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    Enabling Yorubas’ effective role in building, upholding Nigeria our aim — CYE

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    The president of a newly inaugurated socio-cultural group, Council of Yoruba Elders (CYE), Chief Adegboye Onigbinde, has stated that the aims and objectives of establishing the group is meant to enable the Yoruba race play an effective role in building and upholding Nigeria.

    Onigbinde stated that the group which was launched on 31st of August, 2023 is ready to work together in a bid to achieve unity in Yoruba land and Nigeria in general.

    He said unity, if achieved will lead to bringing of ideas which will pilot solution to problems faced in the country.

    Onigbinde, who is a former coach of Super Eagles, said this on Saturday during the maiden press conference of the group held at Oduduwa Center, Iwo road, Ibadan, Oyo state capital.

    He noted that the main focus of the group is to bring unity among the Yorubas which according to him can be achieved through acting, thinking and performing together.

    Onigbinde stated that the group is not at war with any other Yoruba socio-cultural group but meant to create unity among the tribe, adding that the group is opened to all sons and daughters of yoruba who are interested in the unity and progress of the race and Nigeria as a whole.

    The group’s president lamented lack of unity among the yoruba tribe while emphasising the need for Yoruba to come together and speak in one voice.

    He stated that in its bid to bring progress to the different sectors in Nigeria, the group had decide to set up committees which will conduct thorough research into various sectors of human endeavors.

    The committees constituted into sectors which include; Committee on Agriculture, Sports, Education, Health, Petroleum resources ,solid minerals,political affairs, committee on security, works and transport,Judiciary,Industry and Employment, Science and Technology,Urban and Regional planning, Lands and Housing, Investments ,Religious Harmony, Tourism, Mediation and Reconciliation, Aviation and Space , Strategy and Tactics, Women Affairs , Youths and Employment Arts and Culture.

    He said, “Without deceiving ourselves or being unnecessary hypocritical, things are not rosy in Nigeria today as it has always been in the past . This ugly atmosphere has thus stimulated vehement calls by some for the restructuring of Nigeria to true federalism or regional system of government as we used to have in the era of the triad of North, East and West of Ahmad’s Bello , Nnamdi Azikwe and Obafemi Awolowo where the clime for competitiveness gave room for the greatest development in the West . At the other end , some have even been calling for self -determination . Nobody is grudging any of the two demands . But our preference for now as elders is to opt for the softer agitation which is the restructuring of the country which we are sure is going to avail to us the best track of race towards competitive development as we so had it in the past.

    “Let the truth be said, the bane of our situation of the retrogressiveness in Nigeria was the unitary system brought by the military in 1996 . It is thus our duty to demand for what can propel us forward.

    “Along this line , just before we begin the reinforced campaign for this restructuring,we have decided to set up a number of committees which will conduct a thorough research into various sectors of our human endeavors and mould expert papers for each sector as a guide to our demand and proactive preparation for the drive.

    “With all the above structures and activities in place as to be guided by well articulate constitution , I want to assure you that the journey to the redemption of Yoruba land has begun in a practical form.

    “We hereby call on Yoruba sons and daughters across the world to let us throw our egos overboard and join hands together in love,unity and harmony for the good of our father land”, he concluded.

    In his welcome address, the Secretary General of CYE, who also doubles as the President General of Oodua Redemption Alliance, Dr Victor Taiwo, said “We cannot continue to be fooling ourselves, most of Yoruba groups that we all known have been polarized with either by politics or personal interest.

    “We cannot continue to pretend as if we don’t know what is going on, Hausa people have a formidable group that champion their interest, which is Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), they speak with one voice irrespective of their political differences, Igbo people also have their own which is called Ohaneze Ndigbo, but here in Yorubaland our Afenifere group have been polarized.

