The Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ojaja II Saturday called on the State and Federal governments to always support initiatives that could guarantee gainful employment for the teeming youth populace and strengthen earnings of local business men in Nigeria.
The African foremost monarch made this call in his Ile-Oodua palace at Ile Ife during the launch of this year’s edition of ASO OFI FESTIVAL billed to hold at Iseyin, an ancient town in Oyo state widely known to be the biggest manufacturing hub for Aso ofi in the world which was first produced and worn in Ile-Ife, the cradle of mankind, averring that several vocations synonymous with the Yoruba race are big enough to provide employment for many people in the country and globally.
The Spiritual Leader of Yorubaland, Ooni Ogunwusi recalled that Oduduwa during his reign was the first to discover cotton plant and transformed it to wool thread to make Aso Ofi driven by the inspiration he picked from spider cobwebs and grew large cotton plantation in the ancient town.
“Oduduwa was the first to discover cotton plant and transformed it to wool thread to make Aso Ofi in ancient Ife”
“In the medieval days, leaf and animal skin was what our forefathers were wearing.”
“But with the discovery of cotton plant which was transformed to wool thread by Oduduwa to make Aso-Ofi, Iseyin later became a foremost city on cloth weaving.”
“He got the inspiration from spider cobwebs and grew a large cotton plantation. The fittings of Aso Ofi was later perfected by the children of Ogun (1st blacksmith), Abere (needle) and Obe (knife)”.
“Olokun, who is also known as ‘Oluofi’ started the venture with looming thread weaving along with Segi beads (remnants of the production site recently discovered in ife scientific dating of which gave over 4000 years old)”.
“Their descendants migrated to settle in Iseyin and later to train the other descendants of Oduduwa around the world such as – Anu (Ethiopia) and Nubia (Sudan) all the way to present India (Orissa region now known as Odisha in India) and now all over the world”.
“Iseyin and Ilorin people still practice Aso Ofi venture very gainfully till date and we must always encourage them with necessary support because If we don’t tell our stories by ourselves, nobody will” Ooni maintained.
The Aseyin of Iseyin, HRM, Oba AbdulGaniyy Salawudeen Olooguebi, Ajinasan 1 who led hundreds of Aso Ofi weavers from Iseyin accompanied by their colleagues from Ilorin in Kwara state to Ile-Ife described Ooni as a true leader and the overall father of Yoruba race that deserves loyalty from all descendants of Oduduwa.
“Ooni is our overall father in Yorubaland. He is a true leader, we will continue to honour him as the father of Yoruba and we resist any move to disrespect him”.
The first class monarch of Oke Ogun people in Oyo State, while tracing the history of Aso Ofi, said Olu Ofi, who is one of the founders of Iseyin, left Ile Ife several years earlier and settled in Iseyin town.
“Aso Ofi was invented in Ile-Ife the source and traditional headquarters of Yoruba race worldwide and later taken to Iseyin by Olu Ofi from where it was made to spread across the world saying the weaving business in Iseyin employs several people, owing to this, crime rate in the town is at very low level.”
He urged businessmen, cultural enthusiasts and promoters to key into the project and participate in the festival.
Earlier in his opening speech, the Consultant and Coordinator of Aso Ofi Day Festival, Prince Olamide Olajuwon, noted that Aso-Ofi which is being used to make shoes, bags, wrist-watch can be improved to a level of massive revenue generation for the people and government.
“Since coming back from America, I’ve stopped wearing jeans; what I wear now is Aso-Ofi designed in so many unique ways.
“I must say here that Oyo State government has given Iseyin weavers Association seven hectares of land to build their factory and market which will turn Iseyin to a great tourism haven”. Olamide Olajuwon said.
‘We shall use pounded yam to drive Ekiti economy’ – Wale Ojo lanre
The Director-General, Ekiti State Council for Arts and Culture, Ambassador Wale Ojo Lanre has said that the Council would engage pounded yam to drive the economy of Ekiti State
” Ekiti is blessed with wonderful cultural potentialities which are capable of stimulating and propelling the economy of the state. One of these is our common good called Iyan or pounded yam. We shall leverage by showcasing the uniqueness of Ekiti pounded yam all over the world and branding it to lure tourists to the state ”
Ojo- Lanre made this revelation yesterday while playing host to Chief Kola Akosile, President, Nigeria Chamber of Commerce and Industry who led a team of Culinary Investors under the aegis of Authentic Nigerian Foods and Fashion Fair to Ekiti State Council for Arts and Culture Office in Ado Ekiti
Ojo -Lanre noted that ” Iyan is not only synonymous with Ekiti and it’s brother Ijesa, but Ekiti iyan has its own unique peculiarities in taste, texture and feel which you cannot find in any other brand of iyan in another state. Iyan Ekiti is like Chinese food which cannot be duplicated. For if it is not iyan Ekiti it is not iyan”.
