Monday, 21 August 2023

Separating Yorùbá religious tradition from Ìṣẹ̀ṣe 

"ISESE l'agba," is a common expression among adherents of what is referred to as 'Yorùbá traditional'... READ MORE

Nigeria, Belgian art dealer for Int'l dispute resolution

Minister of  Information and Culrire, Lai Mohammed (middle); D-G, NCMM, Dr Aba Isa Tijani (right); and SA to the president (Media), Segun Adeyemi, during the briefing on Saturday.

TRANSBORDER trade in cultural objects may have another legal battle between a state and art dealers over ownership claims as Nigeria attempts to recover its stolen artefacts from a foreign individual. Read more. 
For illicit holder, original owner of looted art, legal windows broaden  

Iyoba or Queen Mother, a Benin origin sculpture (ivory pendant, 16th century) acquired by The Met Museum, New York. Pic: The Met.

Twice, in less than one year, separate courts  in U.S. have affirmed the powers of countries to assert ownership and control of suspected illicitly acquured art. Also, in Europe, a post-war chatter set up to track and recover collections looted by the Nazi is still effective till date. Read more.

How Yoruba meaning linked ancient Arab patriarch, Ya’rub, other Nile tribes

Alaafin of Oyo, Lamidi Adeyemi III (from direct descendant of Oduduwa, founder of Yoruba) being honoured with traditional rite by Iya-laje of Oyo, Chief Mrs Comfort Titilayo Orija-Adesoye during the 50th anniversary of Alaafin, January 2021, in Oyo. Pic: by Oranyan Heritage Foundation.

FROM volumes of scholarly researches written by Africans and non-Africans, there is no doubt that the ancestry of the Yoruba people had link to either an ancient Nile tribe or that of the Middle East. 
Words similarities of Yoruba with either variant of colloquial or modern Arabic languages are some of the contents that link ancient Nile and Middle East with the southwest Nigerian people as well as their 'cousins' along some countries in West Africa. More of interest is the fact that the name, Yoruba, either in writing or pronunciation, have been found to share some commonalities with phrases or words of Arabic origins. Such examples include 'Ya-aruba',  'Ya'rub', Yauba, 'Yuuba' among others that confirm the Yoruba people's Nile and Middle East links. Read more here.

Traditional African culture of non-royal women leadership in 21st century

Iyalode of Yorubaland, Chief Alaba Lawson. Pic: NACCIMA.

FROM ancient era, the role of women in African community development has been sparsely documented. It appeared that only women who had the advantage of hereditary royal structure in leadership ascendancy have enjoyed more documentation compared to non-monarch female leaders. More here
Evolution of 'gele' as female fashion, from Nigeria to African diaspora stage

A 'gele' headwear with ipele (scholl) adorned by Juju musician, Ayo Balogun.Pic: c/o Ayo Balogun.

A Yoruba adage of old that says ‘a woman’s fashion is incomplete without her gele’, has proven its resilience, even in the 21st century contemporary African culture.

With its creasing popularity, recently, on the international fashion space of ethnic minority, it is important to track the modern evolution of gele (pronounced 'gaylay'). The origin of gele as emanated from Yoruba culture and virtue is not exactly known. However, many archival photographs of over a century old suggested that gele must have been around much longer than the time those pictures were taken. Read more.
FG announces stimulus for creative, hotel other industries
Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo. Pic: c/o FGN.
As the federal government, on Thursday, announced a stimulus for the MSMEs of the economic sectors, the creative industry seemed to have been included, perhaps, based on the report of the committee set up by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.

In a statement by the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, through his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, the creative sector, private schools, hotels, and road transport workers among others, will benefit from the stimulus package of the federal  government.. The stimulus, specifically, he explained, is for Micro Small and Medium Enterprises to cushion the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic economic crisis. Osinbajo who spoke at the 2020 edition of the MSMEs Awards, said the support scheme had been covered by the government’s Economic Sustainability Plan. READ MORE.

At 'Ofala Festival', monarch creates platform for art, culture advancement

His Majesty Nnaemeka Achebe admiring a piece of work at the Oreze V11 Art Exhibition with the curator, George Edozie, Professor Frank Ugiomoh, Chief Chukwuma Agbakoba, and Chike Ekweogwu during Ofala Festival 2019 in Onitsha… recently. PICS BY CHUMA IWENOFU.

In a symposium and are exhibition, a monarch's responsibility to his people as custodian of their values and culture was once again stressed at the 2019 Ofala Festival in Onitsha, Anambra State. Read more.

