Tourism this past year has faced many challenges, from a slow economy in Europe to ISIS attacks, from medical issues such as Zika to waves of terrorism in Europe and wars in the Middle East.
For many around the world, despite the fact that this has not been an easy year, the month of December creates a great deal of “light” and “hope.” In the northern hemisphere, the lights of Christmas and Chanukah provide great beauty during the dead of winter.
In the southern hemisphere, this is the beginning of the summer holidays and a time for rest and relaxation. December then is a time when most of the world seeks cheer and hope and looks to break the bleakness of everyday life with special events, with celebrations and with a chance to find beauty in life.
Tourism has a major role to play in helping all of us add cheer and a sense of joie de vivre to our lives. Despite the high cost of airline tickets and poor service along the continued weakening of the economy in many western nations, people seek the gift of travel.
Perhaps the greatest gift the travel and tourism industry can give the public is to find new and innovative ways to return at least some of the romance and enchantment to the world of hospitality. That means remembering that our guests are not mere statistical numbers but rather that each traveller represents a world unto him/herself and quality must always override quantity.
To help your locale or attraction put a bit of the romance and enchantment back into your industry, Tourism Tidbits offers the following suggestions.
Emphasise the unique in your community rather than the standardised. Do not try to be all things to all people. Be something that is special. Ask yourself: What makes your community or attraction different and unique from your competitors? How does your community celebrate its individuality? If you were a visitor to your community would you remember it a few days after you had left or would it be just one more place on the map? Emphasise unique shopping and dining experiences. If travel means nothing more than eating at the same restaurants no matter in where you are, then it is merely a hassle rather than a memory. For example, do not just offer an outdoor experience, but individualise that experience, explain what makes your hiking trails special, and your beaches or river experience with ideas from ecology, history or geology. If your community or destination is a creation of the imagination, then allow the imagination to run wild and continually create new experiences.
Aje festival 2021: Ooni charges govt. to direct economic policies at Nigerians
The Arole Oduduwa & Ooni of Ife, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II, has charged the federal and state governments to direct economic policies and other laudable programmes at the entire citizenry.
Ooni Ogunwusi, the Co-Chairman of National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria (NCTRN) gave the charge during the 2021 edition of the annual celebration of Aje Festival at his Ile-Oodua palace, on Monday in Ile-Ife globally accepted ancestral home for Yoruba race and all the descendants of Oduduwa home and abroad. .
The Ooni who lauded Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government over several economic programmes and policies like the, recent employment of 774,000 Nigerians across the country and other interventions also advised the government to do more for the Nigerian masses by using cultural tourism as a veritable means for economic revolution.
“For us to progress as a country, we must ensure that our wealth goes round especially to the poor and other vulnerable members of the society. We cannot keep having strikingly rich few Nigerians and uncountable ones wallowing in abject poverty. To do this, the government must look at cultural tourism as a veritable tool for revolutionizing the economy before its too late. The Ooni decried.
While explaining the basis for the Aje Festival celebrations, the African foremost monarch who is also the Natural overall father for the Oodua race worldwide explained that it is a unique way through which the Yoruba people globally remember the deity which is known for wealth and riches.
“Aje is a deity which is known for wealth and riches. Its annual celebration as you have witnessed today is to acknowledge its relevance to us as people, especially its indispensable nature to us.
“Did you see the struggle for it during the procession to and from the Aje temple? That is the spirit of Aje, all of us are not rich because it is not easy to accumulate wealth.
“We are not devaluing the currency by spraying it to our people, we only do it on a special day like this to spread happiness. In the olden days, it was cowries, sometimes ago it was coins, nowadays it is naira notes and we hold it in a very high esteem.” The Ooni noted.
Coordinator of the annual Aje Festival, Princess Oluwatoyin Kolade expressed happiness for the massive turnout of participants from within and outside Nigeria without even pre publicity. Toyin Kolade, the Ilesa born international trader and great philanthropist gave all credit to Ooni Ogunwusi for the opportunity given her to contribute to cultural development of the Oodua race, pledging her continued loyalty and commitment to the development of the prestigious Yoruba cultural heritage.
“My father the Ooni is loaded with productive dynamism and great innovations for our race and African continent as a whole, especially in the area of cultural tourism revolution. He appointed me as his cultural ambassador in charge of Aje festival 4 years ago and with his unflinching support I have so far enjoyed, this Aje festival which was merely a local affair before 5 years ago has today become one of the important Nigeria cultural festivals with participants from all over the world. This Ooni is God sent, Wallahi!! “. Toyin Kolade said.
The Oore of Otun-Ekiti & Paramount Ruler of Mobaland, Oba Adekunle Adeagbo, Ajero of Ijero-Ekiti, the Obaro of Kabba Oba Joseph and Onisale of Isale who led the delegation from Republic of Benin were among the traditional rulers joined other dignitaries including Nollywood stars like, Iya Rainbow, Lanre Hassan (Iya Awero) and others to witness the event while the Fuji music maestro, Abass Akande (Obesere) thrilled the guests.
AJE OLOKUN the goddess of wealth is among the loved ones out of the 401 deities(Irunmoles) that formed the first dynasty of mankind known as Ife Oodaye. These deities are still being celebrated in lle-lfe and globally till date.
