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The Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty, Ooni Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi (Ojaja 11) recently at Chatham House United Kingdom (UK) said his late mother’s core values of responsibility really prepared him ahead for leadership roles as an individual and traditional ruler.

The Arole Oodua and the spiritual leader of the Yoruba race advised African youths to, as a matter of necessity, imbibe the spirit of responsibility and commitment to positive ideals that can enable them to contribute meaningfully to the development of their society.

Ooni Ogunwusi who spoke at Chatham House, London in UK on “INCLUSIVE GOVERNANCE AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT: THE ROLE OF TRADITIONAL LEADERS” recalled how a bungled errand given him by his late mother actually moulded him for leadership position in life.

“As a child, she would send me on an errands. She once gave me her most valuable dress to iron. I plugged the iron and left to play, hoping to return to do mum’s bidding but the iron had become so hot and I got the dress burnt to the anger of my mother”.

“You will pay dearly for this, I will punish you well so you will know what you have done wrong. That was a dress I was saving in case the King requested to meet me” mother said.

“That Phrase stuck into my brain. She had reserved a dress in case the King requested to meet her. This goes to show the recognition of Kingship and honour earned by a king in our culture.

The foremost African monarch admonished children to obey their elders and parents. He equally charged parents to respect the traditional leaders in society in line with African culture and traditions.

The Co-Chairman of Nigerian Council of Traditional Rulers also stated the involvement of Traditional Institutions in governance for a better tomorrow.

“You cannot separate nature and human beings, we believe traditional leaders and institutions are key in national building human capital development civilization” the monarch added.

“Traditional institutions based on my background is part of natures custodian of heritage and culture. We had ancient means of governance in the Kingdoms”.

“Before governance came into play, traditional rulers were the first to discover different things which later becames forces of civilisation such as: smelt iron, we were the first to weave cotton, this and many more started from the Yoruba race and now used all over the continents tho in an improved format.

Ooni further corroborates his claims saying that, “Antiques/artefacts all over the world made from Africa has shown that civilization started from us.

“Traditional leaders were the forces behind everything we are benefitting today because rulers set that pace in Africa and pioneered before the advent of modern day Government” Hence, Traditional Rulers need to be properly included and blended with modern day government. This arguably, will make a significant change.”

“A nation that intends to grow must uphold the heritage and tradition of that nation, We must not lose touch with our root” heritage and tradition.”

Before the advent of colonialization we had kingdoms across Africa. Colonialists had to go through the traditional leaders.

“Northern and southern protectorate were in 1914 merged to become Nigeria. This had to be done through traditional rulers and several African monarchs were either elected or appointed to serve in government”.

“At the Nigeria’s Independence, Former Ooni of Ife, Sir Adesoji Aderemi was the first Indigenous African Governor. The government across Africa couldn’t do anything without the inclusion traditional leaders in decision making, administration and policy making. That was a beautiful system!”.

“To date, it is commonplace in Nigeria, for most politician vying for pisitions of power to go through the traditional institutions. This system can be properly synchronized and aligned in a fair and civil manner.”

Ooni said Nigeria is at the forefront of leading Africa and urged the government to join hands with the traditional institutions to take that continent out of our current state, saying the continent is the fastest growing population with 70% of its population as youths mainly between the age of 16 – 25, which is an added advantage to our human capital if properly utilized.

He added that Africans should go back to the root.

“Very important to rise-up to that occasion and know that at some point things were running well in Africa when the traditional rulers were at the forefront. Let us blend our tradition and culture in everything we do today”.

“Asia is still holding on to their heritage and culture. Africa should not lose theirs. We need to know the roles of culture and this is achievable by involving our tradition rulers in the day to day running of our system in Africa”

“Africa has lost its roots. We must learn to project the continent as positive!” The monarch exclaimed.

“You must know your history, in order to know where you’re going, which is your future.”

Signed ;
Comrade Moses Olafare,
Director, Media & Public Affairs,
Ooni’s Palace.

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Art & Culture

Ooni of Ife’s, House of Oduduwa Foundation, A Legacy of Service to Humanity

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Written by  the Chief Operating Officer,Adewumi Adediran.

The Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi‎ (Ojaja II) is a man with a burning desire to see lives transformed; a man who believes in the productivity of the youth as a recipe to chase away poverty from the system.

In many ways than would probably be acknowleged, His Imperial Majesty, the Ooni of Ife, has been in the business of empowerment across the ages, with a vision to continuously touch the lives of people,while leaving a legacy of service to humanity.

In 2016, the Ooni established The House of Oduduwa Foundation, informed by the urgent need to reduce the level of poverty and also project the Yoruba Culture and Heritage.
A Non-Governmental Organisation, the main objective of the House of Oduduwa Foundation is to expand possibilities for children, women and young people in order that they live healthy and productive lives.

