Olatubosun Suggests Home-grown Method of Teaching Yoruba Culture
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism in Oyo State, Mr Wasiu Olatubosun, has suggested that the Yoruba culture can be taught effectively through a home-grown teaching method.
At the 2022 Ijala Are-Ode Cultural Festival in Ibadan, the Commissioner emphasised that for the Yoruba race to conquer the world, its people must appreciate who they are, learn the things of the race, and behave truly like omoluabis.
He informed participants of the programme with the theme Ijala: Beyond Social Gyration to Intellectual Exposition of Yoruba Cultural Heritage that the state government, under Governor Seyi Makinde, has shown commitment to resuscitating the Yoruba culture and tradition among the younger generation through a re-introduction of history classes to public schools in the state.
Mr Olatubosun, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr Oye Oyedele, assured that the state government would continue to promote the growth of the language and the culture of Yoruba.
In his contribution, a veteran actor and Araba Awo of Osogbo, Mr Yemi Elebuibon, urged Africans to develop their culture, observing that it is a must to “first appreciate who they are and what they are.”
He also warned the Yorubas against jettisoning Ifa science and technology, adding that if care is not taken, in no distant future, people of the Yoruba tribe will soon be paying the Europeans for Ifa divination.
During his lecture, a scholar, Prof. Akinkunmi Adegbola Alao, said there was a need to go back to the basics, look beyond the social gyrations derived from Ijala by hunters, and find ways to deploy the intellectual foundation of Ijala in Yoruba cultural heritage, urging historians to research Yoruba cultural values that can benefit the society constantly.
He noted that although the immediate purpose of any traditional music performance is to entertain, the genre of music could influence a renaissance of Yoruba Culture and traditions, appealing to Africans, especially the Yorubas, to embrace and leverage indigenous technology to develop human society.
“We need to go back to the basics. Go beyond just the gyrations of individuals, amusing themselves, to unearth the intellectual premise of this rich cultural tradition,” he said.
Speaking on what led to the celebration of Ijala by hunters in those days, Mr Alao noted that the neglect by the political class gave room for chanting Ijala by the hunters to celebrate their contributions to society.
He applauded the efforts of hunters in maintaining peace within the boundaries of their society, admonishing the political class to stop forthwith diminishing their importance.
“The nature of their profession takes them away from domestic politics. They are always engaged in warfare and deep forest hunting, and so many other activities outside the immediate precinct of the established kingdoms. So many times, they are not on the ground to take part in the political process, so the political class diminished their importance,” he observed.
“But they resorted to Ijala to celebrate themselves, to call attention to their importance and to let people know they have contributed a lot to the development of the society,” he continued.
The culture enthusiast commended the Oyo State Government for partnering Ona-ara Development Forum in celebrating the Ijala are-ode cultural renaissance.
“Rather than denouncing our hunters, we must encourage them to use their knowledge towards the development of human society positively,” he noted, stating that the festival will open doors of opportunities to hunters, showcasing talents and the importance of the hunters’ guild.
Speaking earlier, the Chairman Organising Committee, Ijala Are-Ode Cultural Festival, Mr Dipo Gbenro, noted that the Ona Ara Development Forum seeks the development of Ona-Ara.
He also revealed that the forefathers of all Ona-Ara indigenes were hunters and warriors who played pivotal roles in the Agbekoya war, stating that Ijala is expository of intellectual content, spells history, and family lineage.
“Ijala explores and exposes the inadequacies of our leaders, promotes social relations and is rich with powerful words,” he said.