The main capacity and strength of the goddess of wealth is to provide sufficient wealth and greater economic benefits for whoever worships the Almighty God through her.
AJE can be found everywhere; waters, air, land, trees, fire, among others. It is a deity synonymous with cowries which were being spent globally before the advent of present currencies.
Ori- Oke Mokola, For The Records | By Toye Arulogun
The city of Ibadan is being saturated with billboards of “Ori Oke Mokola” transformation by Goldberg, one of the lager brands from the stable of Nigerian Breweries Plc. On the A frame boards which can be sighted in some locations is the picture of Governor Seyi Makinde proudly displayed amidst the text announcing the transformation of the “tarmac” on the open space of the car park of the Cultural Centre.
For the records, the Goldberg Village which was the brand name of the proposed reconfigured recreational space called Ori Oke Mokola was a Nigerian Breweries proposal approved by Late Governor Abiola Ajimobi as recommended by the Oyo State Ministry of Information Culture and Tourism at the twilight of the unprecedented second term of the Koseleri Governor.
The transformation of Ori-Oke Mokola was to be at no cost to the Oyo State Governor while Nigerian Breweries bears the full cost of the makeover of the popular joint.
If Nigerian Breweries has completed the project at cost to the company, why the overt celebration with GSM’s picture on a project initiated by the Ajimobi government or is Nigerian Breweries playing to the gallery?
If so, the corporate giant and its Dutch headquarters need a review of its corporate social responsibility policy and steer clear of local politics.
For the records again, the Akala administration started the dualisation of Queen Elizabeth road while the Ajimobi government completed it, yet you would never find it in any compilation or compendium on the many achievements of the only government with a two term mandate in Oyo State.
Government truly is a continuum but credit should be given to whom it is due, especially when it has not cost the borrowing government of Governor Seyi Makinde a dime, except the signature of the immediate past governor of Oyo State….unless a fresh proposal and approval happened. And even then…..
Immediate Past Commissioner for Information, Culture & Tourism,
The untold story of legendary Obadoke Aare Latoosa | By Arowolo-Are Jubril
Like many other Ibadan war lords and rulers, Mohammad Obadoke Aare Latoosa was a native of Ilora, near Oyo. His father was Ore Orisa Oyatoosa while the mother bored Oyatooki. Both were river goddess worshippers.
Being young and adventurous, Obadoke left his parents’ Bantu house of Okutuoje compound at Ilora for Ibadan in search of greener pastures.
Although, an altercation with a prominent Oyo ruler was said to have prompted this move.
On his arrival in Ibadan, Obadoke settled at a place around Oniyanrin-Nalende axis ( in the present Ibadan North Local Government), where he engaged in palm wine selling.
Obadoke was reputed to be versed in the knowledge of palm tree planting that he could tell the harvest period and profits with faultless precision!
Then, his palm wine selling exploits connected him with Beyioku Akere one of the promising warriors in Ibadan land. Akere later introduced him to Ogunmola who held the title of Bada under Iba Oluyole during the period.
During their meeting, Obadoke Oyatoosa’s bravery, confidence and war situation exploits impressed Ogunmola and he drafted Oyatoosa into his private army for which he later became the captain.
In the bid to have Obadoke Oyatoosa closer to him, Ogunmola settled him at a hill top which was then a dreaded forest that harbored a dangerous human eating lion! The choice of the hill top (now Oke Aare) was not particularly the making of Ogunmola who thought Obadoke could not survive the deadly animal. But Oyatoosa opted to settle in, regardless of any kind of threats!
However, within the next few days, Obadoke caught the lion alive and took it on his shoulder to Ogunmola who was dazed with Oyatoosa’s bravery.
It’s interesting to know that Obadoke cut off the lion’s head and adopted it as one of his symbols of authority!
Having settled well at Oke Aare, he got married to Osubunmi, Ibeji and Moriola in succession but the unions were fruitless until after about 16 years when he had Sanusi as the first child. This happened after reverted to Islam and he believed that the change in religion influenced the birth of his son. There after, Obadoke adopted the name ‘Mohammad’ (Momodu in Yoruba pronunciation), with the aid of the then Emir of Ilorin, Abdul Salam who had earlier conquered Katunga, the capital of Old Oyo Empire with the fall of Afonja.
Since then, Mohammad Obadoke Oyatoosa never looked back. He was fully involved in many territorial conquests as the captain of Ogunmola’s private army from where he rose through the ranks until he got the ultimate title: Aare Onakakanfo of Yoruba land.
He started on the leadership line with the title of Are-Ago Balogun during the reign of Baale Oyesile Olugbode, (1851-1864), Otun Seriki during the time of Bashorun Ogunmola, (1865-1867) and Otun Balogun during the short reigns of Balogun Beyioku Akere (1867-1870), and Baale Orowusi Awarun Ososo (1870-1871). Akere as the Balogun during the reign of Bashorun Ogunmola was to assume the Baale position after Ogunmola’s demise but he, (Akere) deferred it until after he must have won Oke Ogun war. Although, Akere won but he died after his victorious return and few days to his installation.
To be continued…
Arowolo-Are Jubril, journalist and media consultant, sent this piece from Ibadan, Oyo state.
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