, Nigeria and Africa in general.
Oodua a gbe wa o!
LATEST NEWS:ACCORDING TO THE NATION NEWSPAPER,WED. AUGUST 13,2008 THE FESTIVAL WILL BEGIN IN NOV. AND LAST FOR 6 MONTHS WITH A MONTH IN EACH YORUBA STATE. OSUN,ONDO,LAGOS,OGUN,EKITI,KWARA!
WORLD FESTIVAL OF YORUBA ARTS AND CULTURE
The Yoruba is the largest contiguous group in Africa. South Western Nigeria, which is the economic nerve Centre of Nigeria and home to media, has the largest concentration of the Yorubas in Nigeria .
The World Festival of Yoruba Arts and Culture is conceived and designed to showcase the rich cultural content of the Yorubas, their socio-cultural artistry, tradition, heritage and other historical dynamics of the Yoruba people as a nation.
The event, which may appear sectional and exclusive, was meant to sensitize other nation and nationalities to mobilize and take advantage of what arts and culture has on offer to strengthen bond of friendship, global peace and harmony. It ultimately aims to serves as a bridge-building mechanism for all Yorubas in the African continent and the Diaspora.
i. Promote, preserve and protect Yoruba culture and its people.
ii. Offer a credible platform for Yoruba cultural revitalization.
iii. Use the platform for positive economic, social, cultural and historical advancement of Yoruba as a people.
iv. Serve as a good means of projecting the creativity, rich spiritual and cultural artistry of Yoruba nation.
v. Inculcate in our youths the core values of the Yorubas and the concept of Omoluabi through culture to make them better citizens of the world
It will feature exhibitions, performances, convention of all Yoruba traditional rulers at home and abroad, world Yoruba leaders’ conference, street level artificial markets, packaged tours, regatta and a platform for individual and corporate investment opportunities. It will have a children’s village for drama sketches, story telling and traditional games.
There are about four categories of participants namely:
i. Nigerian participants from States with people of Yoruba extraction ( Lagos , Ogun, Oyo, Ondo, Ekiti, Osun, Edo, Kwara, Delta, Kogi and Niger States )
ii. People of Yoruba extraction from Brazil , Cuba , USA , Trinidad and Tobago , Canada , Republic of Benin , Togo , Cote D’Ivoire , Sierra Leone and so on. These countries are to stage performances at the festival
iii. Foreign tourists who may wish to savour the glamour, fun and taste the rich cultural heritage of the Yorubas
iv. Corporate and individual bodies who may wish to buy into the festival to showcase their services
Lagos and Ogun states are being considered to co-host the Festival being the first of its kind and in view of the facilities required for a befitting outing. This consideration would not however preclude these two states from competing with other States with people of Yoruba extraction for the hosting right of the next festival in two years time.
Among others, the Festival promises to:
i. Serve as an avenue for cultural renaissance
ii. Serve as unification platform
iii. Harness the economic, moral and cultural potentials of the Yorubas
iv. Offer direct economic gains/values to the people and corporate citizens
v. Promote investment opportunities
vi. Project and boost tourism potentials of the Nigerian nation
vii. Serve as avenue to promote global peace and harmony
Benefits to Sponsors
i. It will have direct bearing to the host communities in view of the grassroots content
ii. It is also a most effective mass mobilization strategy
iii. It offers tremendous opportunities to project tourism potentials of the various localities, creativity of local participants and economic opportunities of your state
iv. It offers an informal interactive platform for would-be investors and potential stakeholders in your state’s economy.
i. It will give the organization the benefit of reaching out to a broad and very captive audience and potential customers
ii. Tremendous branding opportunities
iii. It is a one-stop international market place
iv. In view of the international involvement in this festival, organizations will invariably enjoy the best of media publicity
v. Broadening of market outreach
vi. Organization’s logo will be included in our promotional materials including our website, programme of events banners, posters and souvenirs
vii. It will undoubtedly offer organizations a most potent means of fulfilling corporate social responsibility to a critical mass of the people
It is against the aforementioned that we seek your collaboration; participation and sponsorship to enable us achieve the outlined objectives.
UPDATE: MARCH 10,2009
FROM the Guardian Newspaper,Nigeria
Organisers shift Yoruba arts festival
RECENT political developments in Ekiti and Ondo states have led to the postponement of the finals of the World Festival of Yoruba Arts and Culture (WOFEYAC) to the last quarter of this year.
The train of the festival, which opened in Ile-Ife, Osun State last November, should have moved to Ondo and Ekiti states before arriving in Ogun and Lagos states for the finals, but for the leadership changes in Ekiti and Ondo.
