The Convener, 2022 Olokun Festival, Mrs Omolara Fashola, says culture will increase Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product and the entire African continent, if properly harnessed.
Fashola made this known at a news conference on Saturday in Lagos, ahead of the festival slated for Aug. 26 in Lagos.
The Convener said: ‘’My belief is that, if culture is properly harnessed, it will increase the Gross Domestic Product of Nigeria and of course, the entire African continent.
‘’There is need to enlighten our youths to take their destiny into their hands; they should take due advantage of the continents rich cultural diversity to develop themselves economically.‘’
According to her, this requires concerted efforts, time and attention of every African.
Fashola said that the promotion of African culture should have an impact on the way people viewed life, which according to her, gives the continent an edge among other continents.
She said that on the contrary, the culture had been pushed aside for foreign cultures in terms of food, languages, entertainment and fashion.
‘’Promoting the Yoruba Culture through the Olokun Festival has come to mend the gap by showcasing our culture in the best way possible with our local cuisine, music, fashion, folklore among others.
‘’As a Cultural Ambassador of the African Union- ECOSOCC Nigeria, my job is to support the work of the regional body.
“This is to promote greater unity and solidarity between Africa countries and its people and also to defend Africa position on issues of the common interest.
‘’The better way to achieve these goals is by promoting and driving the relevance of our cultural heritage to our coming generations,‘’ Fashola said.
Also, Mr John Oba, a representative of the African Union- ECOSOCC Nigeria, said that Nigeria’s culture would solve most of the vices currently being experienced in the country.
‘’If we want a corrupt-free Nigeria, we need to task our leaders to go by our culture; once elected, they should swear by our culture. If we can imbibe our culture, corruption will be something of the past.
‘’Also, we must bring our culture to the fore, so that our youths can understand its value; be properly molded to be the people they are supposed to be and we will not lose our identity,‘’ Oba said.
In her remarks, Ms Aderonke Fowosere, an Information and Communications Technology Expert, said that her company was looking toward ‘’tokenising’’ culture, which is, presenting culture in such a way that it lived forever.
Fowosere, who works at a technological company into software engineering, Mobi Automation, said her company was partnering with the Olokun foundation for the event.
‘’We are here to ensure that the essence of African culture is preserved and passed across.
‘’We are also looking for ways toward integrating technology to the monetisation of culture, so that the custodians of culture are able to harness the innate capacity of our traditions.
‘’Also, to be able to make money and in the long run, able to raise the standard of living in Nigeria and transform the economic structure of the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Ambassadors and High Commissioners from Africa and other countries have been invited to be part of the event.
‘The theme of the event is “The Role of African Culture in the Promotion and Development of Young Africans”.
The countries include: Brazil, Venezuela, Cuba, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Malaysia, France, China, America, Spain, Britain.
Also, part of the activities expected at the event include cultural display; Ewi recitation; dance performances; Inspired African shows; display of African artifacts; life band contemporary African Music.