Paper and Speeches


Being The Welcome Speech Delivered By Ogbeni Adeniran, Festival Coordinator, Oyeladeniran Foundation For Community Development At The 5th Iresi Socio-Cultural And Economic Festival Held at Palace, Iresi, Boluwaduro Local Government, State Of Osun

It is with great pleasure that I welcome you all to this fifth Annual Iresi Socio-Cultural and Economic Festival powered by the Oyeladeniran Foundation for Community Development. I am particularly thankful to our Special Guest of Honour, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, the Executive Governor of the State of Osun, the Royal father of event, Aragbiji of Iragbiji Land, His Royal Majesty, Oba Ayotunde Olabomi, the Royal Host, Oluresi of Iresi, His Royal Highness, Oba Sikiru Adeseun Ibiloye, and the Chairman of the Occasion, Otunba Ganiyu Adams, for being part of the event every year despite their tight schedules.


I would like to extend our sincere thanks to the Osun State Chief of Staff, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola for his moral and financial support; the Osun State Hospital Management Board for providing the ambulance and medical personnel, and Ministry of Youth and Sports for technical support and guidance. Their invaluable pieces of advice made this year’s occasion better and more successful than the previous ones. I must express my high appreciation to all permanent secretaries of these ministries for their kind efforts and cooperation. My sincere appreciation also goes to all the Iresi indigenes home and abroad as well as other participants at the Festival and the gentlemen of the press.


Oyeladeniran Foundation for Community Development (OFCOD) was established in memory of late Mrs. Oyeladun and Mr. Adeniran Awoniyi. Both of them in their own small way, contributed their quotas to socio-economic development of different people that came in contact with them and communities where they lived while their sojourn on earth lasted.


The Foundation, which was inaugurated by governor of State of Osun Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola on 31 December, 2011 aims at re-awakening the socio-cultural heritage of the Adeniran family, Iresi Community as well as that of the Yoruba Nation that made our forebears utilize the values of self-worth to engage in self-help to become self-reliant, self-sustaining and self-sufficient without resorting to fraudulent practices and corruption that seem to control the sensibility of the contemporary people.


Starting from the early 70s to the present day, the drifting of many from the rural areas to the urban centres in search of the fabled “greener pastures” has turned the otherwise industrious youthful workforce to liability typified by socio miscreants. Many of these folks grow to their old age without creating an index of socio-economic success while many are unable to create a successful home. This has led to the pervasive corruption being experienced in our dear country, Nigeria, with many taking to violent crimes and other anti-social behaviours in order to live unearned lives of affluence.


Within Iresi Community, most youths no longer want to engage in Traditional trades to earn a living. Many take to commercial motorcycle riding business popularly called ‘okada’ and other menial jobs, which could hardly sustain them. this lazy, exuberant engagement only ditch them deeper into socio-cultural shame which they try to cover up by taking to other social vices like ingestion of alcohol, addictive narcotics among others. Furthermore, apart from okada business, the other booming ‘industry’ in the last two (2) decades is the production babies! Of course the babies are born with no bright future because of future of their parents has been truncated already. Most of these youths have their parents’ farmlands and traditional trades, but they are too lazy and lethargic to go into these seemingly hard but profitable ventures to earn decent living.


It is against this backdrop that Oyeladeniran Foundation for Community Development (OFCOD) deemed it right to engage e youths of Iresi Community in developmental efforts towards rehabilitating those who have been infested with this social malaise and putting them on the track for socio-economic success through individual and team effort.


Basically, the pre-occupation of Iresi Socio-Cultural and Economic Festival is historical excavation of the lost paradise of the Yoruba civilization and an attempt to provoke a cultural rediscovery for the purpose of comprehensive development of Iresi Community and its indigenes. Apart from the aforementioned objectives of the Foundation cum the Festival, the long and medium term plan of the OFCOD Foundation is to get both the federal and state government to buy into the idea ans assist in the redesigning and remodeling of Iresi town, to make it a tourist destination in the State of Osun particularly, and by extension in Nigeria. This has the potentials to attract investors within Nigeria and big time farmers to explore our land and the resources available in the town. We will also make available agricultural cooperative society which will provide loans for new farmers that want to establish a farm and existing ones that want to upgrade their farms. Mortgage and loans will be facilitated for owners of old and dilapidated buildings to redesign and build them into stronger and modern structures.


We are also making efforts to ensure that Iresi attracts assistance from government and high net worth individuals to provide constant supply of power and clean potable water through regular maintenance of power infrastructures in the town and provision of water boreholes. We are going to do this by encouraging the state government to re-construct the mini-dam within the town and find a way of connecting homes with it by making the already laid pipe-borne water more functional.


