By Wale Ojo-Lanre
Yes. That is an exclamatory opinion, which should not elicit a stone-throwing act from you.
Even at that, I don’t care a hoot about your feeling.
One thing I want everyone to know from the onset of reading this article is the fact that I don’t care whose ox will be gored by this harmless article of mine.
The article is about one Toyin Kolade, who has just being installed as the Iyalaje Oodua, the armorer of wealth, which is the mother of fortune, by the Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Babatunde Ogunwusi, at a lavish ceremony, which has been described as the most glamorous installation ceremony of a single person, in the history of Nigeria.
I care not what you think about me. It is you and your fellow friends who Toyin Kolade spoon feeds that will loath the truth to be said about her. And I am not one. She may be your benefactor, she is not mine and I am not a businessman, so you cannot think I am envying her because of her bludgeoning business empire. So, I have no inhibition or any encumbrances expressing my feelings about her with no iota of sentimentalism
I believe as a pure Yoruba man, with no admixture of any blood of other ethnic tribes in the world. I have the right to express my view on any issue, which concerns Yoruba heritage, culture and tourism.
Hence, nobody should look at me with a melancholic eye as what I am crafting here is to air my view on how and why on earth, that the mantle of one of the foremost traditional titles in the women genre was bestowed on Toyin Kolade, out of all women in Yoruba, home and in the Diaspora?
Though, I know that this article will definitely place me before the fury of many people, particularly, my father the paramount ruler of Akola Ijesa, HRM, Oba Festus Adekunle, who may likely disown me as a Prince of Akola Ijesa, on the point that there is no way an adopted son will behave like a real product of the scrotum of the king.
I also know that I am risking been banned from entering the Palace of the Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Babatunde Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, who deemed it necessary, fit and proper to exercise his spiritual, traditional and cultural authority to confer one of the most enviable and traditionally important titles of the Head and Controller of Oodualand markets on Chief Mrs Toyin Kolade, a woman of legendary merchandising feat, who by that title has become one of the mothers of the Earth – stimulator of gains, profits, market fortune and merchandising.
But the truth is that the momentous and grand celebration, the publicity stunts, the hullabaloo, the noise and public awareness, plus the deluge of visitors, who witnessed the epic installation of Chief Mrs. Toyin Kolade as the Iyalaje Oodua, were enough to cultivate envy, suspicion and interrogation of why should she be the fellow who has to be shouldered with the enormous responsibility.
Also, as an Ambassador of Culture, Arts and Tourism, it will be unfair on my part to close my mouth or be passive, whenever some people with foul minds and rabid thoughts are out to desecrate and rubbish the cultural heritage, which our forefathers bequeathed to us and which the Ooni of Ife today is diligently and beautifully showcasing, preserving, protecting, projecting and placing on the front burner of local cultural engagement for this generation and generations unborn.
Ooni Ogunwusi is not just a human being, but an enigmatic divine creature of God, whose head has been spiritually honed by Olodumare, the Eleda Ohungbogbo, to tend the sacred House of Oduduwa, with precision spirituality and almost infallible decision making traditional process and procedure.
Thus, he is his not expected to install a misfit as the Iyalaje Oodua, the brewer of wealth, stimulator of commercial bliss, initiator of trade growth and lubricator of business fortune
However, the installation of Toyin Kolade, as the Iyalaje of Oodua has continued to set tongues wagging about the correctness of this particular act by the Ooni of Ife, because that title is not for just for a mere society lady, who indulges in Owambe without a visible means of livelihood, but a title for that woman who prosper where even accomplished business men failed abysmally to thrive.
An Iyalaje of Oodua should be that lady, who must be Yoruba in acts, deeds and thought. A lady of quintessential and impeccable character, who must have not have be found wanting either in private engagement or public dealings and a lady who must have past record of supporting and reinforcing the impressive strides of the Ooni of today, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Babatunde Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, at reinvigorating and resuscitating the cultural heritage of the House of Oodua.
An Iyalaje Oodua must not only be solid in business and blessed in native intellegence but also of importance, must be culturally sound, active and proactive, particularly she must have been seen to have identified and continued to be identified as a defender and promoter of the tradition, culture, arts and tourism of Yorubaland.
