Ooni of Ife promises to support private African centre for Arts, Culture

The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, has promised to commit his resources to the development of private art and cultural village, Foluke African Centre for Arts and Culture in Atosin-Idanre, Ondo State.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the village is the efforts of Princess Foluke Ogunlowo, daughter of Oba Gilbert Ogunlowo, the Atosin of Atosin-Idanre.

This is contained in a statement by Mr Wale Ojo-Lanre, the Senior Special Adviser to Gov. Kayode Fayemi on Culture and Tourism, made available to newsmen on Friday in Ado-Ekiti.

Ogunwusi made the promise in his palace in Ile-Ife, while hosting the cultural delegation from the Foluke African Centre for Arts and Culture, Atosin-Idanre.

The delegation was led by Ogunlowo, the American-based Atosin-Idanre born promoter of African Culture and Tradition.

‌Ogunwusi promised to do everything within his power to sustain the cultural heritage and traditional history of the Yorubaland.

However, the team, made up of a cultural troupe, dancing band and a theatre company, performed to the satisfaction of the Ooni.

The traditional ruler expressed satisfaction with the activities and cultural roles played by Ogunlowo, assuring her of his support.

“I am happy with you. I am sure the founder of the Yoruba race, whose culture they bequeathed upon us, which you are adding value to, will add bumper value to you in all of your endeavours.

“Bountiful fortunes, unlimited favour and doors of wealth, will open for you, and let me assure you that in me, you have got a father, a propeller of your vision, a financier and an agrarian supporter of your passion.

“I am ready to commit as much as possible to the place, as it will be a worthy trans-generational cultural project. Count on me and I will be there for you,” Ogunwusi said.

Earlier, Ogunlowo had told Ogunwusi that members of her delegation were drawn from the Youth In Focus Initiative, (YIFI), a non-governmental organisation (NGO).

She said that the NGO was formed to specifically offer a platform for youths interaction for culture education, sustainable empowerment, jobs creation and networking.

According to her, the village, which would also enabled her to hunt for talents, as well as educational advancement and vocational upliftment, has offices in 26 states across the country, with over two million members.

‌”My commitment to uplifting, protecting, preserving and showcasing African Arts, Culture and Values (believing that arts, culture and values in Africa stem from ile-Ife), is what I cannot just explain.

‌”I must confess that I can not explain the forces propelling and fanning the embers of Yoruba cultural rejuvenation in me, right from my youths.

“I just have this constant feeling, ever-present in me that I should consecrate myself to promoting the pristine culture, values, history, heritage and mores of the Yoruba race.

“That I should create a village there in Ife Oke, the Stead of Olofin, where this generation and generation yet unborn, will be able to authenticate their forefathers’ cultural and traditional glorious past.

‌”I have watched, probed, analysed and profiled your utterances, acts, deeds, body language and your mission par vision, since your enthronement.

“I summed up that Oduduwa Atewonro, has come back to resuscitate the dying, comatose traditional identity and the values that distinguished the Yoruba from other races and make them who we are.

‌”Your strides at revamping the culture, tradition and art sector of Yorubaland have served as a motivator and inspirational spell on some of us,” she said.

Ogunlowo promised that soon, she would invite the royal father for the inauguration of the Foluke African Centre for Arts and Culture, Atosin- Idanre.

“It is a cultural community, which will house a Museum of Yoruba cultural items, values and heritage and a cultural commune that will be Yoruba in concept, presentation and taste,” she said.

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