By Damiete Braide
Championing the sustainability of cultural heritage in Africa and the diaspora was the focus of a two-day workshop organised by Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilisation (CBAAC), in collaboration with Omoregie Ogheide-Ihama (Chairman, House Committee on Culture, representing Oredo Federal Constituency of Edo State), as part of the activities of the Federal Government Zonal Intervention Project (ZIP), which held recently.
The Director General of CBAAC, Mrs. Olubunmi Ayobami Amao, in her remarks, reiterated the centre’s commitment for championing the revival and restoration of the rich cultural heritage of Africans and Africans in the diaspora.
According to her, culture, as a bedrock of the society, must be cherished and showcased as it defined humans. She noted that culture was one of the in-exhaustible resources Africa, investment in culture and cultural programmes, he said, represented true economic diversification with the advantages of being inexhaustive.
The DG enjoined other government officials to make sure the rich aspects of our culture did not wither away, and they should do all in their power to ensure the right moral values and norms of life were inculcated in the children at a tender age.
CBAAC promised to organise youth orientation/sensitisation cultural programmes that would promote the reawakening and sustainability of cultural heritage and tradition among African youths in most of the centre’s future programmes.
The workshop, facilitated by the member representing Oredo Federal Constituency, Dr. Omoregie Ogheide-Ihama, through the office of Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilisation (CBAAC), was used to encourage students to take pride in promoting cultural heritage.
Guest speaker, Dr. Moses Obakpolor, in his lecture entitled “African Heritage”, traced the underdevelopment of Africa to her inability to mainstream culture in all developmental policies and programmes of the government.
He further argued that it was ironic to abandon our own rich cultural heritage for the glorification of the western culture, that such ignoble acts by Africans were the results of the continent’s balkanisation.
He urged the audience to protect, preserve and establish their culture, because every other thing they did was borrowed. He also encouraged participants to ensure the experience of the programme served as a guide for them in future.
In his remarks, Omoregie Oheide-Ihama applauded the efforts of the Director-General of CBAAC, Mrs Oluwabunmi Amao, for ensuring that the workshop was a huge success as he pledged to support CBAAC towards achieving her statutory global mandate.
He further said, the workshop aimed to bring to the fore the much talked about but neglected aspect of our cultural heritage which had continued to dwindle largely to our wrong preferences for western culture and ideals.
“For Africa and the entire black race to make any meaningful progress, there was an urgent need to sensitize women; the culture bearers and the youths; the purveyors of our cultural heritage to understand the centrality of African heritage in building a society where peace, justice, equity and development would thrive,” he concluded.