According to a United Nations report, the increasing rise in unemployment and income inequality has adversely affected the economy of Nigeria .

To checkmate this anomaly, it becomes top priority for Nigerian government to provide the right educational infrastructure to develop skills and requisite opportunities that would bring about unemployment and birth entrepreneurs and productive members of society, thereby reducing the level of poverty in the land.

Understanding education as a powerful weapon which can be used to change the World; a passport to the future which unlocks the golden door of freedom, and also knowing this to be a herculean task on the shoulders of the government still grappling with several issues, the Ooni of Ife launched the “NEXT GENERATION” project under the Foundation which aims to alleviate the financial burden of pupils and students whose parents face significant financial hurdles and uncertainty as they work hard to achieve their future dreams.

This Project is more or less a grant, to be awarded on the basis of academic excellence to support Students across the South-West geographical States.
Six States, Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Ekiti, Lagos and Ondo are being regard as descendants of Oduduwa with a population estimated at 32.5 million people.
The Oduduwa Descendants also constitute a sizable proportion of the population in Kwara, Kogi and Edo States.

The House of Oduduwa Foundation appeals to Corporate bodies, IInstitutions,Philanthropists and all men of goodwill in Nigeria and Diaspora to partner with the House of Oduduwa Foundation to realise its dream for humanity.

Written by  the Chief Operating Officer,Adewumi Adediran.

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TOURISM: LAGOS ECONOMY RECORDS OVER N50BN CASH TRANSACTIONS IN DECEMBER

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For the second year in a row, the Lagos State economy received a major, unprecedented boost in the entertainment, hospitality and creative sectors in four weeks of the yuletide season, Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr. Steve Ayorinde disclosed on Saturday.

Trends and reports monitored by the Lagos State Government over the four weeks in December, especially during Christmas and New Year festivities, captured an estimated spending well above N50bn in cash transactions, a record slightly higher than December 2017 which also recorded a good run in travel, entertainment and leisure-related spendings.

The monitored reports attributed the positive trend to the peak in entertainment activities; huge influx of people from neighboring states, neighboring countries and holiday makers from abroad who either chose Lagos as their primary destination or transit to other parts of Nigeria last December.

In a press statement he signed, Ayorinde said various reports, statistics and analyses monitored across immigration office, banks, aviation, hospitality and leisure parks; food, beverage and distribution businesses as well as event venues, shopping malls and cinema box office earnings captured an estimated direct spendings of over N50bn within the entertainment and tourism sector in Lagos State alone.

He said reports monitoring the prevailing December trends showed an unprecedented footfall influx of more than three million people entering Lagos in December alone with a multi-billion naira spendings in tow in hotel lodgings, local in-bound flights and taxi/chartered transportation, alcohol and beverage consumption; culinary business; visits to resorts, parks, clubs and lounges, live theatre and cinemas; concerts and clubs as well as ancillary  businesses like fashion and clothing, kiddies’ games and toys, and private security guards, which are all now part of the tourism and entertainment ecosystem.

“Like in 2017, last December in Lagos was hugely creative economy- friendly, which again affirms the State’s preeminence not just as West Africa’s commercial hub but also its entertainment nerve-centre,” Ayorinde said, adding that the beauty of this assertion is that the surge in the creative enterprise over the yuletide period was felt by all and sundry; was statistically measurable and is now a subject of discussion among analysis.

The Commissioner said there was a slight correlation between the horrific gridlock in some parts of Lagos during the yuletide season and the huge trading by residents and visitors leading to seasonal job provision and economic gains.

According to him, the high volume of economic activity that were directly related to tourism-related visits, entertainment and leisure accounted for a significant chunk of the total value of transactions in the State of 21million residents whose estimated GDP of $136bn in 2018 is regarded as the fifth largest in Africa, after Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt and Algeria.

The statement attributed the State’s continued high performance in the creative economy to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s deliberate interest in and commitment to the development of infrastructure, security and ideas that impact positively on tourism, entertainment and shopping.

He cited the State’s “innovative Calendar of Arts and Culture events which was released in January 2018 specifically to assist both local and foreign visitors in planning their visit to and around Lagos with a detailed guide of festivals and art events available in each month.”

Ayorinde said: “December has always recorded the busiest footfall in Lagos from figure obtained from immigration and aviation authorities. Aside the One Lagos Fiesta which drew over two million visitors cumulatively across its five venues over eight days from December 24 to 31st, other big concerts like those by Davido, Whiz Kid, Burma Boy, Adekunle Gold, Rhythm Unplugged and Sound City Awards also attracted large crowd into Lagos and of course huge spending.