It is no gainsaying that Iresi Community is blessed with many untapped natural resources that could be harnessed to develop the town and by extension the state and the country as a whole.  Oyeladeniran Foundation is therefore making frantic efforts to expose all the historical sites in this community by ensuring that the places are beat up and provided with facilities that would make them appropriate for tourism. We desire to construct staircases from the bottom of the hills to the top and if possible, provide escalators so that it would be easier for non-athletes to climb to the top of the hills. Also, we are planning to create directional guide to the tourism sites on top of the hills.


As part of our efforts to give Iresi a facelift and set it on the map of the world, Oyeladeniran has plans to facilitate the building of a cultural centre around the king’s palace which will serve as a theatre and an event place where large meetings could be held. One of the Primary School fields is also planned to be turned into a conventional mini-stadium for sporting events. We are also planning artists and writers’ villages on suitable hills and plateau that Iresi is blessed with. We currently encourage trades and product exhibition that will provide every participant opportunity to display their wealth of experiences for example blacksmiths would present that they have been able to fabricate, cottage industries would display the best of their goods, farmers would be able to bring the produce from their farms etc. The same goes for other artisans. All those who engage in immovable products would be encouraged to bring their photographs like builders, constructors, tree planters etc. Some selected technically competent inspectors would be sent to visit the site of those immovable products and establishments.


As a measure that products are not allowed to waste, attendees at the events would be encouraged to buy the produce displayed by different categories of exhibitors and whatever products are left may be bought by the Foundation. Otherwise, we create markets for selling them. to this end, some of the exhibitors may be asked to bring the products to Lagos or urban centres so that we can market it for them. We cannot say we would be able to buy everything produced but we will encourage them to go into productive ventures while we encourage the government to create storage facilities and markets for their products. Winners of prize money would be encouraged to invest the money no matter how little in whatever they desire and show what they have done with it the following year.


Prize winners and participants would be constituted into Heroes and Ambassadors respectively. They would be encouraged to meet at regular intervals together or separately to fashion out engaging projects among themselves for which the Foundation will look for the opportunity of assisting them with moral and material needs as they would require. Direct engagement would also be established with the government of the State of Osun to ensure that at least, one project is implemented in the town on yearly basis.


Meanwhile, we need to inform you that funding of the festival activities is mainly served from the members of the trustees of the foundation. A couple of cash donations also come from a few friends of the family. Apart from Alhaji Gboyega Oyebola, the chief of staff, the president of IPU Alhaji Bashiru Yusuff and Mr. Adeoye Ajala also made modest cash contributions for which we must always be grateful for.


Nonetheless, the foundation requires more donations in cash and kind to achieve all aforementioned lofty goals. Such support can be made directly or facilitated through any suitable means.


Finally, on behalf of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation, I would like to extend our sincere appreciation to our partners; First Faculty Ventures, International Breweries, Intercontinental Distilleries Limited and Brymors Hotels for their tremendous support.


I thank you all coming to celebrate with us as we look forward to a memorable Festival.


Debo Adeniran

Festival Coordinator

31st December, 2015





This is no doubt season of celebrations. Few days ago were Eid El Maolud, Christmas, and Boxing Day apart from several other social engagements which are no doubt the main focus of many Nigerians. They are involved in these acts and care less about the essentials of our life and living. Some regard social outings as major projects as if it is a matter of “life and death”.


Only from few families can one find the kind of thinking and passion as in the OYELADENIRAN foundation which focuses on Community Development in Iresi, State of Osun. It is therefore with the full gladness of heart that I congratulate the proponents of the foundation especially Mr. Debo Adeniran for “belling the cat”.



Our discourse for the 2015 edition of the Oyeladeniran Foundation is to focus on the role of traditional institutions in moulding the youths with a view to facilitating socio-economic development and harmony in our communities.