    “We now have Afenifere Renewal Group, and so many other factions, even the Yoruba Council Of Elders (YCE) has also been factionalized, there is Pa Rueben Fasonrati group, and there is Pa Ayo Adebanjo group so we are no longer speaking with one voice and it is so sad, we cannot move forward with all these mess, we need a strong and formidable group that will be championing our interest at the national level too, this is what gave birth to this Council of Yoruba Elders (CYE) that was officially launched on Thursday 31st August, 2023 at the House of Chiefs here in Ibadan, the event was a successful one, as it was attended by illustrious sons and daughters of Yoruba race from different parts of the world, enough is enough, we must move forward.”

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    London Exhibition Showcases Africa’s Rich Fabric Diversity

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    A photo exhibition, which showcases and celebrates Africa’s identity and diversity through the continent’s different indigenous fabrics and textiles, will begin at the Africa Centre in London on Friday

    Tagged “Not A Country,” the weeklong exhibition is created to correct the wrong notion that Africa is a just a country as most people outside the continent think.

    It is the brain child of Tunde Alabi-Hudeyin II, a Nigerian documentary photographer and documentary filmmaker.

    He described his work as one that “investigates the colonial gaze on the Black body, ethically explores human conditions in marginalised communities, and disrupts existing hierarchies of power relations.”

    Hundeyin-Alabi’s work has been exhibited across Africa, Europe, and North America, and he has worked on projects for global charities and corporate organisations.

    The project began in 2018 and for the past six years it has been at many exhibition spaces.

    Mr. Hundeyin-Alabi told Voice of Nigeria in a telephone interview that the exhibition was held last year at the Brighton Fringe Festival, and was seen by over 30,000 people within 10 days.

    He said; “Africa is a beautiful continent and, basically, I created this work to argue about the fact that Africa is not a country because for some time now I’ve been living in the United Kingdom and usually when the West wants to talk about us; maybe they are referring to a particular tribe or country, they just say Africa. Something like I’m going to Africa instead of specifically that I’m going to Nigeria or I’m going to South Africa.

    “I try to use our textiles as a form of material culture, a form of symbolism to show Africa’s diversity. The exhibition, the body of work interrogates the influence of colonialism, capitalism, religion and you can also say globalisation on our traditional attires.”

    “I tried to flip the colonial suppression by placing the colourfully adorned black body within the British landscape, which is a representation of the colonial metropole.

    “I’ve been taking it around different places in the last number of years. I intend to take it outside of Europe in the next couple of years so that more people will get to know more about it and it would educate and inform them,” Mr. Hundeyin-Alabi said.

    Explaining that his findings have shown that some countries in Africa do not have national attires, he said that “colonial influence made those countries lose part of their cultural heritage which they have not been able to recover.”

    “In this project I’ve worked with people from 20 different African countries. I was shocked to realize that Zimbabwe doesn’t have a national attire.

    “When I prodded further I was told that during the colonial period they had a red, black and white attire that had chevrons that represent the different sites and monuments in Zimbabwe.

    “They were won by powerful people, tradesmen, by hunters, by musicians, by goldsmiths and by traditional healers,”Mr. Hundeyin-Alabi said.

    He further said; “Infact traditional healers would not go ahead with their work without this attire. But this attire angered the colonizers; so they would censor them; they would suppress and criminalise the people for wearing these traditional symbols of power.

    “Because of that in those days people had to stop wearing the cloth because it was criminal for you to wear it.

    “So, that’s why Zimbabwe’s post-colonial era there is no traditional cloth that they wear; they all wear western clothes; and that’s the influence of colonialism and globalization on the traditional systems of people’s appearance in Zimbabwe as an example.

    “We can also use Egypt as an example. In Egypt, the Egyptians have abandoned their traditional clothing. They now wear Western clothing. These are things that I explore in this photo documentary.”

    Mr. Hundeyin-Alabi observed that despite the influence of the media, the attitude of many Africans are changing towards indigenous attires.

    He noted that leaders like Nigeria’s former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, did a lot to project the African culture as expressed in their clothing by always adorning African fabrics and attires.