She must not be a fraud, a social irritant, a recluse, whose names cannot be vouched for or command respect upon mentioning in any responsible gathering.
Iyalaje Oodua must be that person whose understanding of the cultural heritage of the Yoruba is beyond mere guessing, window dressing and attention-seeking.
The Iyalaje must be a legendary entrepreneur, who has amazing accomplishments in the arts of rural trade, domestic market and intercontinental merchandising.
She must be a woman of unblemished integrity, who is royal in gait, graceful in thought, cultural in perception and vibrant in delivery of an assignment hurled on her by the Ooni of Ife.
She must be a woman who is ever ready and willing to sacrifice her resources, emotion, personality, time and all God-given attributes at resuscitating the wealth, fortune, trade and boost business and commercial activities in Yorubaland.
As Iyalaje signifies the totality of wealth, the fortune of the whole land, which is not localized within the perimeter of the feminist sphere, but of inter-gender, she must be someone who can be an Iyagbogbo – mother of all – both in conduct, interaction, networking and leverage
She must be a lady whose tentacles of friends, width of connection, length of interactive experience and her coast of influence is local, domestic, continental and trans-intercontinental.
Iyalaje Oodua must be that lady whose frame of business must have a relationship with the Sea – the Aje Olokun Asorodayo – and who must act and be seen always in the mold of Olokun Princess.
All these expected behavior, characteristics and prerequisites of an Iyalaje Oodua are testimonies that the title of Iyalaje is an Atari Ajanaku ti ki se eru odomode (a title not just for the lily-livered woman).
It is not a title for the highest bidders or just for the fun of it; but a title for that woman, who is blessed with a supernatural aura of being an enigmatic business soul and who is culturally wired to her tradition, and who can at anytime sacrifice whatever God has blessed her with to spiritually stoke the wealth and fortune spirit for the advancement and development of Yorubaland.
And only a dark idiot, who is blind spiritually and who is a cultural maggot, will disagree with the Ooni of Ife for adhering strictly to the laid down traditional process of appointing and installing Chief Mrs Toyin Kolade as the Iyalaje Oodua.
Having clinically juxtaposed the personality, story, strides, journey, experience and accomplishments of Toyin Kolade with the expectations and characteristics of who should be an Iyalaje Oodua, only a complete daft and congenital moron will say that she is unfit for the title.
And I am sure you are not one of them. I don’t know whether you are?
And if you are not, join me to congratulate a quintessential woman. A spiritual enigma. A wonderful personality, an inter-continental merchant, avid cultural and tourism promoter, and a philanthropist, who is now the Iyalaje Oodua.
My dearest sister,
Gesin nkese ….
Aba re ti gbe ooo
kare re o, Ijesha aponada.
Omo ajogberu, ma jo gbeko
Osohmaloo Ile oodua
•Ojo-Lanre, the Senior Special Assistant on Tourism Development to Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi, writes from Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State.
The Yoruba Nation Global Directorate rebuttal to the Yoruba Appraisal Forum
The Yoruba Nation Global Directorate, the Yoruba government in exile, has lambasted the group otherwise known as YAF being the Yoruba Appraisal Forum for visiting some prominent Yoruba Royal fathers to mislead them with their anti-people position in Yoruba struggle.
In a statement issued by the Directorate Director, Princess Adeola Atayero Olamijulo, YAF said like the proverbial ‘agbalagba to nsare l’orere, bi o le nkan, nkankan ni lati maa lee.’
She said Yoruba people needed to observe closely who are their sponsors?
They need to honestly tell the world who are the drummers of these Uromis dancing on Yoruba socio-political waterway?
It will be recalled that few days ago, the YAF paid some Yoruba Obas a courtesy call. The Royal fathers in their response advised against self-determination and asked the agitators to tow the path of peace with the federal government.
Prince Olamijulo said YAF, are like, the name they bear. They appeared to have appraised the Yoruba nation, it perceives as a commodity to be sold to the highest bidder.