The concept “Tradition Institution” is nebulous in content and character. It is cumbrous to define because of its amoebic nature. Tradition can be simply defined as doctrine, belief, custom historical accounts, practice etc. passes from generation to generation and which has become an established standard and practice. It is apposite to state that traditional values are transmitted using the instrumentality of established institutions which are themselves multi-structured and multi-faceted. For instance, in Yorubaland, the home is an institution meant to impact on the children and the society at large. Other institutions which are traditional are:

  • The Age-grades
  • The nuclear and extended family systems.
  • The secret societies especially Ogboni fraternity.
  • The various religions like Ifa, Ogun, Shango, Obatala, Oya, Egungun
  • Taboos, initial rites, culture and norms.
  • The Local Trade/Professional unions.
  • Festivals like Orioke, Okebadan, Osun Osogbo, Odun Ogun, Anlugba, etc.
  • Special Callings like Olookila; Afingba , Onigbajamo, Ayan, Isegun. Town criers and panegyric specialists, folktalers etc. are on hand to mould the character, personalities and the totality of well-being of Yoruba sons and daughters. Each of these institutions and many others is a unit of our tradition.


Suffice it to state that several changes have been witnessed which tend to take a leap from tradition to modernity.


In no distant past, our way of life has geometrically changed due in part to changes witnessed at our traditional setting and partly due to foreign interference and modern science.


The other salient part of the discourse “Youth” pertains to male and female persons who have reached puberty and are within middle ages. This period starts from the adolescent stage of a person (age 13-19) and extends to 40 years.


Development is a subjective concept which differs from one clime to the other. Nonetheless, generally, development is a change state. Usually, development is considered a positive change especially in this sense. It means a change from bad to good, from poverty to abundance; from “have-not” “to plenty” and sufficiency. However, what constitutes development in one environment may be under-development in another clime.

Harmony which s also a key concept of the discourse has to do with peace, security, concord and convivial environment devoid of crisis, criminality and insecurity.




Even though institutions that can be classified as traditional are numerous, I like to restrict this discourse to the traditional monarchical institution called “Oba” in Yorubaland, Emir in substantial part of Northern Nigeria, and Obi in many parts of the East.

One of the miracles in modern governmental system is monarchy in Nigeria and in most African countries. So far, the institution has survived over the ages in line with the acceptable practice (tradition) in our various towns and cities and sustained by the culture and norms in the respective communities.

A critical sector in every community is the “youth Class”. They are the highest human capital in every community.


More importantly, the institution os Obas in Yorubaland was in the past the sole administrative and governmental structure prior to the intervention of the Colonial masters whose political control was terminated with the Nigerian independence in 1960.

As royal fathers in charge of the political economic, spiritual and social activities of their respective domains, it was the Obas that make laws, execute the aws and administer justice over;

♦          The children

♦          The Youths

♦          The elders


While the children and elders are dependants, the youths are the working/productive class.

It behoves on the traditional rulers to make laws and execute same for children in order for them to be good members of the community. At the same time, the elders were supported bb extant traditional laws.


Essentially, the Obas administer the people using the existing traditional laws. He dared not bend the rules ans has to administer in strict observance of justice and rule of law. If he refuses, he pays with his life or his position as Oba.

Some of the traditional laws are:

  • A child must respect his parents and all elderly ones.
  • He must greet them through prostration and she must kneel down in her case.
  • You must not seat on mortal.
  • Youths should marry properly and in strict observance of the rules in their environment.
  • You must respect the gods and rules of the community.
  • You must not steal, tell lie nor commit such crimes as may be so outlined by the tradition.
  • You can find such proverbs like

“Kuro n niyi ete nii mu wa”

                        “Biro balo logun odun, ojo kan soso lotito yoo ba”

                        “Otito loju”

                        “Omo yin o gbagbafo o n kaso wolu…”

                        “Eni to tafa soke yido bori boba aye ori o, torun n wo o” abbl.

You must be patient. Hence such soothing words like:

“Onisuuru nii fun wara kiniun

                        “Suuru baba iwa.

                        “Suuru laa fii pa amukuru pele. Abbl

  • The child is taught science in various ways. The Yoruba numerals are taught for instance figures as:

Eni, eji, eta, erin, arun…

                        Meni, meji, meta, merin, marun…

                        Eni, eeji, eeta, eerin, aarun…

  • The child is taught about natural phenomena such as:

“Osupa baba irawo”

                        “Monamona soju firi”

                        “Ina omo orara”

                        “Omi o lapa, omi o lese…”

                        “Omi n wo iyanrin geerere”

                        “Igi kan kii da igbo se” abbl


Children are taught the language and dancing steps to our talking drums as against today when songs and dances are contrary to our culture.

These are all meant to teach the child lessons which he would make use of in the youth and adult stages of his life.


All the norms, values, customs and other cultural education are impacted on the child to prepare him or her for later life. Stories about the family, their outstanding exploits, contributions to the community during war period, in uplifting the community, defence of the people often embolden the child and give him space to perform similar feat if and when he assumes leadership position.


