‘Publishers should embrace Yoruba writing’
Book publishers have been urged to embrace Yorùbá writing in order to encourage writers in the language. This was the submission of the special guest at the second anniversary of Yorùbá Lákọ̀tun by Chief Gbemisoye Ayano. The celebration was dedicated to the memory of Alàgbà Adébáyọ̀ Fálétí, who passed on recently. The event took place at Ethnic Heritage Centre, Ikoyi, Lagos.
The quarterly Yorùbá cultural renaissance programme, hosted by Olútáyọ̀ Ìrántíọlá, is aimed at celebrating Yorùbá cultural productions, including writers and others, who are projecting Yorùbá culture to the global community. The literary programme has been advocating for the growth of literature and other cultural productions of Yorùbá heritage.
According to Ayano, author of Ife Ikoko, Ayedaade, Oga ni Tisa, Aseju Baba Asete and Akojopo Ewi Gbefe, many Yorùbá writers in recent times have not been encouraged by renowned publishing firms because it is assumed that such literature are not economically viable. He, however, said Yorùbá books are being used across all levels of education for pedagogy in Nigeria, with some already gaining global prominence.
Ayano stressed that Yorùbá writing is peculiar and encouraged writers to properly write Yorùbá literature with the requisite tonal marks. In his words, “I want to urge my fellow writers in the language to ensure that tonal marks are used in Yorùbá literature. Once the tonal marks are missing, the meaning of the word might not be easily comprehended by the reader.”
While corroborating Ayano, another upcoming Yorùbá poet, Lanre Ari-Ajia, said his ability to read and write Yoruba poetry set him apart during a poetry event. He urged other young writers in Yorùbá language to keep writing because they would be preserving the history, culture and tradition of the race for posterity.
Other highlights of the event included the rendition of poetry to celebrate the golden jubilee of Lagos State, entertainment news update, the performance of the poetry of Fálétí and singing of his popular songs in various movies, where he had cameos appearances. Cultural enthusiasts at the event were drawn from corporate and social Nigeria.