Thursday, 31 July 2014
Europe Destroyed African Culture - The Alaafin of Oyo
The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, has berated Europeans for ‘deliberately setting out to destroy other cultures’ with their hegemonic one. The monarch said the Europeans super-imposed their own cultures and values on subject peoples, in order to perpetuate the relationship of inequality and inequity, so as to achieve their purpose.
He said this in his speech, delivered yesterday at the first Brazil- Nigeria International Seminar to Preserve Shared Cultural Heritage, held at Salvador/Bahia, Brazil.
The monarch stated that the religious foundation of the Yoruba tradition and culture “is presently under serious threats posed by guest faiths in Africa, the parlous socioeconomic conditions in Africa and a creation of neo-liberal economic policies, which have continued to impoverish many African states.”
His words: “The guest faiths are, therefore, feeding on this to preach the gospel of individual prosperity and well-being on earth.
“They have abandoned the earlier gospel of earthly denials in order to enjoy heaven. By their new approach, they are misleading scores and scores of Africans, encouraging them to disrespect, dishonour and abandon anything African, with our religious beliefs being demonised and discarded,” he noted.
The Alaafin added: “Some misguided Africans now abandon their family names in preference to names without bearing to their backgrounds.
“This danger is imminent and it is already destroying the African personality and confidence.” While insisting that European colonisation of Africa was indeed a cultural project, Oba Adeyemi said, “It is now commonplace in Africa for practitioners of the African religion to be vilified, persecuted and blamed for the underdevelopment of their societies.”
To reverse the trend, the Alaafin appealed to the Brazilian government to support efforts to preserve the cultural monuments and the tangible heritage by supporting a World Heritage nomination to UNESCO and the listing of Oyo town as an endangered heritage site.
According to the monarch, the support could also come through conduct of academic researches to study and map all assets of Oyo’s cultural heritage, as well as promotion and support of the use of new technologies for heritage management and education, in addition to encouraging and facilitating Brazilians to visit and study the ancient traditions of Oyo.
Oba Adeyemi, in the paper entitled: ‘Perpetuating Sango Oyo Heritage Continuity in Oyo and the Diaspora’ he delivered, said: “Our traditional religion is part of our heritage, which needs to be preserved and recognised.”
While reiterating his position as the defender of the African cultural heritage, not only on the continent, but across the globe, he said the frontal attack on Yoruba religious, socio-cultural and spiritual traditions must be resisted and confronted with a ‘superior spiritual force’.