Such exposures in family vocation, profession or trade like blacksmithing, hunting, pottery, iron-smelting, drumming, calabash carving etc. give sense of direction to the child early in life and a greater youth full of hope in life.

Because our traditional communities recognize specialization and professionalism, the Oba allots chieftaincy titles to such families to sustain the members on the job. Hence, you find such titles as Baale Ilu Bata, Baale Ilu Dundun, Baale Alagbede, Baale Ile Alaro etc.




Because of interference of foreign cultures and their negative effects on our domestic lives, traditional rulers are now faced with various challenges such as:

  • Influence of Western education which has reduced influence of our traditional education.
  • Influence of foreign religions of Islam and Christianity and the attendant negative effects on our moral values and beliefs.
  • Gradual disappearance of our core values, beliefs and customs as a result of interpolations and so-called socialization. Masquerades which taught morals and regulate the society are now mere entertainers.
  • Erosion of our language which is the best medium of expression and the most important instrument of communicating our culture verbally and non-verbally.
  • Modern governmental system and the concept of wholesome importation of foreign models in all aspects of our life, especially government.
  • Breakdown of the traditional family system which had its bult-in educational system where children are prepared to be responsible youths.
  • Introduction of nuclear family as against African Extended family, model.



While the traditional ruler is critical to ensuring that our youths are made to have positive

adjustment and be builders, not destroyers of our culture and values, it behoves on all

families to make a u-turn and retrace our steps to those good old days when we were WHO




Firstly, our quest for development must focus on the human resources. We must adopt the

man ‘O’ war motto:

“Build the man to build the community”

Without the positive adjustment of the youth, then development would be a mirage and

peace would elude our community. The foundation MUST be solid good and enduring.


The following are suggested for implementation:

  1. We must go back to our traditional family education programme where children are properly groomed to be good, promising and responsible youths and adults.
  2. The government should compel elementary schools to teach primary 1 – 3 in mother tongue, and ensure that basic moral values are taught to prepare them for later life.
  • Parents must adopt the policy of “containment” where by the children are less exposed to foreign cultural practices which are bringing woes to our communities.
  1. Our dresses and language should be adopted as our co-official dresses and language alongside English language.
  2. Youths should be part of decision-making at the palace levels; i.e. Obas should have more youth as chiefs and possibly have Olori Odo who would be installed and relieved as soon as they reach the age of 40.
  3. Regular youth related programs like the one organized by OYELADENIRAN of Iresi should be adopted by all communities.
  • Youth restiveness is partly due to unemployment. Government at all levels should give mass employment (through self-employment) to youths to make them more productive and less restive.
  • Youths should be encouraged to network and developed a more proactive approach to give them greater hope in their future. Peer review mechanism should be facilitated to give the youth a more positive perception of their world.
  1. Traditional rulers must create enabling environments for talent-hunting and support endowed ones to have their dreams accomplished.
  2. Parents and government must partner with the royal fathers to properly harness the youths potentials towards the overall growth and development of the respective communities.



From the foregoing, it is essential to know that traditional rulers are critical drivers in our quest to have our youths develop positive adjustment towards the development of our communities. Omo ti a ko to nii ko ile ti a ko ta.


Nonetheless, success can only be attained if the family plays its critical roles of growing their children I e best cultural-oriented way so that they would become responsible youths who would in turn help to develop our communities, the state and Nigeria as a whole.

Hence, communal harmony which is very critical will be attained without a drop of sweat.

Thank you.


HRM Oba Adbur-Rasheed Ayotunde Olabomi (JP)FCIPM, FNIM, MNIPR

Odundun IV, Aragbiji of Iragbijiland

Speech by The Executive Governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola

The Executive Governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola,
His Royal Majesty, Oba Abdurasheed Ayotunde Olabomi, the Aragbiji of Iragbijiland,
His Royal Majesty, Oba Sikiru Adeseun Ibiloye, the Oluresi of Iresiland
The Secretary to the State of Osun, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti
Guests of Honour, Ladies and Gentlemen,

We are pleased to welcome you to the first edition of the event planned to, with your support, become Annual Iresi Socio-Cultural and Economic Festival.
This first edition of the Festival is being staged to launch the facilitating Foundation – the Oyeladeniran Foundation for Community Development (OFCOD). The foundation is being established in memory of late Mrs Oyeladun and Mr. Adeniran Awoniyi. Both of them in their own small way contributed to socio-economic development of different people that came in contact with them and communities where they lived while their sojourn on earth lasted. The Foundation aims at re-awakening the socio-cultural heritage of the Adeniran family, Iresi Community as well as that of the Yoruba Nation that made our forebears utilize the values of self-worth to engage in self-help to become self-reliant, self-sustaining and self-sufficient without resorting to fraudulent practices and corruption that seem to control the sensibility of the contemporary people. Continue reading




Your Excellency, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, royal fathers, fellow masses; permit me to begin this presentation by quoting from William McNeil’s comments on the dedication page of the great book ‘THE RISE OF THE WEST‘ where he wrote, inter alia,

“ I seek to understand, and if I can, to justify the ways of man to man”.

