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Sierra Leone: Dozens killed as protesters scamper for safety

Dozens died in anti-government protests in Sierra Leone on Wednesday, police and other sources said today, as shocked citizens mainly stayed behind closed doors in the capital Freetown.

Six police officers and at least 21 civilians were killed, the sources said, as hundreds took to the streets in frustration at economic hardship and a perceived failure by the government to cushion the impact of rising prices.

The unrest is highly unusual for Sierra Leone, especially in the West African country’s capital Freetown. A few people have been killed in isolated protests in other cities in recent years

One video verified by Reuters from Freetown showed a police officer firing a gun into a crowd.

Sulaiman Turay, a 19-year-old living in east Freetown, marched briefly before police started firing teargas and said he later saw demonstrators getting shot at from his porch.

“I think people are shocked. It’s not the country we know. Sierra Leone is a peaceful place,” he told Reuters.

President Julius Maada Bio said the circumstances surrounding Wednesday’s events would be “fully investigated”.

Other verified images from Freetown showed clouds of smoke and teargas as large crowds threw rocks and burned tyres and armed officers patrolled the streets.

The protests were concentrated in the opposition’s northern heartland and the capital.

Long held in check, rising prices for basic goods have exacerbated the citizens’ frustrations in a country where, according to the World Bank, more than half the population of around 8 million live below the poverty line.

Wednesday’s death toll included two police officers killed in Freetown, three in the northern town of Kamakwie and one in the northern city of Makeni, police inspector general William Fayia Sellu told Reuters.

At least 13 civilians were shot dead in Freetown, said staff at the city’s main mortuary. Hospital sources said that four civilians were killed in Kamakwie and another four in Makeni.

An eerie calm had returned to Freetown on Thursday, residents said, as stores were closed and people stayed in out of fear of unrest.

The internet was cut for two hours on Wednesday and again overnight, according to internet observatory NetBlocks.

Police said a curfew would remain in effect from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. local time from Thursday after the government imposed a 3 p.m. curfew on Wednesday in a bid to stem the violence.

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Africa

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken Arrives in South Africa

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in South Africa on Sunday, the first leg of his three-nation African tour.

In addition to South Africa, Blinken is also set to visit the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda.

Blinken is slated to deliver a major speech in South Africa on Monday on U.S. strategy toward sub-Saharan Africa. Climate change, trade, health, and food insecurity will all be topics of discussion.

While in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, State Department officials say Blinken will work to reduce tensions between Congo and Rwanda. Congo has accused its neighbor of backing the M23 armed group, a charge Kigali denies.

In Rwanda, Blinken will raise the “wrongful detention” of U.S. permanent resident Paul Rusesabagina, according to the State Department. Rusesabagina’s actions helped save hundreds of lives during the 1994 genocide and inspired the movie Hotel Rwanda.

His trip comes just days after the top Russian diplomat, Sergey Lavrov, completed his tour of the continent, where he defended Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and blamed Western sanctions for Africa’s rising fuel and food costs. The United States has blamed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine for driving up prices.

Political analysts say Africa has again become a battleground for influence and ideology decades after the end of the Cold War.

This is Blinken’s second trip to Africa as secretary of state, after visiting Nigeria, Senegal and Kenya in November.

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Africa

UN Women Representative Paulina Chiwangu officially assumes duty in Uganda

New UN Women Country Representative Paulina Chiwangu formally assumed duty Wednesday after presenting her credentials to Uganda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon General Jeje Odongo.

The presentation took place at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) and was witnessed by dignitaries from MOFA and the UN Women Uganda Country Office.

During the ceremony, the minister acknowledged the tremendous work by UN Women in supporting women’s empowerment and gender equality. The new country representative was commended on her impressive experience as well as having worked extensively in Uganda.

“Women in Uganda are still faced with many challenges, including the effects of COVID-19, challenges in externalized labour in the countries in which they work, and patriarchy which still make them lag behind. We want to work with UN Women to address the prevailing challenges in refugee settings and the externalization of labour. UN Women should work closely with the government to identify priority areas that can be worked on together,” Hon. Jeje Odongo said.

We want to work with UN Women to address the prevailing challenges in refugee settings and the externalization of labour

Ms. Chiwangu remarked on her warm welcome to Uganda, highlighting UN Women’s mandate to support all countries to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment.

“Firstly, I congratulate Uganda and Brenda Akia for being voted onto the CEDAW committee, the first time a Ugandan has been elected to the committee. On behalf of UN Women, I pledge our close collaboration with her on CEDAW work. Further congratulations to the country on the launch of the Parish Development Model, and I commit support to ensure that it is successfully implemented,” she said.

