‘Westernisation has eroded all we stand for’
The curator, National Museum, Lagos, Adeboye Omotayo, has said that children are important to museums management, because they are the future and leaders of tomorrow. She spoke recently at this year’s celebration of Nigerian culture and children. Held at the National Museum, Onikan, Lagos, the event had as theme, The Place of Culture in the Rights of the Nigerian Children.
Omotayo said, “if a nation did not care for its young ones to become people of integrity, who identify with their culture, then such a country and its culture would go into extinction.”
On children losing interest in their culture, she said every sector “contributed to that — even at home, parents get children cut off from their culture.”
According to her, “Westernisation has eroded all we stand for, that is, our values and norms, the things that made us good people — It doesn’t start from school but from home. And that is what the cultural sector is trying to change through programmes that are organised so that the young generation can believe in what we stand for as a nation.”
The National Museum organises cultural parade, poetry, cooking of local cuisine and drama to teach them good culture and what they could do as Nigerians.
“We must make our children appreciate our culture, and that starts from home. They must know that their culture is as good as the western culture they are now imitating,” Omotayo concluded.
According to Elizabeth Mebere, “we choose this year’s theme in order to showcase how our culture promotes the rights of the Nigerian child. Most times, people tend to feel that some people’s culture, because it is different from theirs, and there are certain practices that shouldn’t be, they tend to dehumanise other people’s culture. So, we are trying to make our children grow up to understand that as much as we have diverse cultures all over the world, we also have to understand the United Nations declarations on the rights of the child.”
Mebere, who was the coordinator of this year’s celebration, said, “our culture actually have things that promote our right even as children and there are things that have been handed over to us from time in memorial and we should try as much as possible to bridge the gap between the past and the present. So, we should promote and showcase our culture, especially the aspects that are good.”