She said: Let us examine the major points of their advocacy:
1. that the Yoruba should continue to endure the current Fulani-induced meta-crisis in Nigeria.
2. That advocacy for Yoruba self-determination may lead to war with the rest of Nigeria.
3 That the prevailing clamor for Yoruba self-determination efforts is fueled by selfish interests of some politicians.
4. That Nigeria was the architect of economic success of the South West.
5. They urge the Youths to seek the available gainful employment rather than agitate for autonomy.
6. That YAF needs to answer the question, whose actions are provocative and war laden?
7. Who is misappropriating the power entrusted to them: the government impostors implementing the Fulani national interests instead of the true Nigerian national interests?
8. Who is the aggressor who is the victim? Who is killing, maiming, raping, and scorched-earthing who?
Princess Atayero Olamijulo claimed that the Yoruba are on the receiving end of the atrocities. Yet, YAF is asking us to stay-put, till it is too late to be viable.
She positioned that normally, if faced with danger, humans have the options to fight, flee or succumb.
What is YAF asking the Yoruba nation to do?
Will the Yoruba remain and submit to Fulani supremacist control? or will they take flight and disperse to the sea or the desert, Or turn global waka-abouts and live in virtual nation state, located only in their collective epic memory; while the Fulani occupy and enjoy the land and the valuables therein that Yoruba and their ancestors built up for ages?
Is YAF asking the Yoruba to take the submission option to appease the Fulani and become their slaves or manure to fertilize their usurped land?
YAF apparently is exhibiting the pathological state indicative of the protracted abuse they suffered in Nigeria over time. They now identify with their chronic abuser, a function of Stockholm syndrome. YAF, seems apparently bribed by the preserver of the status quo, who obviously derive immense benefits from the present chaotic state in Nigeria.
Let us appeal to YAF sponsors to stay away from confusing our traditional rulers. They should desist from smearing our royal fathers with their pathological state of mindset.
We should let sanity prevail. Let us draw a lesson from history. The stalwarts in quest for Yoruba freedom should take a cue form history.
We cannot continue to appease the Fulani nationalism aimed at destroying other ‘Nigerians’. Rather, we should resist it. It will boomerang on the Yoruba Survival Thrust if we pursue an appeasement strategy.
Appeasement of the aggressor never succeeds in human history: The Chamberlain 1938 appeasement policy to Adolf Hitler, led to World War II, gory warfare.
Princess Olamijulo recalled that the Native Americans successive appeasement to the invading Europeans led to the demise of the Native American (NA) nations. NA yielded their treasured land to the European settlers, adopted their religion, spoke their language, and way of life to appease the Europeans, yet, to no avail. What did they get in return: annihilation! The Yoruba have no choice, but to fight for self-determination. Any other suggestion will doom our group survival.
We can also draw further lessons from recent history of the other struggles for self-determination in Zimbabwe and South Africa. In Rhodesia, Iain Smith, illegally enacted white minority regime via the ill-fated Unilateral Declaration of Independence- UDI, from Britain, 1965.
The Africans opposed and a series of negotiations with the intransigent racist regime failed.
The Africans, led by Joshua Nkomo and Robert Mugabe, opposed Smith regime via the Patriotic Front insurgency.
When the opposition were gaining diplomatic and military success, to buy time, the illegal regime sought alliance with the traditional ruler, Chief Sikireta Chirau, the cleric pacifist, Bishop Abel Muzorewa and politician, Ndabaningi Sitole Smith renamed the country Zimbabwe Rhodesia, to reflect the alliance. The PF team were smart to refuse and the rest is history. The independent nation of Zimbabwe was born.
Identical situation happened in South Africa.
When the efforts of the African Congress alliance were about to yield fruitful result, the apartheid regime forged unholy alliance with the Zulu and other tribal chiefs, to slow down the apparent progress ANC was making diplomatically and to a lesser extent, militarily via insurgency. Chief Gatsha Buthelezi, lured by conservative Boers, introduced what he called, Ndaba initiative to dialogue between the Africans and the racist regime of South Africa. The ill-conceived ploy failed. The ANC triumphed and Apartheid disbanded.
