Day eleven year old Norwegian-born Nigerian fluently recites Yoruba folklores, songs

By Bode Durojaiye. 

The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba [Dr.] Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi 111, has observed that the time to begin to appreciate and re-appreciate the cultural importance to Yoruba and national growth is critically now, as experiences suggest that the pathways to development are strategically hidden in the cultures and cultural-political determinations. 
Oba Adeyemi made the observation  while receiving a Yoruba cultural group, LINEAGEALIVE FOUNDATION based in Houston Texas in the United States of America.
He said it is a truth today that Yoruba cultures are under threat, adding  that these cultures are in fact been pushed beyond their limits of tolerance in manners that suggest danger, adding that some cultures are in fact already surviving at the merging.
Alaafin who lamented Yoruba elites’ attitudes towards the use of their mother language, said English is regarded as a symbol of social structure.
‘’The age-long prohibition of ‘vernacular’ is still firmly operational in a large percentage of Yorùbá elite homes. Their children must learn and always speak English. Apparently, Yorùbá language still exists in Nigeria today because of high-level of illiteracy. If we have a low percentage of literacy, the language will be gone. Parents want their children to speak and learn English. While the language gives us the ability to think differently and retain the mentality, total abandonment of the Yorùbá language brings total dislocation and loss of identity. Some basic aspects of the Yorùbá culture, especially different forms of greetings, are now completely foreign to many élite families’’.
The paramount ruler explained that some élites find all greetings forms in Yoruba language unnecessary and time wasting, but adopt a simple greeting pattern such as hi or hello, which to them is preferable. 
‘’The children too imbibe their parents’ attitude, their personalities and then become not only divided, but also totally shattered. They become localised foreigners. The negative negligence and negligible use of Yorùbá by the élites, has spilling over effects on Yorùbá as a discipline’’. 
According to the Alaafin, ‘’Yoruba culture is not static. At the same time, every generation tries to preserve aspects of the indigenous tradition. This effort is counterbalanced by the pragmatic desire of the Yoruba to appropriate change in the garb of tradition’’.
Alaafin further submitted that in Nigeria, Like in other related domains, language is a very key cultural identity, pointing out that this is why culture is sometime categorized along language groups.
Said he, ‘’all the ethnic and language groupings in the country have deep rooted traditional background and established oral traditions in proverbs. They communicate through proverbs when serious issues are to be discussed and meaning are to be made and instructions passed with non-controversial implications. All these ethnic groups and ethno-linguistic groups in Nigeria have strong affinity for and usage of proverbs. Proverbs form the core component of the language and general communication in the country just as in other parts of Africa especially the Sub-Sahara’’.
According to the Alaafin,  ‘’Yorubas worldwide inhabit a world of myths, allegories, poetry, the love and wisdom of the Ifa divination system. Those are just a few of the components of Yoruba culture, the genesis of which is the ancient town of Oyo. Despite that proverbs remain backbone of a lot of societies in Africa, especially the Yoruba, by helping to identify and dignify customs, traditions and the culture, their potential values for modern thought and life are yet to be recognised’’. 
Oba Adeyemi stated that in Yoruba land, proverbs are a vanishing heritage associated mostly with the rural world, adding that they seem never to have found a home in the modern world, especially in the imported system of education because schools don’t bring out the great importance of proverbs in the lessons being taught. 
OBA Adeyemi therefore tutored the younger generation on culture of respect, contentment and value system as baseline for a prosperous society.
Earlier, the Cultural Foundation team led by the Mr. Sunday Babalola, said Nigeria is a society with abundant rich cultural heritage that are scattered within the diverse ethnic nationalities.
Babalola noted that , ‘’these cultural heritage which include language, marriage rites, burial rites, birth rites, dressing, greeting, music, folklore, religion, and other tangible cultural monuments, natural sites and cultural landscapes  have died due to western cultural influence’’.
The need for renaissance of our heritage led to creation of the Foundation, and subsequent establishment of YORUBA SCHOOL in Houston Texas, the United States of America’’.
Babalola also presented his eleven year old son, Olayimika, who was born in Norway, to His Imperial Majesty.
Olayimika’s mother hails from Norway, while his father is from Orile-Ogbo in Osun State, Nigeria.
For about ten minutes, Olayimika fluently recited some Yoruba folklores and songs to the amazement of the Alaafin and others in attendance.
In an interview with journalists, the boy said, ‘’ I am born in Norway where my mother is from, but excited in learning and knowing more about Yoruba language and the philosophy because of their potential vales for modern thoughts and life’’.
On lesson learnt from the monarch’s address, Olayimika retorted thus, ‘’ yes, first, I like His [Alaafin] dressing, looking good. He taught us to respect our elders and always be responsible anywhere we find ourselves. It is a good lesson’.

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