Ms. Paulina Chiwangu holds a Doctorate in Philosophy and has over 20 years of experience in development and humanitarian work.

She has previously served as Deputy Country Representative with UN Women in South Sudan and as Deputy Country Representative for the UN Women Iraq Country Office, as well as Head of KRG Sub-Office.

Prior to her work with UN Women Iraq, she worked with UN Women Bosnia and Herzegovina as Head of Gender Coordination for the UNDAF. She worked with UN Women in Serbia as interim Head of Office. Prior to that, she was heading the UN Inter-Agency Joint Programme on Gender Equality and she was the Acting Country Representative for UN Women office in Uganda for one year.

Before joining UN Women, she was the Head of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, as well as the Public Relations Unit for UNDP’s Police Reform Programme in Dhaka, Bangladesh. She has held positions in various Southern African countries as well as in the United States and Ireland.

The UN Women Country Representative is an accredited representative of the UN Women Executive Director and the Regional Director and is responsible for negotiations with the host country. The Country Representative also oversees relationships and activities with the government and other partners, provides security for UN Women personnel and facilitates functional common services arrangements with other UN agencies.

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AfricaEvents

Hijrah 1444: The different calendars around the world and Islamic New Year

July 30 is Islamic – or Hijri – New Year’s Day and marks the start of the year 1444.

The Hijri calendar, which comes from the Arabic word “hijra”, is named after the migration of the Prophet Muhammad from Mecca to Medina more than 1,400 years ago.

The 12 Hijri calendar months are determined by the sighting of the new moon. The first month is Muharram and the last is Dhul-Hijjah.

The Hijri calendar is used to mark important dates for Muslims such as the beginning of the fasting month of Ramadan, Eid al-Fitr at the end of it, and the start of the Hajj pilgrimage and Eid al-Adha.

INTERACTIVE - WHAT IS THE ISLAMIC CALENDAR?
(Al Jazeera)

How old are you according to the Hijri calendar?

A Hijri month alternates between 29 and 30 days. This makes a Hijri year about 11 days shorter than the Gregorian, with one year coming to 354-355 days.

So your Hijri age may be different from your Gregorian age. Here’s how to calculate it:

  • If you’re younger than 16: Your Hijri age is the same as your Gregorian age
  • If you’re between 16 and 48: Add one year to your current Gregorian age
  • If you’re between 49 and 81: Add two years to your age
  • If you’re older than 81: Add three years to your age
INTERACTIVE - WHAT IS YOUR HIJRI AGE?
(Al Jazeera)

Other calendars around the world

Many religions and cultures use calendars other than the Gregorian – which is the most widely used calendar today.

The Gregorian calendar was introduced in October 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII as a modification to the Julian calendar, named after Julius Caesar, leader of ancient Rome.

The Gregorian and Julian calendars are both 12-month solar calendars based on the time it takes the Earth to complete one revolution around the Sun – a bit more than 365 days.

Other types of calendars include the lunar, lunisolar and fixed calendars.

A lunar year is 12 lunar months, each measuring the time it takes the moon to pass through its phases, i.e. new moon, half moon and full moon.

A lunar month is about 29.5 days long and a lunar year is approximately 354 days. This means that every 33 years, there is a one-year lag between solar and lunar calendars.

A lunisolar year incorporates both lunar and solar characteristics, where the year is divided according to the phases of the moon, but adjusted to correlate with the solar cycle length. Lunisolar calendars include the Buddhist, Chinese, Hindu, Jewish, Korean and Tibetan calendars.

INTERACTIVE - Different types of calendars
(Al Jazeera)

Other New Year celebrations this year

The following dates are some new years from different religions and cultures in 2022.

Gregorian New Year – The Gregorian calendar begins on January 1 every year and is currently in the year 2022.

Lunar New Year – Also known as Chinese New Year. This calendar uses a lunisolar system. The new year is marked on January 22 and China usually celebrates for 15 days. 2022 in the Chinese calendar is the Year of the Dog.

Sikh New Year – The Nanakshahi calendar derives its name from the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak. The new year is marked on March 14.

Persian New Year – Also known as Nowruz. The Persian calendar is solar, with the new year beginning on March 21.

Hindu New Year – Is on April 1 and is based on the Vikram Samvat lunisolar calendar, which is used across the Indian subcontinent. It is usually 57 years ahead of the Gregorian calendar.