Princess Olamijulo advised that the Yoruba freedom fighters should not relent their efforts. Victory is near and certain, because, Otito nii leke iro, Truth shall prevail. Lori otito la gbe ijangbara Yoruba le. Awa laa l eke, bi ojuoro ṣe n leke omi. Ase o
Redefining Education in The Developing World by Nelson Tosin Ajulo PhD
Education has been identified as the ultimate route to escape poverty. It is widely held that if you attend school, graduate, and get a lucrative job, your economic status will automatically be boosted or improved. This is still the case in today’s competitive world. However, it is hugely dependent on the nature or type of education you are receiving.
Sadly, the type of education delivered to African students and many other developing nations can not get them out of poverty. This is why we have millions of young graduates out there that are not employable.
The World Bank reports that youths account for more than 60% of all of Africa’s jobless population, and a large chunk of them are taking to crime, internet fraud and other anti-social activities to make ends meet.
According to the Accra-based African Center for Economic Transformation, a policy think tank, almost 50% of current university graduates in Africa do not get jobs.
For the African Development Bank (AfDB), it reports that of Africa’s nearly 420 million youth aged 15-35, one-third are unemployed and discouraged, another third are vulnerably employed, and only one in six is in wage employment.
The crucial challenge here is a disconnection between the education these graduates are getting and what the labour market needs. So what they need to get them out of extreme poverty and get them the much-needed job is quality education.
What is quality education? Quality education is the education you receive that would enable you to compete in the global marketplace. Any education outside of this is irrelevant.
Quality education is not necessarily about attending university for four years and afterward graduating. Even if you leave with a distinction, and your skills are not in demand, you will find it very difficult to get a job.
No apologies. Countless people are used to this type of education that is primarily theoretical. Unfortunately, governments and educational institutions across these developing countries are yet to understand or realise it. They keep pumping funds into this weak education system and expecting a different outcome. This is impossible. As long as there is a mismatch between the education received by students and what is in demand in the global marketplace, this problem will continue to linger. And if not addressed, youth crimes would persist in the fragile society.
Hence, governments and educational institutions must understand this and give youths quality education. Education that would empower them with skills that would get them well-paying jobs. These are digital skills, and they are currently in high demand. Skills like software development, cybersecurity, product design/development and UXUI designer, among others. Today, you do not need to attend a university where you would spend four years plus intermittent industrial actions to become a junior software engineer and earn money.
A platform like Zwart Academy, the edtech arm of the Zwart Talent Foundation, offers quality education to young people between the ages of 15 and 22 by equipping them with IT skills that will quickly get them out of poverty earn them their desired lifestyle.
Zwarttalent does this by training young people within the earlier age bracket in digital skills for six months. Upon completing the intensive and efficient training, they join Zwarttech for a one-year internship to work on projects and gather practical experience. After completion of the internship, they are connected with international IT jobs and start earning. The training comes at no cost. The students only need to commit their time and energy throughout the training and internship.
Importantly, you must have observed that the Zwarttalent approach is quicker, faster and well-planned. For example, it takes less than two years to become a software engineer, and there is no cost implication until the engineer starts working. This means that they can quickly get out of poverty, and the crime rate would significantly and drastically decline.
The developing world is faced with such myriads of challenges. It is also critical that sustainable solutions are deployed to tackle them. Therefore, it is only reasonable to learn the right kind of education to allow young people into poverty. With this, we can create a just, equitable and fair world. The governments and educational institutions must adjust to these realities and support or partner with an edtech like Zwart Academy to offer safety nets for young people.