Culture is second nature to man. Man is as much a product of nature as he is a by-product of culture. The sociological components of any given society represent her cultural identity, defines her economic and political direction which effectively determines society’s progress, stagnation or retrogression. Culture, I believe, is the sociological DNA of a given people sacredly natural to them.

Cultural anthropologists posit that the culture of a people is in tandem with their historical development and not necessarily inferior to any other culture. Your behavior suits your culture and nobody has a right to criticize your way of life just because it is different from his own culture. It is a bigger tragedy where a person is ashamed of his/her culture because he/she suffers from a complicated complex of inferiority to another culture. A loss of culture is a loss of identity which has the immutable potential to scuttle the natural course of socio-economic development.

Before the intrusion of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade and the Arab Trans-Saharan slave trade before it , the Yoruba were on a steady social and economic progress predicated on a solid cultural base with innate political sophistication comparable to any advanced civilization of the same historical milieu. It was one culture – a people – destined for greatness.

Therefore, the thematic pre-occupation of this modest presentation is a brief historical excavation of the lost paradise of the Yoruba civilization and a critique of the unconscious subjugation of a self-propelling cultural force to the corrosive influence of an invading self-serving Western model. The result has been a West-cloned cultural caricature with a predictable value of socio-economic paralysis. This paper is an attempt to provoke a cultural rediscovery for the purpose of comprehensive development. But I take the liberty to limit myself to three areas viz; Agriculture, Manufacturing, and Trading.

Farming was the most economic essential of Yoruba agriculture and various African historians of note, including Murdock and Wrigley, have attested to its independent origin in West Africa. Not a single element of West African/Yoruba agriculture was borrowed from outside in periods preceding colonization.

As far back as 4,500 B.C. sedentary populations in Yorubaland have developed agricultural techniques which Murdock argued to be “a genuine invention, not a borrowing from another people“. Land, the most important factor of production, was plenteous in proportion to the population and for the most part lacked conscious or controlled economic value. It was, though, demarcated but not enclosed (Ogunremi, 1998). The second factor of production, Labour, comprised of household and slave labour and socially organized one.

From the 16th to 19th century an elite class of wealthy, large farm owners had emerged like Bashorun Oluyole of Ibadan, Madam Tinubu of Abeokuta, and Efunseitan Aniwura who was reputed to have more than two thousand slaves working on her farms. Huge plantations owned by military and commercial elites were flourishing from where large scale production of palm oil, cotton, kola nuts, cocoa and coffee, which were later additions, were produced for exports. Cultivation of cotton had been active in Egbaland from around 3,000 B.C. as well as the Savanna areas of Yorubaland. A major derivative of palm oil production was the native butter delicacy, Kete, which till date has no better companion in the eating of yam. Very unfortunately even that has been largely upstaged by fat or ‘synthetic’ butter harmful to health.

Stock farming was equally wide spread. Sheep , goats, rams, poultry and dogs (mostly for hunting) were owned in both subsistent and commercial quantities including cows and horses. In fact, Fulani Slaves were used for tending and milking cows from before the 19th century in Ibadan.

Hunting and fishing were subsidiary vocations but closely related to farming. Hunting, especially, gave the Yoruba a vast knowledge of the medicinal potency of leaves and roots. So, hunters also doubled as native doctors who were very effective and revered. That all-vital knowledge for human survival has vastly waned. The exemplary glory of the era of

“ Seleru Agbo, Ogbara Agbo, L’osun fi n wo omo re ki dokita o to o de “ is all but lost.

It will be unnecessary to go into details in a brief presentation as this. Suffice it to say that being a highly urbanized people, the Yoruba produced – both for local consumption and export – implements, cloths, wood works, pots, baskets and so many other utility utensils. Each Yoruba community developed its manufactures according to its needs and the natural endowments of its environment which determined the raw materials available. The famous Ife brass smithing and beads industry pre-dated the 13th and 14th centuries respectively. Even when many societies in Europe still considered bathing harmful, the Yoruba had been making Ose dudu from earlier than 10,000 BC with its multiple functions of washing, medicated and antiseptic utility
(Rodney, 1972).

