Home Celebrities HIGHLIGHTING THE RICHNESS OF AFRICAN CULTURES & TRADITIONS … TUNJI OLAOPA

HIGHLIGHTING THE RICHNESS OF AFRICAN CULTURES & TRADITIONS … TUNJI OLAOPA

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It was that famous statesman, Sir Winston Churchill that asserted that: ‘’any nation that forgets its past and cultural identity has no future.’’  David McCullough bolstered this statement by saying that: ‘’History: A nation that forgets its past can function no better than an individual with amnesia.’’ Nigeria, the most populous Black nation in the world occupies a strategic position at the forefront of African Renaissance. Many black nations and societies look in the direction of Nigeria for a better understanding of their past.  It is partly for this reason, that Nigeria continues to lead the rest of the world to project activities of the Black race in an increasingly globalized world. The Centre for Black Culture & International Understanding, (CBCIU) Osogbo has in the past one decade show-cased the huge endowments of Africa.  Many of its programmes align with the objectives of the International Decade of People of African Descent Proclaimed by the United Nations (Years 2015-2024) Recently, the organization (CBCIU) held a conference on the institution of the Alaafin of Oyo, a famous empire many centuries ago, that embodies the richness of the cultures and traditions of the Yoruba race. One of the papers titled: ‘’Aláàfin as Traditional Brand and Agent for Modernization in Yorùbáland’’ was delivered by Prof. Tunji Olaopa; the Executive Vice-Chairman, of the Ibadan School of Government & Public Policy (ISGPP) It is a MUST READ for all who wish to know more about their past, particularly our brothers and sisters in African Diaspora. Introduction: The stature of the Aláàfin of Òyó is one that carries the full weight of Yorùbá history, sociopolitical dynamics, and cultural heritage. The office of the Alaafin straddles the essence of what it means to be Yoruba itself. In political terms, the Alaafin embodies the achievement of the Old Oyo Empire. The whole of chaotic 19th century was a defining period in Yorùbá formation that has successive Alaafin and their empire-building expansionist tendency at its center. In terms of sociocultural heritage, the Alaafin status holds many crucial points of intersection that open up the Yoruba culture for serious appreciative as well as engaging confrontations. But this is just one side of the whole Alaafin story in historicity. The other side of it has to do with the transition of the obaship institution from its revered status as a traditional system across the colonial dispensation to the postcolonial realities in Nigeria. Not…

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