The Planning Co-ordinator of the festival, Mrs. Banke Akinlaja, said in a statement yesterday that the dates of the finals were shifted to allow calm return to the political terrain in the South-West.
“This festival is a programme that will continue years after years and we have to ensure that the foundation is well laid. Even if it takes us three years to get there, the task must be to get it right and have a programme that all Yoruba in the world will be proud of.”
Akinlaja said some of the programmes of the festival would continue from April where events promoting Yoruba culture and heritage would be taken round all the South-West states before the finals in the last quarter of the year.
NIGERIAN COUPLE IN UK CAUGHT SELLING DANGEROUS BLEACHING PRODUCTS TO BLACKS:WE MUST STOP THIS BLACK SELF HATRED ACT OF BLEACHING OUR BEAUTIFUL BLACK SKIN! FROM LIGALI.ORG(UK)July 12, 2008
African people who use harmful using skin whitening and chemical hair straightening products are said to be acting on a legacy of British slavery and the racism borne of colonisation and empire. Others argue it is simply a fashion statement. Which is true?
Couple caught selling poisonous products to African people
Illegal skin poisons seized at Afro Hair and Beauty shop
Sat 6 January 2007
Yinka Oluyemi and her husband Michael have been fined £70,000 for selling illegal and harmful skin products containing excessive levels of hydroquinone to their African customers.
The couple, who have three children and lived in a £725,000 home in Sydenham, earned £1 million selling poisonous skin lightening products. They admitted four counts of selling or offering for sale prescription-only products and six counts of supplying cosmetic goods containing hydroquinone, a chemical that is banned in the UK under the Consumer Protection Act 1987.
The former Black Business Award winners operated from their two cosmetic shops Yinka Bodyline and Beauty Express, in Peckham, south-east London and had received a number of official warnings and a fine in 2001 for selling products containing harmful levels of mercury and hydroquinone. Despite this, in October 2005, the couple were awarded a Black Business Award “for their contributions to the hair and beauty industry”.
In sentencing the couple, Judge Nicholas Philpot described the Oluyemi’s as “hard-nosed business people determined to make money regardless of the danger to public health”. He went on to say that although he felt a custodial sentence would have been appropriate, exceptional personal circumstances persuaded him to suspend a nine month prison sentence. They are also expected to pick up the prosecutions £22,000 legal costs and have been disqualified from being company directors for five years.
Skin lighteners containing hydroquinone has been banned from many european countries because it has been known to cause irreversible skin damage, skin swelling, permanent discolouration and even leukoderma, commonly known as vitiligo. Singer, Michael Jackson is perhaps the most famous person alleged to be suffering from vitiligo with many suspecting that this is due to excessive skin bleaching. The use of mercury in skin whitening products is also thought to cause liver and kidney damage and as well as mercury poisoning. As awareness of the effects of these chemicals increases along, companies are constantly seeking to use other potentially harmful chemicals in their products such as Kojic acid. However, in 2001 a study conducted by the International Agency for Research on Cancer found that kojic acid can be genotoxic (poisonous to organisms by damaging its DNA) to rodents and there was limited evidence to suggest that it can also cause cancer in experimental animals. These chemicals all work by inhibiting the production of melanin. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHPRA) have also warned that steroid based creams such as Dermovate should not be sold over the counter.
Michael Jackson before and after his excessive skin lightening, hair straightening transformation
BBC downplay Asian involvement
The use of skin lightening products was extensively discussed last Saturday on the community radio station, Galaxy FM. The show’s presenter, Sis Aura devoted most of the popular breakfast show to exploring the underlying issues of this emotive subject and exposing the disproportionate media coverage given to the minimal occurrences of unprincipled African people who engage in the illegal selling of these products whilst the Asian business community, who has a economic stranglehold on the illicit industry, escape criticism. This was affirmed by a debate on BBC London hosted by Vanessa Feltz which launched a discussion about skin lightening following the conviction of the Oluyemi’s but had previously remained silent on the conviction of an Asian family in October 2006 who had also pleaded guilty to selling and supplying unlicensed skin products.
