Yoruba Cultural Exchange Festival

By Funmilayo Ajala

yoruba-cultural-festival

The Yoruba Culture is one of the main unique culture in Nigeria. The Yorubas are so unique in everyway of life. From the believe that people live out their name, thus the considerable effort into naming a child. Not far fetched is the law and believes, the linguistics in writing and more importantly the cultural values known as Asa which formed our day-to-day relation with people.
Nigerians are known for their love for traveling and migration to other countries, you are likely to see a Nigerian among five Africans in any country you go to. Some have lived in the Diaspora for ages and thus forgotten about the culture and values of our people, while some try to teach their children about the values. It is most likely that between the second and their generation of Nigerian Migrants that the cultural values will be forgotten.

Ambassador Oluwole Akanni Duroladipo, the son of the legendary theatre guru, the late Chief Duroladipo is working so hard in making sure that this does not turn out to be the case.
Wole Duroladipo is from a lineage of cultural setup, with the parents fully into theatre. The late Chief Duroladipo was popularly known as ‘Sango’ based on his part in the theatre world while he was alive, and his mother is known as the delectable ‘Moremi’ in the theatre world as well. No surprise that he has decided to follow this path.

Ambassador Duroladipo is the convener of the Yoruba Cultural Festival, which is taking place at Oduduwa Hall Power Event Centre, 1025 West Pioneer PKWU Grand Prairie Tx 75051, on the 9th and 10th of September, 2016.

Ambassador Wole Duroladipo
Ambassador Wole Duroladipo

Wole Duroladipo explained what the Yoruba Cultural exchange Festival is all about.

“This is a concept that came up like 10 years ago. In 2004 when I got to the United States, I discovered that there is this terrible social problem that is affecting our lives, especially we Africans abroad. It’s such a situation whereby our offsprings, the new generation coming up have gone wrong when it comes to moral ethics.
The kids really want to know about their roots. They want to ask questions, they have lots of aggitating questions in their minds. But we parents don’t even have the time, busy looking for the money, bills here and there, so what do we expect them to do? They turn to the internet, the social media and that is what they settled for. It is not everything you have on social media that is 100% educative, there are lots of terrible things you can pick up from there.
So instead of these kids to be picking up the pro-active or the good part of it, they started picking up the wrong things and before you know it they started talking about all sorts of strange habits.
All these made me decide to come up with something that can impact some changes in them positively, this is what led to the Cultural Exchange Festival,” says Ambassador Duroladipo.

The Exchange Aspect of The Festival

“The host of the festival are the Yorubas, for we Yorubas are known as the King of Hospitality.  We know how to receive and treat visitors well. If you go to any Yoruba household, you are going to learn one or two things through their language. We talk more in proverbs, idioms, poems, poetry, from which you are going to pick something out of it. Thus the name Yoruba Cultural exchange festival, noting that it is not about Yorunba alone. We have other cultures such as Ibo, Brazilian, Mexicans, African Americans, that are all present at the festival. This is the exchange part where other cultures come in and there is a well blended mixture of learning from each other. We have Symposium, workshops and Night of Culture, which takes place at night. This  is a platform where different cultures come together to perform same thing, pass the same message. We have the Cuban Drums, the African Drums,  the African American Drums, all coming together to make a presentation.
You have African Americans singing Yoruba songs, Yorubas singing American songs, so it cuts across. Through all these we hope that our young ones will come out, learn and have knowledge about the message we are talking about,” explains Duroladipo.

Social Economic Impact on Nigeria
“This will affect Nigera in two areas. First, in the area of entertainment. This will be beneficial to the musical producers and artistes that are raised in Nigeria when they go out of the country to perform in Europe, America and so on. For they are representing Nigeria and Africa, they are the convener of our messages out there. This is a platform that will make for easy Interaction for the producers and artistes to showcase more of their products, merchandise and everything pertaining to their music out there.

The second is in the area of Cultural Tourism. This is a fresh concept. People have been talking and still talk about Tourism, but we are coming from the angle of Cultural Tourism.
Do you know that the Brazilian Government makes money through Yoruba Language? Because there are lots of Nigerian-Brazilian there, people travel down to Brazil to visit and they are been spoken to in Yoruba. Some go there to find out more about their Lineage and Africa, there are lots of Yoruba Schools there, revenue is been generated through tourism by the government. They say it’s about Yoruba village, Yoruba school, Yoruba this, Yoruba that, they are talking about all the deities of Yoruba. They have everything in Brazil, but what do we the owners of the culture have to show for it? Nothing.
After the oil in Nigeria, the next big thing is Tourism if the government harness its potential. We want to do it in such a way that in the future, we will be having this type of fora in Nigeria that people will come home. All these people we are showcasng these things to abroad, will be responsive to come to Nigeria and know more about the culture. This will be possible they had a platform in Diaspora which had introduced the cultural aspect to them first, and they were comfortable to learn more.
The government can generate revenue, it will produce jobs for people and there will be a platform to showcase our cultural products as well,” Ambassador Duro Ladipo concludes.

cultural-festival

This is the fourth edition of the Yoruba Cultural Festival and hopefully in the nearest future it will come home to Nigeria.

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