Excavating 500 yrs of Benin 'Iconography' from Iyase-Odozi’s installation, fabric art

Princess Theresa Iyase-Odozi. Pic: c/o Greenhouse.
Installations, mixed media and fabric art that appropriate the vastness of Benin culture took off in Lagos, as a tour exhibition. The twin-like exhibition, which are mounted on the pedestal of extensive research by Princess Theresa Iyase-Odozi enrich contemporary documentation of Benin visual icons. Read more.

Heritage laws to prosecute govt official violators, others coming

A declared national monument, Ilojo Bar, Lagos Island, before it was demolished in 2016 by suspected agents of Lagos State Government.

The powers of Federal Government as managers and regulators of heritage in Nigeria may be strenghtened should a proposed amendment bill becomes law. Currently said to be with the Senate Committee on Culture and Tourism, the document tagged 'A Private Bill To Amend The Enabling Act Of The National Commission For Museums and Monuments (NCMM)', when passed into law, could place some institutions of governments, federal or state, on collision with NCMM over heritage sites, given the history of violations in Nigeria. READ MORE. 

Heritage for sale... Like Nigeria's National Arts Theatre, outrage in India over Taj Mahal, other sites

Taj Mahal, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India (1653). Pic: internet.
While the controversy over Nigerian Government's proposed plans to sell some of its national asset, including the National Arts Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos, is still fresh, India has a similar issue. The Indian government, according to sources tags its own policy 'Adopt a Heritage', a direction in which 95 historic sites, including the fifteenth century Taj Mahal could be taken over by private entities.
 Late last year, Nigerian Government announced plans to generate N311bn from privatisation of public properties and the sale of national assets to partly finance the 2018 budget.
  Already, reports have it that on Saturday, India's tourism ministry announced
a five-year contract worth 250 million rupees ($3.7 million) with one Dalmia Bharat conglomerate for the iconic 17th-century Red Fort in Delhi and another fort in the southern Andhra Pradesh state.
For the Taj Mahal, two conglomerates, according to READ MORE.

How Lekki-Ikoyi Bridge, ‘Idejo Chiefs’ Sculptures May Emerge As Iconic Lagos Monuments

The Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge, Lagos Island. PIC: Internet sourcing.
Despite its vast heritage, expressed in modern and contemporary monuments, Lagos still lacks an iconic spot to symbolise the city on the global tourism space.
 In public monuments such as architecture and art, a people’s history and value are expressed. Lagos is a city of mixed Gothic, Portuguese/Brazilian and postmodern architectural designs that have no space for indigenous contents.
    While cultural contents are almost non-existence in architectural works of most designs that dot a city like Lagos, art provides the ventilation for expression of the missing native values. However, on quite a number of the standing architectures, READ MORE.


Here Comes Nigeria’s ‘First’ Textile Museum

...Nike Decries ‘Difficult Process’ Of Getting Tourist Visa To Nigeria
Nike Art Centre, Lekki, Lagos.
Despite volumes that have been written and voices loud enough on the importance of the creative sector’s ability to drive tourism economy, government still appears lethargic. But all is not lost, as Abuja’s tourism landscape is expected to receive a boost this year with a Textile Museum at the proposed Arts Village.
  It is, perhaps, the first of its kind in Nigeria where genre-specific museums are uncommon. The proposed facility is the initiative READ MORE.

Dallas, Cuba, Haiti perform at Abeokuta ‘African Drum Festival

In its second year, African Drums Festival, at Abeokuta, Ogun State, Southwest Nigeria held the 2017 edition with more than 10 cultural  troupes from the U.S., central America and over 10 African countries participated. Among the cultural groups were those from Dallas, Cuba and Haiti.
Governor Ibikunle Amosun unveiling an 18-feet high drum
  When the event opened on Thursday, Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State unveiled an 18-feet high drum, acclaimed to be the “tallest drum in the world.” At the maiden edition of the festival, a 17-feet high drum was unveiled as the tallest.
  The African Drum Festival is designed to showcase heritage of the black race via a gathering of drums from different parts of  the world.           At June 12 Cultural Centre, Kuto, Abeokuta where this year’s event was flagged off, were READ MORE. ---------------------------------------------------------
Tradition, contemporary interpretation of Yoruba Monarch, Ogunwusi’s swapping of seat with wife

By Tajudeen Sowole

  A picture, it has been said, 'speaks thousand words'. Yes, but what has one second click of camera got to do with probing into the mindset of a young monarch, the Ooni of Ile Ife, Oba (King) Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi? He answer lies in conflicting views of tradition and contemporary behaviour. 
Ooni of Ile Ife, Oba (King) Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi with wife,
Olori Wuraola Zynab Otiti during a recent visit to Ghana.