The process of altering skin pigmentation also afflicts Britain’s ethnic majority who increasingly seek a darker skin appearance and a fuller figure through the processes of tanning and cosmetic surgery respectively. Despite the risks of melanoma the growth in the British skin tanning industry belies the practice as a passion of europeans. Many who seek to escape an image of banality do so by browning their skin in an attempt to project a healthy image using intense UV radiation or chemical agents. When a parliamentary colleague quizzed the British politician Peter Hain in the House of Commons about his tanned appearance as mentioned in his interview with The Times entitled “Perma-tan Hain sees light at end of dark days” he responded defensively, stating; “I am afraid I cannot do anything about [the perma-tan], but I shall pass on my African roots and see if that helps the right hon. Gentleman”. Hain of course joins George Hamilton and the racist anti-African Robert Kilroy-Silk as media personalities who are accused of engaging in excessive tanning. Scientists state that europeans who expose their skin to strong sunlight for only a brief period are at a higher risk of developing malignant melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer. Cancer Research UK says that the disease is “almost entirely preventable”.
Beyonce Knowles flaunts her long, blonde hair
The issue of skin whitening is a serious and complex issue which coincide with the notion of African aesthetics and the systematic attack on African identity.
In 2007, when the government are initiating an orgy of cultural self glorification, they and the British public continue to assert that ‘slavery ended a long time ago’. However, African people reject this assertion and highlight that the Maafa and the legacy of racist ideology continues to affect the entire world. One of the enduring legacies of the Maafa is the perpetuation of a colour caste system institutionalised during African enslavement. The British used divide and rule strategy to create factions in unified groups by deliberately giving preferential treatment to one group based on superficial differences. ‘Lighter’ skinned African people, or indeed the dual heritage children born as a result of the extensive and systematic rape by slavers of African women were often afforded marginally better treatment at the hands of their enslavers.
The institutionalisation of an enduring colour caste system across Africa and Asia by the British empire is one of the most horrific expressions of this successful British strategy. The residual outcome of this is present in the western media where African women such as the music entertainer Beyonce are presented as a light skinned, blond woman to promote a cultural aesthetic which is anti-African whilst the successful African entertainer, Michael Jackson, uses chemical agents and invasive surgical operations to entirely suppress all vestiges of his African identity.
The majority of British dramas, films and adverts almost always favour casting African actors who are either light brown or dual heritage in leading roles as the ‘acceptable’ major love interest. In its dramas and soap operas, the BBC is often accused of only casting Africans with dark brown skin in roles where they aspire to ‘whiteness’ by almost exclusively choosing european partners for relationships. Performer, Grace Jones was also encouraged and rewarded for portraying herself in the media as wild, aggressive exotica to project a damaging image for African women whose skin is dark brown and wear their hair in a natural fashion.
In 1999, politician Jeffery Archer received wide-scale condemnation after he announced: “Your head did not turn in the road if a black woman passed because they were badly dressed, probably overweight and probably had a lousy job. If you walk down London streets now there are most staggeringly beautiful girls of every nationality. That is part of getting rid of prejudice and making things equal,”. His comments were defended by actress, Patti Boulaye.
The attack on the African aesthetic is unrelenting and we must therefore ensure that our defence is holistic and wide-ranging. Ligali reaffirms calls for information about shops that sell skin lightening products. Any requests to remain anonymous will be respected. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Whilst we are financing these predominantly Asian owned outlets, they are reaping the economic benefits of exploiting the cultural and identity insecurities within our community. The fact that some Asian shops have now begun to employ African staff is simply to mislead the African community whilst maintaining their profits from harmful hair and skin products. We also advocate a complete boycott of Black Beauty and Hair magazine and any other publications that feature extensive advertising for skin lightening products.
We must also refrain from ostracising and condemning women and men who use skin whitening products. This is not conducive to community self recovery and will simply further entrench notions of self hatred in these individuals and allow for the perpetuation of this dangerous self hatred for another generation. It is also easier to judge these people who simply have a physical manifestation of their self hatred as opposed to an invisible emotional and psychological insecurity. Instead, we would encourage a system of education, that is preventative and also in response to those who currently use the products to raise awareness of the harmful effects of skin lighteners and chemical hair straighteners and also instil a sense of self pride in their natural appearance. Young women in particular are very vulnerable to the MTV Base notions of beauty which have become more overtly european over the decades. Concurrently, young women are increasingly suffering from receding hairlines, weakened hair and even alopecia as a result of the over use of chemical hair straighteners.
Finally, we should continue to support the great work of organisations like Adornment who, on the 8th and 9th of April 2007 at Battersea Evolution, will be hosting their increasingly popular Adornment Expo which promotes a natural and Africentric lifestyle. Not only does this event encourage ways of celebrating and enhancing our natural beauty and lifestyles but it also provides African businesses with an exclusive opportunity to reach an African audience.
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