By Olanrewaju Abari
One of the members of the Lagos State House of Assembly and majority party leader, Mr Sania Oyewole Bolanle Agunbiade, who is also the convener of the ‘ASA’ ( The man on the stilt) Festival, said that “the essence of this festival is to awaken the culture of Ikorodu people, and tweak the consciousness of the youth to never forget their culture.”
The greatest human degradation, he added, is for a man to be told his own history by a foreigner, “and this is why our youth must know their culture and heritage.”
The festival was held on 2 November at the Ikorodu Ferry Terminal.
ASA has been part of the culture of Ikorodu people from time immemorial, believed to have been adopted from Iremo Quarters when the ijebu people were migrating from Ile-ife to Iremo land.
While acknowledging that people have always had a misconception about culture and religion, Agunbiade pointed out that religion is different from culture and it doesn’t stop individuals from celebrating it.
“ASA is a culture in which the traditional rulers and elders adopted to entertain themselves from time memorial before we brought it back in 2017,” he declared. “We have seen the support from every nook and cranny and we are encouraged to bring many of our cultures to the fore for people to know and celebrate them too.”
While speaking to The Daily Report, the traditional ruler, Ayangburen of Ikorodu, His Royal Highness Oba Adewale Kabiru Shotobi disclosed that the “ASA carnival has been celebrated separately at various southern community until now. Although the maiden edition was done in 2017 but there have been many improvements over the years,” he added.
Notwithstanding that, everyone has adopted this idea and nursed it over the years because of its economic value, “this has also prompted the rejuvenation of the culture and heritage and that is why are showcasing this.”
“Today’s event will be in our memory for a long time,” the traditional ruler, Adegboruwa of Igbogbo community, Oba Semiu Orimadegun Kasali added.
While likening our culture to China, Germany, Japan, Brazil and other foreign countries based on their technological advancement and cultural heritage, he advised that youths shouldn’t allow the value of our culture fade away because of technology or western education because these elements can work side by side.
He concludes that the success of the event has demonstrated its acceptance widely and has gained recognition from the Lagos State government as part of the annual festivities in Lagos State.
Infact, this will improve our own tourism and culture as well when people cross borders and visit Ikorodu to celebrate this, Mudashiru Obasa, the speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly said. While expressing his heartfelt dissonances, Obasa added that no foreigner can portray our culture or language better than us and this why parents should teach their children Yoruba language.
He added that Yoruba is one of the best languages in the world as it can be communicated with different local instruments like gangan, flute, shekere and others .He advised that the media should propagate this anytime they are in an event like this anywhere around the world.
In appreciation, Agunbiade thanked the council of Obas, his team,vbrands and friends for their support and urged the Lagos State Ministry of Arts, Culture and Tourism to support them in their future endeavours.