Thai New Year – Also known as Songkran, this is the biggest of Thailand’s annual festivals and is celebrated on April 13 every year. It follows a solar calendar system.

Jewish New Year – The traditional Jewish lunisolar calendar begins on Rosh Hashanah. This year it will be marked on September 25, however, the date varies according to the Jewish months.

INTERACTIVE - NEW YEARS AROUND THE WORLD
(Al Jazeera)
SOURCE: AL JAZEERA
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Africa

Biden to host US-Africa Leaders Summit in mid-December

President Joe Biden has announced that the United States will bring together leaders from across the African continent for a major summit in Washington, DC this December to discuss pressing challenges from food security to climate change.

“The summit will demonstrate the United States enduring commitment to Africa, and will underscore the importance of U.S.-Africa relations and increased cooperation on shared global priorities,” Biden said in a statement on Wednesday.

The US-Africa Leaders Summit, scheduled for December 13-15, was announced simultaneously in virtual remarks by Vice President Kamala Harris to the US-Africa Business Summit in Marrakesh, Morocco. The latter event is being hosted by the Corporate Council on Africa and the Kingdom of Morocco.

A senior administration official, while discussing the US-Africa summit plans on condition of anonymity, told the Reuters news agency that about 50 African leaders are expected to join Biden for the December 13-15 series of meetings.

It will come at the end of a year when Biden has engaged other regions of the world with trips to visit US allies in Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Biden has yet to visit Africa since becoming president, and the summit will be his most comprehensive look at the complexities of the continent.

So far, Biden’s diplomatic efforts have focused on promoting Western democracies as a counterweight to China, but the official said the US-Africa summit was not all about Beijing.

“We are not asking our African partners to choose,” the official told Reuters. “We believe the United States offers a better model, but we are not asking our African partners to choose.”

The US Agency for International Development announced on Monday that it is providing nearly $1.3bn in aid to the Horn of Africa nations of Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia to help stave off mass starvation and deaths in the drought-stricken region.

Biden said the summit will work towards new economic engagement, promote democracy and human rights, advance peace and security, and address challenges such as food security and climate change as well as the pandemic.

The president believes that US collaboration with leaders from African governments, civil society, the private sector and the African diaspora will help tackle some of the challenges, the official said.

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES
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Africa