    “I would say, using Nigeria as an example, I think that it was during the Obasanjo era that attitude began to change towards traditional clothing and people began to appreciate our traditional fabrics and began to adorn it.

    “If you remember, President Obasanjo would wear his adire; would wear ankara. So, attitudes are beginning to change,”Mr. Hundeyin-Alabi stressed.

    He added that the insights gleaned from the models he has collaborated with indicate a changing attitude towards indigenous fabrics and attire.

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    Culture Minister briefs FEC on UNESCO’s inscription for Sango Festival, Midwifery Traditions

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    The Minister of Arts Culture and the Creative Economy, Barrister Hannatu Musa Musawa, has announced the Ministry’s success in pushing for UNESCO’s inscription of the Sango festival Oyo and the multinational nominating of Midwifery: Knowledge Skills and Practices.

    The Minister disclosed this during the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, presided over by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

    While briefing the Council on the strategic activities of the Ministry since its establishment in August 2023, Barrister Musawa said that the achievement was made possible through the Ministry’s tireless efforts and strategic collaborations at the national and international levels, in line with the 2003 UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.

    “The UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity plays a crucial role in safeguarding and promoting cultural diversity worldwide. It helps in raising awareness about the significance of Intangible Cultural Heritage, encourages dialogue between communities, fosters respect for cultural expressions and promotes sustainable development by preserving traditional knowledge and practices.

    “The inclusion of these two Nigerian cultural elements on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity has transformed them into shared global heritage (products) with enhanced visibility.

    “The 181 States: Parties to the 2003 UNESCO Convention for Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage are predisposed to visiting Nigeria to enjoy these cultural expressions.

    “The anticipated increase in tourism inflow into the country will result in global visibility, job creation and wealth generation, thereby contributing to sustainable national growth and development, economic well-being and pride in national cultural identity.”

    According to her, the two key products from Nigeria were inscribed on the UNESCO representative list of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity during the 18th Session of the Inter-Governmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Kasane Botswana from 4th to 9th December 2023.

    The Sango Festival and Midwifery traditions have now been recognized as integral parts of human cultural heritage, joining five previous Nigerian inscriptions: Ifa Divination System (2008), Oral Heritage of Gelede (2008), Ijele Masquerade (2009), Argungu International Fishing and Cultural Festival (2016), and Kwagh-hir Theatrical Performance (2019).

    This milestone not only promotes cultural diversity and community cohesion but also contributes to sustainable development, job creation, and wealth generation through increased tourism. It aligns with the renewed hope agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration, which prioritizes the appreciation and preservation of Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage.

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    BBNaija’s Neo, Venita win Best Dressed at #AMVCA10 Cultural Day

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    Big Brother Naija Reality TV former housemates, Neo Akpofure and Venita Akpofure, have won the best-dressed male and female awards at the cultural day of the 10th edition of the Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards (AMVCA).

    The BBNaija stars, who are also cousins, won the prize ahead of other celebrities who appeared at the cultural day event.

    The duo were unique at the cultural day, which starred musical performances and special cultural presentations, after turning up for the event in traditional Itsekiri dress.
    Neo and Venita win best dressed category at AMVCA cultural day

    For being the best-dressed, Neo and Venita were rewarded with 1 million naira each by the cultural day sponsor, Goldberg.

    This, however, is not the first time Venita has been announced as the winner of the female best-dressed at the AMVCA cultural night. The reality star also won the prize at the 9th edition of the highly coveted film awards.

    Apart from the duo, other celebrities who attended the Cultural Day event on Friday included Richard Mofe-Damijo Iyabo Ojo, Kunle Remi, Tacha, VJ Adams, Bisola Aiyeola, Saga, and Liqurose, among others.

    The cultural day, which took place at Eko Hotel and Suites, Lagos on Friday, formally kicked off the series of activities preceding the main awards night on Saturday, May 11, 2023.

    The Award Night will air live on May 11 on all Africa Magic channels on DStv and GOtv, starting from 4 pm WAT.

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