The Yoruba also developed the technical know-how to, among other things, extract edible oil and sweet-aroma beauty cream from coconut (Adiagbon). One can only wonder if and where they still subsist today. Our market s and homes have now been flooded with European skin-lightening, cancer-bearing creams that quicken the ageing process, weaken our skins and destroy our natural African beauty including all manner of corrosive hair chemicals (a.k.a Relaxers) which are now making our women bald. Before age forty modern Yoruba women would have lost over 60% of their natural hair. What happened to the beautiful braiding styles – Shuku, Kolese, Ipako Elede, Patewo, Ojo ko P’eti, etc – that made our mothers the enviable beautiful African queens?

Trading was an essential segment of Yoruba economic activities. It was basically a market- based economy with a well-organized market network system across the whole of Yorubaland. I must emphasize that trading was not limited to market places alone as there were leagues of long-distance traders who specialized in merchandising only non-perishable and expensive goods like soap, cloths and animals. The larger and popular markets where many local and long-distance traders converged were located in Ibadan, Akure, Ikoyi , Owo, Ilesa , Egosi, Ondo, Apomu, Iloring, Badagry, et cetera. They were referred to as Parakoyi

The combined effects of the Trans-Atlantic Slave trade, colonization and neo-colonization have done incalculable damage to the social and economic fortunes of the Yoruba nation. We have virtually lost our originality and ingenuity to the vagaries of neo-imperialist aggravated socio-cultural and economic-cum-psychological warfare that has stolen our hearts from our chests and our brains from our skulls. Essentially,
the Yoruba Youth has become a willing but unconscious slave of negative Westernism in the form at socio-cultural suicide that makes him far less appreciative, even abhorrent, of his beautiful heritage. I believe that a loss of culture – or a partial loss of it – is equivalent to a loss of language. When a people lose their culture, they lose their identity and thereby become nonentities. If they lose their language they lose their voice, thereby becoming non-existent.

In many of our schools and homes today it is a crime for our children to speak their mother tongue because, to our modern confused social psychology, it projects a picture of illiteracy and sub-urbanite crudity. The biggest illiterate in the world is the one deficient in the knowledge of his culture and language. It is an arrogance misplaced. It gladdens my heart nowadays to view Osun Television making impressive efforts to
re-awaken our cultural consciousness by bringing back our long-abandoned Yoruba ere ale lyrics.

Imperialist onslaughts ensured that the massive importation of European manufactured goods such as textiles, metal and ceramic utensils, soap, cutlasses, axes, spirit, and many other items especially in the 19th century had a debilitating effect on the technological development of the Yoruba. The European merchants and, later on, the colonial administrators deliberately intended the Africans to be producers of raw materials and buyers of their finished goods. No effort was made to, at least, process the raw materials to any stage before export. The Europeans dictated the prices for both products – the raw materials and the manufactured goods. In consequence, the Yoruba abandoned their textiles, pots, beads, baskets and the techniques for smelting iron, making salt and making pots. The argument is that had there been no alternatives, the Yoruba, among others, would have been forced to improve on their technology in order to reduce the production costs and produce on a large scale to meet people’s demand. That productions of the products continued at all must be due to the confidence the people had in their home-made products, inability to purchase the European-made ones or even non-availability of the manufactured ones and the durability of the locally-made utensils(Ogunremi, 1998).

However, the biggest culprit is official corruption committed by military and civilian politicians who have captured state power to loot public treasury and thereby stifle meaningful development of society. In rediscovering our past glory the government at all levels have a central role to play. But it would take an incorruptible, patriotic, educated, ideologically-entrenched, creative and intellectually-versatile leader with unidirectional pragmatic agenda to pull this off.

It is a shame today to see 90% of our graduates and youths only search for white collar ‘jobs’ and government hand-outs that are becoming so difficult to find without the help of political patronage. Many of us have abandoned the traditional lucrative vocations of our parents like cloth making, farming, drum making, black-smithing, gold-smithing, trading, entertaining e.t.c which made them economically and financially self-dependent. The Yoruba by nature and culture are not beggars or hangers-on.

Education does not make your culture or language inferior. It is a mark of compound ignorance and a miseducated mind to lose the knowledge of your cultural language simply because you have been to school . Integrating culture into modernity is really not the challenge here, but deciding how much of sanity is in modernity.

