By Elizabeth Osayande
The gradual extinction of Yoruba culture and traditions has been traced to misinformation, diffusion of poor culture and modernity.
Prof. Rasheed Owoyele Ajetunmobi, a Professor of Culture History made this assertion at the 11th Inaugural Lecture of Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijagun, Ogun State.
The theme of the lecture was “Traversing the evolution and development of Yoruba culture: The journey of a culture.”
He blamed the decline on the influence of modernity, Islam and Christianity, while urging historians to constantly research Yoruba cultural values that could benefit the society.
The inaugural lecturer, chastised Africans for waiting for technology transfer from the western power, noting that rather than waiting for this transfer, Africans should embrace the indigenous technology/ power which must be used to develop human society.
“Rather than denouncing our witches and wizards, we must encourage them to positively use their knowledge towards the development of human society. We can rely on our culture for technological evolution and development rather than technology transfer which is an illusion”, he added.
He stated that the superiority of western power is not in their place of birth but in appreciation of their culture and station in life.
Prof. Ajetunmobi further adduced colonialism as the reason why Africans hate themselves and their culture.
While urging Africans to develop their culture, he observed that they must first appreciate who they are, where they are, and what they are.
He, however, sounded a note of warning to the Yorubas for jettisoning Ifa Science and technology, observing that if care is not taken, the Yoruba tribe would be paying the Europeans for Ifa divination in days not too long.
” The obvious neglect and non-appreciation of Yoruba achievements in Ifa science and technology as part of the Yoruba’s contribution to world civilization has aroused the curiosity of the Europeans who are now studying and teaching it”, he noted.
Prof. Ajetunmobi also suggested that a home-grown democracy is the only way Nigeria and other African countries can occupy their rightful place among comity of nations.
He pointed at the glorious Oyo political power that lasted for almost a century without western literacy and political philosophy.
He restated that for the Yoruba race to conquer the world they must appreciate who they are, learn the things of the race, and behave truly like a Yoruba, for in Yoruba civilization and technology lies their pride.
Guests at the well-attended events included the first Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Olukayode Oyesiku, a former Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Olusoga Olusanya, a former, Provost of the School of Postgraduate Studies, Prof. Mushay Ogundipe, families, colleagues and friends.