African heritage has been described as a catalyst for unity and development in the continent.
Speaking at the Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan 2023 CULTURAL DAY Organised by African Studies Students Association (ASSA) with the theme “Embracing Africa heritage a path to unity and development in the 21st century”, Dr. Afolayan commended IAS for the leading role it has continued to play in the promotion of renewed interest in African culture and in essence preservation of African heritage.
Dr. Afolayan who is an alumni of the institute highlighted cultural identity as a unique way to differentiate people from other human societies, explain their social norms, core values and their ways of life in totality. An heritage which she emphasised are passed from one generation to the other and should not be abandoned because it is who we are.
Dr. Afolayan in her lecture noted that African indigenous society was haven of great civilization, interaction with external forces have led to African’s heritage been falsified, sapped and plundered. She attributed much of the socio-economic upheavals in the continent to the abandonment of our traditional culture and values.
Dr. Afolayan, bemoaned the fact that development continues to elude most African countries despite our rich culture and heritage.
Dr. Afolayan posited that we must find an African solution to our problems and this can only be found in embracing our heritage such as applying indigenous instruments of social engineering and development. She cited two of such indigenous instruments as ‘Omoluabi’ concept of the Yoruba which signifies good character and citizenship and Ubuntu concept of the Zulu which signifies solidarity and kinship.
Dr. Afolayan enjoined the audience at the symposium who were mostly youths to take pride in African literature, history language, fashion, cuisine, arts, music etc.
Dr. Afolayan maintained that “if we embrace our culture and showcase our heritage, Africa as a continent has everything we need to be great”.
Isiaka Adeniyi Head Media/ publicity, Oyo state NOA