The current Ooni has never hidden his desire for a shift in expanding the relevance of monarchy in contemporary African setting. As the 51st Ooni, coronated on 7 December 2015, he has since been in the news for all the change reasons that were hardly noted in history of monarchy sphere of Yorubaland, southwest Nigeria.

 The picture of Ooni Ogunwusi swapping 'position' with his wife, Olori Wuraola Zynab Otiti Ogunwusi confirms that the King of modern day ancient town of Ile Ife is somebody to watch, perhaps, READ MORE. 

Red List of West African Cultural Objects at Risk

Book Cover
After years of looting and carnage against cultural objects in Africa, which was made more pronounced by the 2012 conflict in Mali, a publication by International Council of Museums (ICOM), which focuses West Africa is perhaps a strong alert for museum managers.
  Titled Red List of West African Cultural Objects at Risk, and featured a Mali "Emergency" section, the publication, according to ICOM was made possible BY the support of the Swiss Federal Department of Home Affairs, the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) and the U.S. Department of State.

 The book aims to highlight READ MORE.

Furore As 190-Year-Old Monument Demolished

By Tajudeen Sowole

If a designated, but demolished national monument, Ilojo Bar (Olaiya House), at Tinubu Square, Lagos Island were under the protection of UNESCO, its destroyer would be charged, perhaps, with 'cultural crime' at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. Few weeks ago, a Lagos estate developer allegedly bulldozed the 190-year-old building to rubble. Read more. 
Jailed 9 yrs For Destroying UNESCO-Protected Malian Heritage Site
27/09/2016  04.14
Having pleaded guilty and apologised for leading destruction of 10 Malian cultural and religious sites, Ahmad al-Mahdi has been handed 9 years jail by the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Haque. The judges found al-Ahmadi had shown "remorse and empathy" for his crime.
Ahmad al-Mahdi during his trial at The Hague.
“I seek their forgiveness and I ask them to look at me as a son who has lost his way,” al-Mahdi pleaded with the court during trial in August. “Those who forgive me will be rewarded by the almighty. I would like to make them a solemn promise that this was the first and the last wrongful act I will ever commit.” 

Regarded as an Islamist with link to dreaded-Al-Qaeda, al-Mahdi also quoted Quranic advice in his plea. “We need to speak justice even to ourselves. We have to be truthful, even if it burns our own hands,” he said. “All the charges brought against me are accurate and correct. I am really sorry, and I regret all the damage that my actions have caused.” 

The ICC had then pronounced him guilty and assured that the sentence will be confirmed on September 27, 2016 (today). 

  From June 30 to July 10, 2012 in Timbuktu, al-Mahdi allegedly led a group of militants and destroyed Mausoleum of Sidi Mahmoud Ben Omar Mohamed Aquit, Mausoleum of Sheikh Mohamed Mahmoud al-Arawani, Mausoleum of Sheikh Sidi Mokhtar Ben Sidi Muhammad Ben Sheikh Alkabir, Mausoleum of Alpha Moya, Mausoleum of Sidi Mahmoud Ben Amar, Mausoleum of Sheikh Muhammad El Micky, mausoleum of Cheick Abdoul Kassim Attouaty, Mausoleum of Ahamed Fulane, Mausoleum of Bahaber Babadié and Sidi Yahya Mosque, all in Timbuktu. One of the monuments is a UNESCO Heritage Site.

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On January 16, 2013, the ICC opened a formal investigation in Mali over alleged crimes that occurred since January 2012 within the context of armed conflict in the north of the country.
On September 18, 2015, the court issued an arrest warrant, alleging that al-Mahdi committed the war crime against heritage monuments. 
  “We’re in charge of fighting superstitions, and that’s why we have decided to pull down this door,” Mahdi said in a 2012 video shown to the court. “We must eliminate from the landscape everything that doesn’t belong,” he said in another.
  Contrary to justifying his action in the video evidence out against him, al-Mahdi however regretted the destruction as he told the court he was under the pushed by “evil wave.” He added: “I hope the years I will spend in prison will enable me to purge the evil spirits that overtook me.”

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