Culture is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behaviour and norms found in human societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs, arts, laws, customs, capabilities, and habits of the individuals in these groups.
It can also be defined as all the ways of life including beliefs and institutions of a population that is passed down from generation to generation. Over the years, it has been called “the way of life for an entire society.” As such, it includes codes of manners, dress, language, religion, rituals and art of a particular society.
“It is glaring that we are losing our cultural heritage gradually, and we need to begin to let our youths know whom they are. They are first of all Ijebus, before being Yorubas and then being Nigerians. Many of them born and raised in Ijebu towns and villages find it even difficult to speak the ijebu dialect fluently not to talk of understanding any other cultural values of the Ijebus. So the Adeleke Adenuga Foundation (AAF) is trying to encourage and help the youths to develop interest in learning more about the Ijebu cultures on the origin, the system of governance and trade, ways of life, ways o dressing, marriage and customs, etc of the ijebu kingdom.
For a kingdom to remain unconquered by any other nations for centuries as of that time, it remain the envy of other nations in the area of security and commerce (The Ijebus are mentioned to have pioneered the production of war apparel, and conserved the use of cowries and silver metals locally referred to as “Owo Ijebu” (Ijebu’s Money) which was used for international trade, and spearheaded trade and commerce development in Nigeria).
Many people enjoy the festivities of Ojude Oba carnival without knowing its origin or how it started’’ disclosed Prof. Adetunji Amusa, the chairman of the AAF Easter Youth programme planning committee.
“This Easter program is dedicated to encouraging our youths to develop more interest in the Ijebu dialect. The Ijebu people speak the Ijebu language, a unique dialect yet similarly sharing the same vocabulary with generic Yoruba language.
Its uniqueness however lies in its syllables, pronunciation, intonation, varied vocabulary and pace of speech; making it increasingly difficult to comprehend by non-Ijebu speaking Yorubas”, explained Professor Amusa N. Adetunji, a Board of Trustee member of the Adelaja Adenuga Foundation and the President of the Nubian American Advanced College, Lagos in Nigeria who is a Professor of Plant Science and Applied Zoology.
He finalised by saying that: ‘’The Ijebus of old are reported to have been highly industrious, self-reliant and full of pride. We need to go back to the root and learn one or two things from the way of life of those our ancestors. If they succeeded as of that time then the knowledge of how they made it might still be very useful to us today.’’
“The Easter period is usually full of activities for the in-school and out of school youth and the artisans as holiday period time to catch fun. The situation of things among the youth call for the concern of everybody now they need to be reminded of the danger of not promoting our cultural heritage and on getting themselves involved in cultism, drug addiction and other vices that can ruin their future.
There are many opportunities waiting for them in the nearest future however if care is not taking they will destroy their future even before it comes and based on these facts, the Foundation intends to assist the youths by encouraging them to be more focus and be resourceful, identify and develop their talents which are even more important than any other thing for their lifting”, concluded Prof. Amusa.
The Adelaja Adenuga Foundation youth Programme 2022 will hold at the St, Andrews Primary School. Ilaporu, Close to Oru, Ijebu on Easter Saturday, April 16, 2022 by 10am and the dignitaries that have accepted to be at the timely event are; His Royal Highness, Oba Jimoh Adebamiro Quadri, the Alaporu of Ilaporu as the father of the day; Veteran Actor Dele Odule as the chairman; Hon. Prince Abdel-majid Adesegun Adekoya (Attaker), Deputy Minority Whip at the Federal House of Representatives in Abuja and Rt. Hon Dr. Tokunbo Oshin, former Deputy Speaker at the Ogun State House of Assembly as the Special Guests of Honour.