Ayangalu Drum Festival: Ooni drums for peace in Nigeria

Arole Oduduwa Olofin Adimula, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, the Ooni of Ife yesterday at Ile-Ife displayed his unknown talent as a drummer when he dazzled the teaming participants at the closing session of the annual Ayangalu Drum Festival during which he took up the symbolic African talking drum called ‘IYA ILU’ which he beat for peace and tranquility in Nigeria, especially during this electioneering period in the country.
In a statement made available to journalists through Director, Media & Public Affairs, Otunba Moses Olafare, It was noted that while narrating that the talking aspect of drumming originally came from animals, the African foremost monarch who at the closing ceremony held at the OJAJA ARENA inside Ife Grand Resort along Ibadan road Ile-Ife described drum as a vital tool for communicating peaceful coexistence globally had earlier during the flag-off ceremony of the festival, held on Wednesday, at his Ile-Oodua Palace, in Ile-Ife said the Oduduwa race was the first tribe to beat the drum in the whole world, saying the festival has to do with the rhythm of the drum which has to do with the connection of the spiritual connotations.
“Globally, people usually called our ancestors animists, because they had a strong relationship with them. “The Ayan Agalu festival has been in existence from a time memorial as one of the deities. No matter the tribe, either black, white, or brown, the world cannot do without the drum. The whole world has done a lot in the rhythm of drums as it is concerned.
“Basically, We are just remembering our ancestors and giving them the honour that it’s due to them, I urge the Oodua race worldwide, Yorubas in particular to jointly continue celebrating Ayan Agalu so as to let the whole world know that the drum originated from us.” Ooni expressed.
According to him, Ayangalu descended next to Oduduwa place called Atiba in Ile-Ife from where Oranmiyan moved to found Oyo Kingdom stating that Atiba has since remained the hub of traditional drummers in Ile-Ife till date. Oba Ogunwusi who is the natural head of Oduduwa race also emphasized roles played by Orunmila in the drumming communication being the deity that first decoded the meaning of the drum and things that had to do with it.
“Our ancestors used drum majorly for communication, for it goes beyond entertainment and till date Yoruba people use drum for communication and as a vital tool for preaching peace and harmony..”By the spirit of Ayangalu festival, we use the rhythm and tone to communicate peace and peaceful coexistence to our people.
“We are like the barometer in the next electioneering campaign in Nigeria, Osun gubernatorial election is coming up in the next two to three weeks and that will lead to major election in Nigeria by next year January.” Oba Ogunwusi stated.
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“We know that things are hard especially in the issue of security in Nigeria, celebrating Ayangalu will make us focus on peace and peaceful coexistence. Let’s remain steadfast in promoting our cultural heritage for our collective progress.” Ooni opined.
Also, the Ayangalu Ambassador, who doubles as Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Adire Oodua Hub, Princess Ronke Ademiluyi, commended Ooni for celebrating our female deities and other heroines such as Moremi, Olokun, Osun, Osara and Ayan-Agalu among others.
Ademiluyi said that Ayan-Agalu was a patron deity of drumming who deserves to be celebrated. She also lauded Ooni for championing gender equality by letting the whole world know that Ayan-Agalu was a female deity.
Stressing that over 200 children would be trained during a planned workshop on how to make drums and how to become a drummer with a view to sustaining the traditional drumming culture of Ayan-Agalu.
Ms Ayoola Ibukun Bisola, popularly known as Bisola Omoge Bata who is the Face Of Ayan-Agalu Festival 2022 expressed her gratitude to the Ooni for making her Face of the Festival and enjoined Nigerians to show interest in showcasing the African drumming to the world.
“Let me start by thanking my father, the Ooni of Ife to have found me worthy as the Face of this Ayan-Agalu Festival 2022. I also thank our team leader and ambassador, Princess Ronke Ademiluyi for her leadership, May I enjoin our people in Nigeria and Africa to show interest in this African drumming brand so that the legacy of our ancestors is well sustained. Omoge Bata said.
The Ogbomoso, Oyo State born Award-winning Nigeria’s first female “Bata” drummer maintained that Ayan-Agalu festival essentially celebrates of a uniquely significant communicative aspect of the Yoruba culture as manifested in the use of proverbs which are associated with the sounds of the drums in their various forms and components.
Equally, the foremost female talking drummer in Africa, Aralola Olamuyiwa popularly known as ARA who was appointed 6 years ago Cultural Ambassador to the Ooni described African Drums as inherent importance of communication which valued by the indigenous African peoples saying that every sound produced by the drum is a form of art and beauty that motivates happiness lasting excitement of the Africans.
“Ayan is popularly described as the drumming spirit. Anywhere the drum is sound, it will be appropriate to assume that the Orisa of Drum and Music Ayan is around to give us happiness and lasting excitement.” Ara said.
Ayan-Agalu is one of the cultural festivals annually held in the ancient city of Ile-Ife, the cradle and spiritual headquarters of the Oduduwa race in celebration of the uniqueness and craftsmanship of Ayan Agalu, the deity of associated with drums, sounds and celebrations.
This just concluded 2-day edition kicked off on Wednesday 29th and ended on Thursday 30th June 2022 with over 200 drummers and drumm performing groups out of which best 48 groups were screened for competition which led to 6 outstanding winners; Ogunjimi Cultural Group from Osogbo came first and got a million Naira(#1m) prize.
Ayangbayi Bata came 2nd and got N500,000, while Esin Oye Cultural group from Ile-Ife came 3rd with N250,000 cash prize.
Itesiwaju Entertaining Group from Lagos exhibited a beautiful performance adjudged by the cheering audience to have won the competition but failed due to their choice of western dress to the cultural event. They however got the Ooni Ogunwusi consolation prize of N250,000, while Onilu Kishi Drummer Group from Oyo and Ayangbayi Cultural Group emerged Best Entertainers and Best dressed respectively with #150,000 each. In addition to the prizes won, all other participants were rewarded with cash prize of #40,000 each.
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AfricaCulture & TourismEventsNews

40 Americans traced ancestral roots to Nigeria, take new Igbo names

Forty students and faculty members from Morehouse College Glee Club in Atlanta, United States of America, USA, on Wednesday, took Igbo names and declared their ancestry to the Igbos of South East Nigeria.

Some of the students disclosed that they traced their Igbo ancestral roots through DNA tests conducted on them.

While performing the Igbo-name-giving ceremony at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, UNN, the traditional ruler of Ibagwa-Aka community in Igbo-Eze South Local Government Area of Enugu State, HRH, Igwe Hyacinth Eze, expressed happiness over the reunion of the Igbo-Americans with their ancestral brothers.

