Gov.Rotimi Akeredolu: A Reminiscence And Promoter Of Yorùbá Culture In A Contraption Called Nigeria. By David Adenekan.

Gov.Rotimi Akeredolu: A Reminiscence And Promoter Of Yorùbá Culture In A Contraption Called Nigeria. By David Adenekan.

Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu: A Reminiscence And Promoter Of Yorùbá Culture In A Contraption Called Nigeria. By David Adenekan.

20th October, 2022

What is culture? Culture can be defined as all the ways of life including arts, beliefs and institutions of a population that are passed from generation to generation. Also, culture has been called "the way of life for an entire society." As such, it includes codes of manners, dress, language, religion, ritual and art.

For the purpose of this essay, we must grasp the homologous relationship between language and culture because, the two are intertwined. The phrase, language is culture and the phrase, culture is language is mostly mentioned when language and culture becomes a subject of discussion. It is because, the two are homologous although complex relationship. Language and culture developed together and influenced one other as they evolved.

Alfred L Knoher, a cultural anthropologist from the United States of America states "that culture started when speech was available, and from that beginning, the enrichment of either one led the other to develop further." If culture is a consequence of the interactions of humans, the acts of communications are their cultural manifestations within a specific community. It is pertinent to say that, understanding the theoretical conceptualization of homologous relationship between language and culture as critically analyzed by cultural anthropologists, historians and philosophers will truly underpin the urgent need for a call to promote our culture in a country like Nigeria, that is dangerously clouded with ethnocentrism and many deviant behaviors that are very alien to our norms and values.

First and foremost, one needs to give kudos to the bold steps of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu for a brilliant recollection and promotion of our culture by using Executive fiat to declare a new Yorùbá dress code for public servants including students in both public and private schools every Friday.

Take it or leave it, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu is a pacesetter and the need for all the other governors in Yoruba land to emulate his zeal and vision for the preservation and promotion of our culture and tradition cannot be overemphasized.

It should be noted that, barely a year ago, he passed another Executive Order to make Yorùbá anthem official, and recited in schools, State House of Assembly and every government office throughout Ondo state.

Moreover, the salient points in this essay are; what will be the benefits of promoting a cultural dress code of a people?

One. It will deepen our interest in our locally made fabrics as we are all beginning to look inward on how to improve our local content in order to compete favorably with the world market.

Two. It will preserve and promote our rich culture as a unique people in the comity of nations and make us the pride of the black race.

Three. It will reduce our over reliance on foreign and used clothes from abroad and increase our balance of payment surplus. The theory of balance of trade says, when import is far greater than export, your foreign exchange reserve will be depleted and a further depreciation in the value of your local currency. The end result is inflationary increase in the price of goods and services.

Four. One of the best ways to display and promote our ways of life is through our cultural dress. When the fabrics are brilliantly designed with colors, images and some great artwork that display the uniqueness of your culture, it may endear foreign investors into your local fabric industry to take advantage of business opportunities for possible ROI (Returns On Investment).

Five. Promoting a cultural dress can open a new frontier for clothing market in Yorùbá land and it may provoke a big inflow of tourists all over the world for shopping and sightseeing. This is a multiplier effects on the economy. It will increase productivity and other chains of business like hotels, food vendors, transportation and logistics will make financial fortune from this great business opportunity.

Thanks to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu for taking the lead to open up a new frontier for our local fabric industry.

Six. Economies of scale. With the new Executive Order, the demand for local fabrics will automatically increase, and the industry may have no choice but to increase the level of production to meet with the increase in demand. This means that as a company grows and production units increases, the company will have a better chance to decrease its costs. According to this theory, economic growth may be achieved when economies of scale are realized.

Seven. Job opportunities and wealth creation. The demand for local dress will create job opportunities for many people in Ondo state. It is an eye opener. Many who are wise in Ondo state should be looking in that direction because, a big market demand for local fabrics is being created by Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu's Executive fiat.

However, what will be the best context to achieve all of the aforementioned lofty goals?

Has the Yorùbá culture and social system in a contraption called Nigeria not already been bastardized and balkanized?

Our ancestral lands where culture and tradition evolve are been defiled or desecrated by the forceful infow of migrants from Fulani tribe extraction to take over our lands, either through violent occupations or, to change the demography by way of inter marriage.

Yes, intermarriage may not be a bad idea but when it is done with a sinister motive to make you jettison your ways of life and embrace a strange culture, it is inimical to your existence.

The removal of history from our educational curriculum in Yorùbá land by the Northern Oligarchy is a great testimony to the fact above.

All of these great initiatives of preserving and promoting Yorùbá culture may be fruitless, if we fail as a people to take "the bull by the horn" and declare Yorùbá as a nation within the context of homogeneity such as a defined and common territory, ancestral ties, language, religion, culture and tradition.

Yes, the first law of nature is self preservation. In other words, we must first preserve our unique identity as a people for us to better promote our rich heritage and culture for the world to behold the true glory of the black race.

In the final analysis, you cannot light a candle and put it under a table. Yes, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu has just lit a candle by declaring a cultural dress code in Ondo state and kudos again to this great initiative but, methinks the candle is under the shadow of a great darkness called Nigeria.


THINKYORÙBÁ NATION************************


David Adenekan Is The Editor Of Shekinah International Magazine And A Media Consultant. He Writes From Chicago, Illinois.


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