Water Rodney wrote in “How Europe Underdeveloped Africa’ that

“An even bigger problem is that the people of Africa and other parts of the colonized world have gone through a cultural and psychological crisis and have accepted … the European version of things.”

Recently the Western world descended on Nigeria with emotional fury when anti-gay legislations were made by our National Assembly. These laws are in tandem with African Culture and human nature as created by the Supreme God. Every export from Africa to the West takes away our richness. Every import from there brings in the toxic wastes of modern/Western ‘civilization’. Recently the American congress not only passed a law allowing American military men to be openly gay but also the one that allows Americans to have sex with animals! Can you beat that?

So, in the attempts to integrate culture and modernity, a comprehensive sociological sifting with a view to eliminating negative potentials is critically incumbent.

Integrating MUST not mean disintegrating those fundamental progressive bases of our rich past.

The Late Abami Eda, Fela Anikulapo Kuti said:

“According to the estimation of African riches, every African is supposed to be free from poverty. Why are we so poor? It is time to investigate”

Thank you for your kind attention.

Comrade Mark Adesina Adebayo is a committed human rights activist, researcher, creative writer, capacity builder and motivational speaker. He is the Secretary of Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL); CEO, SpeechVoltage Motivations; President, The Common Man’s Movement of Nigeria; Secretary-General, Activists’ Coalition Against Bad Governance and Executive Director, Center For Political Education. He was one of the Lead Instructors for the Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (OYES) of the Osun State Government and has been a resource person at several workshops and seminars. He has published five titles on the political developments in Nigeria. He started writing in 1984. E-mail: Tel: 08064205487, 08033431012, 08055761194

Continue reading


You’re Excellency,
The Governor of Osun State.
You’re Royal Highness
Oba Sikiru Ibiloye II
The Oluresi of Iresi Land.
Other Royal highnesses present,
The I P U Executives present,
Other invited Guests
Ladies and Gentlemen.

Today’s gathering is an epoch making occasion in the history of Iresi. It is a moment where all the sons and daughters of Iresi are brought into think tank event to examine whether we have any inheritance culturally from our forefathers, and if we do, what are the cultural inheritances and how do we make use of them for our social growth.
What is Socio-Cultural heritage?
Firth let us look at the word Social: the ability to enjoy spending time with other people. It is connected with society & the way the society is organized, living naturally in groups rather than alone, living together in a friendly manner that will bring reforms which will bring benefits to the group, socially and politically.
Culture: this is the customs and beliefs, arts, way of life and social organization of a particular group. These beliefs, their children are thought to respect. It is the belief and attitude about something which the people in an environment share.
From these explanation we can deduce is socio-Cultural heritage to mean the attitudes, organizations, beliefs of our forefathers, which allows them to be able to live together with each other naturally and as one; activities which promote their growth and benefits inherited.
Modernization: this is the act of making modern, the act of making new development, and the act of changing the old system into new. The integration of a new development into old system of living.

Some examples of Socio-Cultural heritage are:
1. Ojude Oba in Ijebu Ode
2. Iwude ceremony in Ilesa
3. Oranmiyan in Ife
4. Imolepe in Ikirun etc.

Some examples of Socio-Cultural activities in Iresi are:
1. Egungun festival
2. Marriage ceremonies
3. Oroke Festival
4. Iresi Day-a yearly event.

Some of the historical places in Iresi are:
1. Agbinran
2. Odo Amu
3. Wonrere
4. Igbo Ebekun
5. Igbo igbale etc.

Let me analyze each of the Socio-Cultural activities mentioned above.
1. Egungun festival: Each of the compounds in Iresi has their own named egungun. The celebration coincides with the harvesting period in the year, when there is less work to be done in the farm. The women in each of the compound buys common dresses – new ones with which they are going to dance with their Egungun round the town on a day and date allotted to them.
The festival is always filled with pump and pageantries. People living outside the town always come home to watch the occasion. The youths with their own individual egungun parade the town every evening creating funs and sharing food and drinks together.
2. The Marriage Ceremony: Was always colourful then. When the bride and bridegroom have discovered each other and have brought their families to agree with their marriage, there will be introduction and engagement ceremony preceding the ‘Ekun Iyawo’ in the night from where the bride goes into the bridegrooms house after parading herself round the whole village, with her colleagues, young boys and girls going with her.
When she finally arrive at her husband’s house. Several ceremonies will be carried out day by day until the seventh day when all ceremonies will be over. It is then; the husband is allowed to sleep with the wife.
It is always a pride and most girls keep their virginity then until they get married so as not to shame their parents and families. Then, there were little records of divorce or broken homes. There would have been thorough investigation about the couple’s families etc before they are allowed to get married.
3. Oroke Festival: Is a ceremony celebrated by only the ‘Omo Owas’ they are the families who have their decendancy to the throne i.e. becoming the king of Iresi. It is a festival that brings Iresi Indigenes especially the Omo Owas home and abroad to Iresi. It si the remembrance of their forefathers. It is always marked with great celebrations, cooking variety of foods and dancing.
The ceremony is use to teach their young female children about the culture or their family and the need to keep to them. They made them realize the dangers they will face when they get married if they defiled themselves before marriage.

