Yoruba Day 2015
The third Yoruba Day in Stockholm was celebrated on the 23rd of May 2015. The event took place at the Brommasalen, Alvik Medborgarhuset, Stockholm.
The Yoruba Union in Stockholm, Sweden successfully hosted its third annual Yoruba Day celebration. The event took place on Saturday the 23rd of May 2015.
The Yoruba Day in Stockholm is a day set aside to celebrate Yoruba culture and heritage in Stockholm the capital of Sweden. The president of the Union Adeola Aderounmu in his welcome address traced the history of the Yoruba Union in Stockholm to 2010 when a group of young people came together to form the association.
The Yoruba Union was registered in Sweden in the same year-2010. Yoruba Union in Stockholm is a non-political and a non-profit making organisation. This uniqueness distinguishes the Union from other associations that have been formed for the purpose of making profits or for self-aggrandisement. Mr. Aderounmu stated that the Yoruba Union provides a social platform for the Yoruba community in Stockholm and even in Sweden as a whole.
The union provides a genuine base where members feel a sense of belonging and togetherness that have continue to contribute to the growth and development of the union. Under the platform of the Yoruba Union in Stockholm the Yoruba culture and tradition is being spread and made known in Sweden. The Yoruba Union-Stockholm is now very popular in Sweden.
In April 2015 Adeola Aderounmu represented the Union in a national televised live program. The Swedish celebrity TV-presenter Doreen Månsson, who spent some part of her early life in Ibadan-Nigeria requested the presence of the Adeola during a program that was dedicated to Nigeria.
In recent years, the Yoruba Union in Stockholm has also worked together with the Modern Museum in Stockholm during the display of ancient art work from Ile-Ife at the museum which spans a period of about 6 months between 2013 and 2014. The Union continues to receive requests to represent and show the Yoruba culture in various ways and forms. The Yoruba Union has given lectures /talks bordering on the Yoruba Ifa religion and ancient art work from Ile-Ife.
Five days after the celebration of the Yoruba Day in Stockholm, the Union represented West Africa at the 2015 Africa Day celebration in Sweden. Yoruba dance and songs were presented to the rest of Africa.
Yoruba Union is growing from strength to strength. Over the past 5 years the Yoruba Union in Stockholm has put YORUBA culture permanently on the cultural map of Sweden. This year the city of Stockholm Council through the department of culture gave some financial support to the Yoruba Union. This sort of partnership will ensure more progress for the union in the forth coming years. The Yoruba Union has a close working relationship with the Nigerian Embassy in Stockholm. The Union is also a prominent partner with the educational institution-SENSUS, based in Stockholm and Gotland.
Mr. Aderounmu emphasized the positive roles played by the executive and the entire members of the Yoruba Union in Stockholm towards the sustenance of the ideals of the union and the continuous progress that the union continues to make. He acknowledged their positive energies, innovations, determination and collection of life experiences that have been brought into play to mastermind the success of the annual Yoruba Day and other activities of the union round the year.
In her address, the Head of Mission – Nigerian Embassy Sweden, Mrs. Jane Ndem said that the Nigeria embassy in this era of citizen diplomacy strongly supports all Diaspora organisations and ethnic unions as their roles both abroad and back home cannot be overstated.
She urged Nigerians to remain law abiding citizens and should feel free to contact the embassy whenever the need arises. Mrs. Ndem commended the efforts and enthusiasm of the Yoruba Union in ensuring that the Yoruba culture is projected effectively to African and the rest of the world through the formation of the cultural group.
The highlight of the 2015 Yoruba Day was the special lecture given by Dr. Adewale Olu Adeniran the Executive Director, Center for Black Cultural and International Understanding, Osogbo-Nigeria. The lecture is titled: “Will The Yoruba Language Survive Beyond The 21st Century?” Click here to download lecture
Dr. Adeniran emphasized the importance of speaking Nigerian indigenous languages to children at home especially before the age of 11 when the ability to learn languages begins to deteriorate as the brain begins to change physiologically. He also lamented the lack of implementation of policy on the preservation of Nigerian indigenous languages. He emphasised the importance of making use of Nigerian indigenous languages as the language of instructions in early age schools and up to the tertiary levels.
Dr. Olu Adeniran deplored the elevation of the colonial language (the English language) above the other Nigerian languages. Making students textbooks available in our indigenous languages will also be a way to revive and preserve Nigerian languages so that they do not go into extinction. While encouraging Nigerians in Diaspora to ensure that they make it a point of duty to ensure that they preserve their languages by speaking them to their children, he pointed out how Nigerian literary giants first mastered their indigenous languages before they became global names in the literary world. He gave the example of professor Wole Soyinka who won the nobel prize in Literature in 1986.
The full text of Dr. Adeniran-more than 20 pages-will be made available on the Yoruba Union website (www.yorubaunion.se)
During the celebration of the 2015 Yoruba Day, there were songs and dances in accordance to the Yoruba tradition and culture. There was fashion parade during which some of the popular Yoruba traditional attires and modern designs were on display.
There was also a session demonstrating how Yoruba women make and wear their headgears popularly called gele. Guests, friends and members of the union danced to popular Yoruba music. They were also treated to exclusively Yoruba dishes.
Dr. Adeniran and Dele Momodu (in absentia) both received the Yoruba Union Lifetime Membership Award. They were also recognised for their contributions to the development of the Yoruba culture and Nigeria in general.
The event was drawn to a close by a vote of thanks given by Debo Fasheyi and Ibrahim Onifade. They thanked all the special guests and sponsors of this year’s event. They even extended the greetings sent by Dele Momodu who had made plans to be at the event but had to return to Nigeria from London 2 days before the Yoruba Day.
Among other dignitaries at this year’s event were:
Mrs Chika Nwachukwu, Counsellor and Head of Consular, Nigerian Embassy, Stockholm
Mr. Ali-Gombe Haruna, Head of Chancery, Nigerian Embassy Stockholm
Hajia Rafat Usman, Federal Ministry of Education, Abuja
The president of the Yoruba Union in Gothenburg Mr. Majekodunmi
Mrs. Victoria Majekodunmi, Engineer Olatunde Aluko, Princess Adetoun Lasebikan, Mr. Salimonu Kadiri, Ify Onuoha, Gloria Viegurs and Mr. Tayo Adeyemi-the editor of African News, Sweden.
Click here to download lecture by Dr. Adewale Adeniran titled “WILL THE YORUBA LANGUAGE SURVIVE BEYOND THE 21ST CENTURY”