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Omole advocates establishment of Yoruba-speaking schools in diaspora

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Chairman, Editorial Board of The Guardian Group/Chairman of the occasion, Prof. Wale Omole (left) and Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi, during the 2019 Olojo Festival with the theme, “Developing Our Cultural Heritage for Sustainable Domestic and Foreign Tourism Patronage” in Ile Ife, Osun State… yesterday. PHOTO: NAJEEM RAHEEM


Chairman, Editorial Board of The Guardian Group, Prof. Wale Omole, has urged Yoruba in the diaspora to establish Yoruba-speaking schools in countries where they reside as part of measures to prevent Yoruba language from going into extinction.

Besides, he also urged Yoruba parents and guardians to cultivate the habit of speaking Yoruba language to their children and wards to preserve the language from generation to generation. Omole gave the advice at a lecture he delivered yesterday at the palace of the Ooni of Ife as part of activities signposting the 2019 Olojo Festival.

The former Vice Chancellor (VC) of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile Ife, who made his presentation in Yoruba language, underscored the importance of using local language as a medium of expression to teach in schools, noting that China was able to make rapid development because of the decision by her leaders to adopt Chinese language to teach in schools after the country attained Independence.

Omole, who relived his experience as former VC of OAU, said the institution was rated second best in Africa during his tenure due to the native wisdom he and his team applied in administering the university.He lamented that Yoruba language is on the verge of extinction unless urgent steps are taken by stakeholders to revitalise it, noting that he had made it a habit to speak Yoruba language to his children living in America.

He said Nigeria must have a rethink as China, which secured her Independence 13 years ahead of Nigeria and with a population of about five times of Nigeria’s, is making remarkable progress in many facets due to the priority given to her local language.

In his presentation, Mr. Dare Babarinsa said the festival is important to all mankind because it represents the creation of the universe.He said that His Imperial Majesty, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, had made remarkable achievements in the last four years to promote the Yoruba cultural heritage.

Babarinsa, who stressed that Olojo festival and others have the capacity to attract foreign tourists, said Nigeria should emulate the state of Israel, which derives a lot of revenue from tourism despite her natural challenges.Meanwhile, Oba Ogunwusi, who said the 2019 festival would be different, as it would attract many foreign tourists, said Olojo festival belongs to all the people.


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