Loses: although there are some perceived loses in the integration of life in the past with the modern life now, but the values and advantage surpasses the loss.
The incoming of civilization made our people to believe that those social-cultural activities are primitive and should be done away with. Unfortunately, there had not been a good replacement for the teaching of morals among our youth.
That is why all the vices prominent among our youth to day no bound. We have cultist activities, yahoo yahoo, homosexuals, lesbianism sexual immoralities, stealing, armed robberies, suicide bombing, rape, pride, arrogant, loss of sense of belonging etc.
The advent of modernization/civilization had so much influenced our youth in a negative way. There not been complete integration between our culture, social values and modernization.
What is prominent now among our youth are borrowed cultures and imitations which are not done correctly. This had terribly affected their mode or dressing, total disrespect for elders, criminal behaviors and total disregard for the rule or law.
Our women now have formed the culture of communicating with their children irrespective of heir age ONLY in English. Have we at anytime seen the English people commutating with their children in Yoruba or other foreign language?
It is time now that we should sit round the table like the organizers of today’s programme and think about the way forward. Except some drastical steps are taken to salvage our culture from total collapse, there might be no future for our generations to come.
Our social-cultural heritage can be successfully integrated into modernity if we do not give borrowed cultures superiority over our own cultures. The ball is in our court to ponder on what must be immediately done and start now.
I wish all the participant Marry Xmas in arrears and Happy New Year in advance God be with you all.
4. Iresi Day: It is new socio-cultural gathering that is recently taking place to bring the sons and daughters of Iresi together again, where all the socio-cultural activities engage in before are fading away one by one. It is a one week programme where many educative and recreational programmes are lined up for the youth. Funds are raised for developmental projects in the town; individual indigenes that have contributed in one way or the other to the progress of the town are honoured. It is a yearly event.
There are tremendous values derived in the activities mentioned above the olden days

1. Apart from uniting individual together, it promotes sense of belonging among them. There is hardly no way that Iresi indignes abroad will not come home in a year for one or two of the ceremonies. It enables the people to know more about each other, what you do for a living and how they can assist each other.
2. The Egungun festival is used to provide relaxation for the people after their hectic work in the farm. It was a means of social engagement with each other.
3. The marriage ceremonies embarked upon in those days had seriously prevented defilement of the ladies, broken homes, immature ladies getting married and unwanted pregnancies. Couples are been taught the tenets of marriage and are being thoroughly investigated by both sides before they are allowed to marry each other. The advantages derived then are innumerable.
4. These activities do promote patriotism in the individual. Everybody is committed to promoting the values that bring about unity among the people. People are concerned about their community and the town.
5. All the historical places mentioned above can be developed into tourist centre. This will provide jobs for the young ones and sources of revenue for the town. Many of the historical artifacts can be kept in the museum so that our great grand children could see them and appreciate the life lived in the past and be able to compare it with the present.

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You’re Excellency,
The Governor of Osun State.
You’re Royal Highness
Oba Sikiru Ibiloye II
The Oluresi of Iresi Land.
Other Royal highnesses present,
The I P U Executives present,
Other invited Guests
Ladies and Gentlemen.

Today’s gathering is an epoch making occasion in the history of Iresi. It is a moment where all the sons and daughters of Iresi are brought into think tank event to examine whether we have any inheritance culturally from our forefathers, and if we do, what are the cultural inheritances and how do we make use of them for our social growth.
What is Socio-Cultural heritage?
Firth let us look at the word Social: the ability to enjoy spending time with other people. It is connected with society & the way the society is organized, living naturally in groups rather than alone, living together in a friendly manner that will bring reforms which will bring benefits to the group, socially and politically.
Culture: this is the customs and beliefs, arts, way of life and social organization of a particular group. These beliefs, their children are thought to respect. It is the belief and attitude about something which the people in an environment share.
From these explanati Continue reading