Yoruba language cannot go extinct — Felix Oladunjoye - Punch Newspapers

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Yoruba Language

12/5/2021 5:44:00 PM

Yoruba language cannot go extinct — Felix Oladunjoye - Punch Newspapers

The most widely read newspaper in Nigeria

5 December 2021The Chairman, National Planning Committee of the recently concluded Ekimogun Day Festival in Ondo State, Felix Oladunjoye, tellsTOFARATI IGEabout the festival, Yoruba culture and other issuesSomepeople have expressed worry that Yoruba language could go extinct because young people cannot speak the language, neither can they teach future generations. What’s your take on that?

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The Yoruba language cannot go into extinction despite what some people think. Many Nigerian songs and movies are in Yoruba language. I actually think that what is happening now is a modernisation of the language and culture, rather than extinction. I can authoritatively tell you that Yoruba culture is celebrated in different parts of the world.

A lot of youths don’t seem interested in participating in traditional and/or cultural activities. How does that make you feel and what does it portend for the future?We need to change our strategy in engaging our youth in cultural diversity. We should be more intentional about engaging youths in cultural activities. If the youth are properly orientated about the importance of learning about their culture and taking part in certain activities, they would come on board. headtopics.com

As the Chairman, National Planning Committee of 2021 Ekimogun Day Festival, how was the experience of planning the event?The experience of this year’s festival was amazing and fantastic in the sense that most of our strategies in reaching out to guests through effective communication tools yielded results.

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What was unique about this year’s edition of the festival?This year’s edition of the festival was unique in terms of engagement and involvement of our youth. There were also a lot of global contents in the various cultural activities.What plans were put in place to ensure the safety of attendees, especially because of the Omicron variant of COVID-19?

All COVID-19 protocols were in place, ranging from the provision of soaps, water basin, sanitisers and face masks.Tell us about the origin of this festival and its benefits to the people of Ondo?Ondo kingdom is endowed with both human and agricultural resources. Harnessing the economic potentials was the focus of this year’s edition of the festival.

This is the 34th edition of the festival. The original idea was to have all Ondo indigenes at home and in Diaspora come together every year to celebrate our unique culture and existence. More importantly, the festival is a way of contributing money towards the development of our motherland. headtopics.com

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What are some of the challenges you faced in the course of organising the event?Putting the festival together was quite stressful because we had to improve on what was on the ground. It was also difficult convincing people to participate and donate towards it as a result of the poor economic conditions globally, especially brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read AlsoLASU inaugurates Afrobrazilian studies centreAs an entrepreneur, what have been your most notable business activities?I am majorly into international commodities supply chain management, export logistics and export markets development consulting, in addition to real estate in Nigeria and Canada. Also, I am an advocate for government relations and policy support.

As the Executive Secretary of the Cocoa Processors Association of Nigeria, what are your duties?I managed the association’s secretariat. I was also involved in advocating policy support for the cocoa industry, as well as representing them in other trade organisations in Nigeria and other parts of the world.

Nigeria doesn’t seem to be making as much money from cocoa sales like before. Why do you think that is and what can be done to change the situation?Unfortunately, our output keeps nose-diving yearly due to policy inconsistency and negligence. Unless we change our strategy and business model from oil dependence, we would only be moving around in circles. headtopics.com

What are your thoughts on the calls for a Yoruba nation?As far as I’m concerned, calling for Yoruba nation does not solve any problem. One of the major problems in Nigeria is the lack of patriotism. Our mindset is already manipulated. Unless we take ownership of our collective destinies, sectional divisions would only add more problems than we can imagine.

What qualities do you think an entrepreneur needs to succeed?First, one must have a winning mindset because failure will always ‘chase’ one on a daily basis Secondly, one must be sincere with oneself and engage a sincere workforce. Also, one should not have to do everything by oneself. One should be able to develop good managers so that the business can go on without one and outlive one.

Lastly, it is important to set up a good structure to run one’s business.How do you unwind?I used to travel abroad a lot for holidays but since the COVID-19 pandemic, I have not been able to do that. Ondo city is now my favourite place to unwind and I have a lot of fun there.

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