It is yet another fillip to the Yoruba cultural awakening. In line with its agenda to restore and promot theYoruba civilisation across the globe, The House of Odùduwà, led by His Imperial Majesty Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, the Ooni of Ife, in partnership with governments of Brazil, Cuba and over twenty other countries, has initiated Oduduwa Mobile Museum. The project, which promises lots of economic, political and socio-cultural benefits, seeks to draw global attention to the richness of Odùduwà culture and stimulate a well-sustained healthy conversation and international collaborations.
The historic project will be unveiled tomorrow, Saturday, September 7, 2019, at the Brazilian Embassy in Lagos. The event, which will last 60 days, during which about one thousand priceless cultural materials of African origin, will be moved from place to place within Lagos for all to see.
According to a statement by The House of Oduduwa, the unveiling ceremony will be followed by a four-day exhibition of antiquities, art recreations of divinities and treasures of ancestors of the Odùduwà people.
“The cultural items slated for the exhibition will recall earliest and superb civilisation of the Odùduwà people spread across the world and the place of pre-eminence of the Odùduwà people in the history of mankind. The cultural items combine to reinforce the belief that, indeed, humanity originated from Ilé-Ifẹ̀, the acclaimed origin of the Odùduwà people located in South Western part of Nigeria,” it read.
The Museum project will enhance the promotion of the essence, values and beauty of Odùduwà cultural heritage; and it is aimed at attracting and coordinating various interests and groups across the globe for sustainable global peace and development initiatives that place emphasis on youth encouragement and development.
The statement assured that the mobile museum would serve as hub for the collection of diverse African cultural productions and knowledge-retrieval, knowledge-renewal and knowledge-production centre for ancient African material and intellectual cultures.
The Odùduwà Mobile Museum is committed to showcasing all these collections as part of the necessary reconstruction of the black man who increasingly is being scientifically proven to be the oldest specie of humanity.
The museum, which is first of its kind, is set to recognise, among others, the strategic importance of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s (UNESCO) acknowledgment of the great benefits in the collaboration between the Municipal Secretariat of Culture of the City of Rio de Janeiro and the Kingdom of Ifẹ̀, Nigeria, for the establishment of a House of Heritage, the Odùduwà Heritage House, in Rio de Janeiro.
It also seeks to work for the reinforcement of “the historic ties of Brazil with Africa” as recognised by the UNESCO; to valorise the “memory and the cultural diversity” of Africa as a way of enlarging the scope of valorizing the memory and the cultural diversity at the Valongo Wharf, as inscribed on the World Heritage List in July, 2017.
It is also to serve as the centre for the collection, protection, exhibition, and promotion of antiquities, treasures and traditional art forms of Africa and to embark on initiatives that can restore and reinforce the dignity of the African person such as the uprooted in the diaspora and to work in all possible ways for healthy global cultural interaction which will afford African and Africans the rare privilege of showcasing their cultures and histories.
Besides, it intends to encourage more collaborations (local and international) between Ọọ̀ni of Ifẹ̀ and nations/institutions/organisations/individuals that may be interested in the preservation and promotion of African heritage and to promote rare positive virtues by which the Odùduwà hero/heroine is traditionally defined.
In recognition of the value of good memories and personalities worthy of emulation, the museum project will equally be committed to honouring and celebrating persons who are of Odùduwà ancestry and who are known to have performed or attained great feats as a way spurring other Odùduwà descendants to enviable heights.
Interestingly, the unveiling ceremony will coincide with Brazil’s 197th Independence Anniversary and, thus, provide a befitting celebration of her independence of September 7, 1822, on the continent of origin of millions of Brazilians.
On the affinity between Oduduwa people and Brazil, the statement described Brazil as the only country in the world with over 80 million Odùduwà descendants as part of its population. It noted that as a country that has adopted Yorùbá as official language (lingua franca), and the first country to collaborate with the House of Odùduwà on the promotion of African Heritage, the crucial place of Brazil in the project is worthy of note.
“It is therefore appropriate that the museum project has been designed to have Ilé-Ifẹ̀ and Brazil as its split base,” it said.