The DG also disclosed that the Council would soon hold a conference of all Iyan sellers and producers in Ekiti in its bids to ensure that the glory of iyan radiate and shine for economic prosperity
Mr Shobowale Sanya, Managing Director, Authentic Nigerian Food and Fashion Fair said that Ekiti is the cultural capital of Yoruba state both in history and geographical configuration.
He commended Governor Kayode Fayemi for being the only Governor in the South West who has taken upon himself the arduous task of rejuvenating Yoruba Culture.
Mr Shobowale who was accompanied by Mrs Franca Olayiwola disclosed that Ekiti State is the foremost cultural friendly state in Nigeria due to the cultural vision of Dr Kayode Fayemi
He revealed that ” the cultural vision of Dr Kayode Fayemi has placed Ekiti State at the front burner of global cultural discourse and recognition. Thus making Ekiti the first point of reference when cultural activities and projects suffice .This is why we have to be here to intimate the state of the project Authentic Nigerian Food and Fashion Fair Scheduled to hold in Lagos in December”.
He lauded the management of Ekiti State Council for Arts and Culture for its warmth and culturally exciting reception accorded the visiting team
” I must confess that having visited both national and states cultural organisations, Ekiti is the only state where we are treated to a taste of the cultural assets of the state ”
Oyo to celebrate first Ijala festival with carnival, competition
The inaugural celebration of Ijala festival in Ibadan would be heralded with carnival, competition and awards for notable Ibadan indigenes from the 17th to 19th of October 2019 at Ilaji Hotels and Resort Center, Akanran, Ibadan.
The event which was packaged by Ona-Ara Development Forum (ODF) in conjunction with Oyo State Ministry of Information and Tourism was slated towards awakening the cultural renaissance and to bring back the glory of Yoruba’s oral poetry popularly called Ijala.
This disclosure was made on Monday by the President, Ona-Ara Development Forum, Alhaji Kola Bolomope at a Press conference held at the Film Theater of the State Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism.
Bolomope said the need for the cultural renaissance was occasioned by the dearth of Yoruba culture which he said has contributed to low sense of cultural belonging and poor moral rectitude among the people of the Southwest Nigeria.
“To the Yoruba of South-west Nigeria, to be a hunter was an ultimate honour and those who were hunters were seen as ideal men. Ijala chant belongs to a genre of exclusive hunters and are performed on festivals such as coronations and weddings.
“This important aspect of our cultural heritage is going into extinction. As a community with the background of several brave and distinguished hunters, it is our conviction that we should spearhead the revival and promotion of this form of Yoruba entertainment.
“The program which will hold between Thursday 17th and Saturday 19th October 2019 will also serve as a platform to boost tourism, maintain the oral traditions of the Yoruba people and for the children of Yorubas to be more exposed to the art of Ijala storytelling as well as creating employment opportunities for the teeming population of the State.”
The State Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Dr. Wasiu Olatunbosun who was at the event hinted that the State government’s policy on promotion of cultural values and arts was in tandem with the Ijala renaissance project, promising the group behind the festival of government’s support for its success.
Osinbajo inaugurates Emirati-Nigerian Art and Culture Exhibition
Professor Yemi Osinbajo, Vice President of Nigeria, inaugurated the Emirati-Nigerian Art and Culture Exhibition at the Mike Adenuga Centre in Lagos, organised by the UAE Embassy in Abuja.
Dr. Fahad Obaid Al Taffaq, UAE Ambassador to Nigeria, accompanied Osinbajo during his tour of the exhibition, which showcased artwork by Emirati and Nigerian artists.
Osinbajo praised bilateral relations between the UAE and Nigeria and highlighted promising areas of cooperation, noting that the UAE is a key destination for Nigerians for tourism, medical treatment, and investment.
For his part, Al Taffaq highlighted the two countries’ close ties, underscoring that the exhibition represents the early stages of cooperation between their creative industries.
During the event, a short film was presented on the UAE’s preparations to host the Expo 2020 Dubai, and the UAE Embassy presented Osinbajo with artwork by Emirati artist Hussain Al Hashemi with the Vice President’s name written in Arabic calligraphy.
The exhibition was attended by numerous diplomats and members of the Nigerian Parliament, as well as artists, intellectuals, and business leaders.
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