Ajulo is the Chairman of the Zwart Talent Foundation
FIRSTBANK’S SPONSORED INITIATIVE ‘’FIRST CLASS MATERIAL’’ CONTINUES TO EMPOWER AND CELEBRATE NIGERIAN YOUTH
First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s premier and leading financial services provider has again reinforced its commitment to Youth Empowerment and Entrepreneurship through its sponsorship of the docuseries ‘’First-Class Material’’ from the stables of Linda Ikeji TV
Arguably Nigeria’s most valuable bank brand, FirstBank continues to pride itself as indeed the Bank of many firsts. First Class Material is a docuseries designed to celebrate Nigerians who are excelling in various fields of endeavour whether academic or non-academic. It is a program that aims to chronicle the success stories of Nigerians who are distinct and exemplary in their achievements and importantly, a testament to the greatness of the West African country. This docuseries aims to make education, vocational training and skill acquisition trendy, attractive and fashionable to the nation’s human capital by celebrating and rewarding innovators and trailblazers in various sectors. First-Class Material is a celebration of notable First’s by Nigerians which underscores what FirstBank stands for. The essence of the programme is to have many more people informed and encouraged by the successes, thereby having these feats emulated in their chosen endeavors.
First-Class Material aims to change the narrative about Nigeria and Nigerians by highlighting the great work Nigerians are doing in different fields, including Academics, Technology, Arts, Music, entrepreneurship, and many more. It also aims to inspire others to aspire to excellence and to see hard work, legitimate work, and diligence as something rewarding and deserving of emulation. FirstBank was the official sponsor of the maiden edition of First Class Material by Linda Ikeji TV and based on its success, the Bank is now also sponsoring Season 2 which will commence 3rd week in August.
This innovative partnership would have viewers exposed to Nigerians across the globe that have carved a niche for themselves by being exemplary and influential in their chosen endeavours and career path. Success stories of notable firsts and trailblazers would be highlighted, with viewers encouraged to go beyond limits and leave no stone unturned at making their dreams a reality. Like the first season, which showcased exceptional individuals, the forthcoming season promises to share truly inspiring stories of great feats and accomplishments by some of the most unassuming Nigerians, in the country and dotted around the world. FirstBank’s goal is to inspire the youth and encourage them to make informed choices, critical to securing their future whilst impacting mankind and society at large.
FirstBank, historically, has had diverse interventions in promoting thought leadership and promoting initiatives that will stimulate the advancement of skill acquisition and capacity building for the Nigerian Youth to equip them for a bright future. The Bank’s sponsorship of the Programme is in tandem with the noble objectives of the bank which includes building and instilling values into its customers. FirstBank’s core values of people, passion and partnership very much align with the vision of the First Material towards building the youth to become tomorrow’s leaders. With over 127 years of continuous banking operations, First Bank of Nigeria Limited (FirstBank) is giving a good account of itself in this regard not only as a true financial powerhouse but also as a life enabler, helping Nigerians live better and achieve their dreams.
Apart from the First Class Material initiative and in the furtherance of the Bank’s long term commitment to promote youth development, professional excellence and education, FirstBank has also in the past and currently actively supporting various activities and initiatives in the youth segment. The bank partners with Eventful Nigeria Ltd for Fashion Souk, a platform that creates an opportunity for players in the fashion industry to exhibit and sell their wares to the thousands of event participants. The bank, also in a bid to ensure the sustainability of the industry, recently introduced fashion design loans specifically designed to offer financial support to the participants in the textile industry.
Through its [email protected] initiative, FirstBank consolidates all its efforts in the arts, supporting the entire value chain of the creative arts, providing much-needed financing and advisory support, showcasing and facilitating the successes of the industry, and enabling customers to explore and access the wealth of opportunities the creative industry has to offer.
Achieving these and a host of many others have been implemented through strategic partnerships with organizations like the British Council, Duke of Shomolu Productions, Live Theatre Lagos, Freedom Park, Terra Kulture, and the Cross Rivers State Government (Calabar Festival), among others.
With the sponsorship of similar socio-cultural initiatives in the creative arts industry like Moremi, Makaliki, Oba Esugbayi stage drama, October 1st (a movie), the Calabar Festival and the recently concluded, The Voice Nigeria (Season 3) the Bank remains exemplary to expose the youth to a wide range of opportunities that are integral to the realization of their dreams, as they contribute to the continued socio-economic development of their immediate environment and the country at large.
Indeed, FirstBank remains a noble brand close to the heart of the youths and the deliberate efforts made by the bank has indeed been a catalyst of socio-economic growth of Nigerian youths and the nation as a whole.
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