“Hotels were filled to capacity in most parts of the State and we are aware that Lagos and Calabar benefited from additional scheduled flights due to the huge attractions of Calabar Carnival, OLF and the A-list Concerts in Lagos.”

He added that virtually all the entertainment sub-sectors recorded huge spendings in billions over the yuletide period with 15 top foreign and local box office hit films released across the state hitting a record N3bn revenue in December alone; while parks, beaches and other resorts also recorded remarkable, sometimes unprecedented patronage from reports made available to the state government.

The statement added that the December 2018 high creative economy spending in the state corroborates the two key important global tourism industry indicators that were favourable to Lagos in 2018.

First was the British report in Daily Mail of London in April 2018 listing Lagos alongside Nairobi, Kenya as the top non-European destinations among British travelers planning for summer holiday. The second was the MasterCard Global Travel Index released in October 2018 ranking Lagos as the most visited city in sub-Saharan Africa in 2018.

The Commissioner said these remarkable global recognition and last December’s good business outlook in the creative sphere were in tandem with the vision of Governor Ambode to make Lagos the creative hub in Africa and “to assure corporate institutions and investors that the State security and social infrastructure can support the ever growing entertainment and creative landscape in Lagos.

“The night economy has fully returned and every part of the state duly felt the impact of a vibrant tourism, art and entertainment eco-system In December.”

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LAGOS RELEASES CALENDAR OF ARTS AND CULTURE PROGRAMMES

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The Lagos State Government has released a calendar of over 70 state-sponsored and endorsed arts and culture programmes slated for Y2018 in its bid to garner visibility for tourism-oriented art programmes.

The State’s Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr. Steve Ayorinde in a statement on Thursday, described the calendar as a novel exercise designed to frontload State and privately driven arts, culture and entertainment events that will have positive effects on tourism promotion.

“This is in fulfilment of the State Government promise to announce a yearly calendar of events to guide programming, tourist and visitors’ decision,” he said.

According to Ayorinde, the State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, kick-started the year with his attendance at Ali Baba’s January 1st Comedy concert at Eko Hotel. Other arts and culture events held in January and February 2018 and included in the calendar are Angel and Muse, an art exhibition by a Lagos trained world renowned artist; Eebi; a month-long Indigenous Cultural Festival in Epe; Wazobia FM Carnival as well as the Lagos Marathon amongst others.

The idea of creating a calendar of events for state-sponsored and state-endorsed programmes, he said, is to make event planning, tour bookings and business decisions easier for tour operators and the general public.

He added that the calendar is part of the State’s innovation to project arts, entertainment and leisure benefits inherent in Lagos and makes the state attractive to domestic tourists; business travellers and stop-over passers-by.

The Commissioner said, “The State is forging ahead of expanding the consumption of its tourism products by improving access to tourism information and creating an events guide for the media and tour bloggers”.

Although not exhaustive, the calendar contains many of the indigenous cultural festivals across the state, entertainment events; concerts; visual; performing and fashion and culinary events.

The State is expected to leverage on infrastructural development, regeneration of old and creation of iconic attractions for entertainment, arts and culture enthusiasts to boost economic activities and expand opportunities for job creation during the various events slated on the calendar.

“The administration of Governor Ambode believes that the quantum of cash transactions across the tourism and entertainment value-chain, as tracked in December 2017 when about N50billion was spent on entertainment and leisure alone, is a testimony to the huge economic gain in promoting tourism in Lagos State. This and other economic factors make Lagos one of the most vibrant culturally significant cities in Africa with potentials to make enormous impact in driving in-bound tourists from across the globe,” Ayorinde said.

Major events listed in the calendar include Gidi Fest, Lagos Water Regatta and Fanti Carnival around the Easter Period; the International Jazz Day celebration on April 30 which will be dedicated to the South-African Jazz legend, Huge Masekela; the Lagos Comedy Festival on May 6 and the Eko Art Expo at the last weekend in May.

June will be rich with the first ever Lagos Golf Funfair and the Lagos Cinefest, which is designed to take cinema-going experience to all the five divisions of the State.

The Lagos Festival of Plays is a major highlight in the third quarter of the year; so is the Lagos Fishing Festival (Oshoroko) in Ibeju-Lekki; Akwaaba Travel Market and Faaji Agba – a special concert for the elderly to mark World Elders Day.

October to December will be the most intense period on the calendar with Olokun Festival; MUSON Festival; AFRIMA, AFRIFF; Kayo-Kayo Festival in Epe; the Lagos Luxury Summit/Fair; Felabration; Lagos Books & Arts Festival (LABAF) as well as the One Lagos Fiesta.

“The State is grateful to corporate sponsors who will make many of these events happen. Our aim is to use the calendar and other strategic initiatives to enrich the entertainment and cultural content to drive tourism promotion in this mega city,” Ayorinde said.

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