In Ondo, echoes of Idanre Ana keep pulsating
As part of its total tourism experience bouqet, Ondo Tourism has added to its rich portfolio, a re-enactment of Idanre Ana (Idanre of yesterday), a play back of the 17th – 18th century way of life of the people of Idanre. It is a creative and artistic live presentation of the African way of life for the benefits of tourists visiting the old settlement of Idanre town located atop of the Idanre hills.
This live and realistic presentation, which would be performed by trained and professional actors would among others present child naming ceremony, traditional festivals, initiations and age grade ceremonies, burial rites, wedding ceremonies, dispute resolutions, youth restiveness and oba – in – council sessions.
With this, Ondo State government has scored another first in its tourism strides as there is no location or destination anywhere in Africa where people would be treated to such spectacular initiative, which goes beyond the total theatre for which Africa is famed as this is a true re-enactment of the way of life of the people before the advent of colonialism and enthronement of western culture, which has seen to the near extinct of Africans’ once cherished and time honoured culture and tradition.
Beside attracting tourists to the community, one of its major aim, according to the Ondo State tourism authority, is to expose the over 750 million people of African descent in the Diaspora to their root as none of them has ever in their life time seen an authentic African way of life. Also, researchers, sociologists, anthropologists, historians and educationists are to gain from this initiative thus making Ondo State and Idanre town the new home for Africa renaissance.
The live presentation for now holds on weekends (Fridays – Sundays) but as its gains momentum it would be a daily affairs, holding between 9am and 6pm for everyone visiting to experience. According to the Ondo State tourism authority this new move will once again draw the world attention to the beauty of African culture, the need to preserve it and align it with modern civilisation.
Speaking during one of the live presentations of this amazing and appealing dramatisation, which received wide acceptance and commendation from tourists in attendance, the Special Adviser on Tourism to Governor Dr. Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State, Otunba Wanle Akinboboye, described the entire package as a huge leap in the preservation of African culture and enriching of tourists’ experience to the state.
‘‘Ondo State government feels that if we have preserved our culture over the years by now it will have been refined just in the same manner that China, Japan and South Korea have preserved their culture and have now metaphormosed into 21st century culture being promoted globally,’’ he says, adding that we are hoping to use Idanre Ana as a stepping stone to once again enthrone African culture.’’
According to him: ‘‘This re-enactment of Africa’s culture live will bespoke because the actors will be oblivious of the tourists as they go about their presentations. They are entirely in a different realm or world from the world represented by the tourists.’’ He adds that it is almost like one is inside a movie.
What makes this live presentation real and authentic is the fact that it is taking place atop the hills where the traditional and ancient settlement has been preserved ranging from the buildings, the king’s palace, court, market square, school and other material elements, which not only enhance the presentations but add colour and flavours to the live theatrics.
And for the people of the community who have fully embraced the new initiative, it is another way of exposing their community to the world and to boost their economy with nearly all of the artistes, ranging from the baby actor to the aged residents of the community. The creative industry is also benefiting with all the costumes, make ups and stage props and all other materials created by the people.
It will be recalled that as part of making Idanre a truly tourist destination, Idanre Hills Resort was recently built around the hills while the over 600 steps leading to the top of the hills and the five resting points have been refurbished. This is in addition to the MARE Festival and other attractions that have been created round the hills and community to attract huge following from across the world.
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