Preserving Our Culture

The Yoruba people must continue to hold strong to their culture and traditions and must not allow religion completely take away their gods, myths and lifestyles and replace it with foreign gods, myths, and lifestyles.

What has helped Yoruba people to live peacefully among themselves despite being adherents of different religions is the strict adherence to their culture, values and traditions.

We are aware of those people among us who demonise everything indigenous, African or Yoruba, these people have been so mentally enslaved that common beads are seen as something to be afraid of. However, we must find a way to reorientate them about our culture and values and hopefully we will be able to break away the chains of mental and religious slavery holding them.

Let us learn from our Northern neighbours who have allowed religion to totally replace their culture and traditions. Of course there are many parts of the North where their culture and values are still preserved. Places where the Abrahimic religions, Western and Arab lifestyles have not been able to take over. But I am concerned about those parts where they have no heritage to speak about except religious heritage.

We must resist every attempt by some individuals or group of people to take away our identity under any guise.

While I find no problem with the use of hijabs by whoever wants to, I find it offensive when people campaign for its use on religious basis and on morality ground. I think it is a cultural thing. It is an Arabian culture that found itself into religion or rather which people have adopted as part of their religion and does not in any way stop immorality. The use of hijabs and its many variants have always been used by many cultures from time immemorial and no one should lay claim over it.

It is my joy when I see northern women who still use their veils instead of the common hijabs. The veils used to be what differentiate northern women from other Nigerian women. In the past, when a young lady use a veil, one can easily say that lady is from the north. However the use of hijabs has taken away the northern identity. Today, when we have different ladies with hijabs it is hard to differentiate where they come from. However, we will be able to identify them by their religion. Therefore, the use of hijabs has taken away the cultural identity and replaced it with religious identity. Is that the goal?

Today, in Yorubaland, when we discuss about our myths and legends and brainstorm on different topics about our culture and traditions, in the North, they are having discussion on Sunni, Shia, salafism, Wahabism, other different Islamic theologies and theologians.

We should do whatever it takes not to get to that stage where all our traditional names will be replaced by Biblical or Quranic names.

There is a great revolution of the mind going on the North by some individuals who are vigorously working towards freeing people from religious slavery that has held many captives for long.

Therefore, while the North are pulling themselves from the cesspit of religious and colonial slavery, we, in Yorubaland, must ensure we don’t allow anybody drag us into that same pit.

Facebook Comments