The monarch said he was also happy because of the spiritual, cultural and economic exchanges which would happen as a result of the reunion, adding that he is willing to provide lands for those are willing to live in his community.

Also, while speaking during the ceremony, the President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo,  Enugu State chapter, Prof. Fredrick Eze, said the reunion would help in the development of Igbo communities.

However, the Public Affairs Officer, United States Consulate General, Lagos, Stephen Ibelli, said the Club came to Nigeria to mark the 50th anniversary of its first visit in Nigeria in 1972.

He equally explained that the Club would tour Abuja, Enugu and Lagos States to strengthen US-Nigeria cultural ties through music, arts and film.

“The Morehouse College Glee Club, which is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its first tour in Nigeria, will offer public concerts in Lagos, Abuja and Enugu. In addition, the group will visit universities and high schools, meet Nigerian students, and explore their historical ties to Nigeria.

“The 1972 visit to Nigeria infused African music into the Glee Club’s tradition and American Choral music in general. Fifty years later, choirs across the United States sing in Nigerian languages, highlighting the long-term impact of that exchange.  The Morehouse College Glee Club has since learned a variety of songs in Edo, Yorùbá, Hausa, and Igbo, including a piece specifically composed for them by Igwe Laz Ekwueme, famed Nollywood actor and University of Lagos professor.

“During the visit, the Morehouse College Glee Club will carry out a dynamic exchange of musical knowledge with the broad spectrum of the Nigerian society, singing in Hausa, Igbo, and Yoruba languages,” the statement made available to Saturday Vanguard by Ibelli revealed.

U.S. Ambassador Mary Beth Leonard noted that the visit will strengthen the longstanding ties between American and Nigerian institutions of higher learning, and further expand the scope of academic and cultural relations between the United States and Nigeria.

“Cultural exchanges such as the  visit of the Morehouse College Glee Club will help contribute to strengthening the bonds of friendship and collaboration through music and arts, offering an opportunity for Nigerian students to learn about academic experiences in the United States,” Ambassador Leonard added.

Many of the student members of the Morehouse College Glee Club described their visit as an opportunity to connect with their African roots.

“I love the culture of Nigeria,” 19-year-old Schneider Grandpierre, a junior third-year student studying Music and Computer Science at the Morehouse College said of the trip.  “It is  such an enriching and amazing experience to be able to reconnect with our cultural roots and sing Nigerian music in different languages. I look forward to an extended stay here even after this tour.”

Expressing his excitement about the visit, 23-year-old John Batey, a Business Administration major and tenor singer for the choral group said he has been able to trace his roots to Nigeria through a DNA test. “We will be exploring the Nigerian creative and entertainment industry. I am excited about the  tour,” Batey said of the trip.

Director of the Morehouse College Glee Club, Professor David Morrow, explained that the choral group will perform a repertoire of African and American songs particularly African-American spirituals which have roots in West African music traditions.

Professor Morrow noted that the Morehouse College Glee Club is rooted in Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s legacy. Dr. King who sang in the Morehouse College Glee Club was one of the notable alumni of the Historically Black College in the United States.

Some of the Igbo names given to the Igbo-Americans include: Ezuomike, Ogalanya, Odenigwe, Anyim, Ifeanyi among others.

 

Source: Vanguard

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AfricaCulture & TourismEvents

Alaafin’s legacy continues as Oyo host World Sango Festival 2022- Paula Gomes

Sango Festival is an annual festival held among the Yoruba people in honour of the Sango, thunder and fire deity who was believed to possess supernatural powers. Sango is also a warlord and the third king of the Oyo Kingdom after succeeding Ajaka his elder brother. The festival is usually held in August at the palace of the Alaafin of Oyo and is also observed in over forty countries around the world.

This year’s festival would be celebrating after the demise of Alaafin, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III, who joined his ancestors on 23rd April 2022 after reigning for fifty-two years on the throne of his forebears.

Dr. Paula Gomes Aduke who is the Cultural Ambassador to the institution of  Alaafin shares with African Development Magazine about the festivals and legacy.

“World Sango Festival is annually hosted in Oyo and our late father, Oba Adeyemi spent the latter years of his reign showcasing to the larger world on account of the historical significance of Sango to the socio-cultural development of Oyo and Yoruba land as a whole. Kabiyesi  Adeyemi III had sacrificed and resolved to give the World Sango Festival  global appeal with projection of magnetizing many more individuals and groups from foreign nations to Yoruba Land.” She said

However, the Sango Festival was included in the UNESCO inventory in 2017, only in 2019 it was submitted for nomination and finally in 2022 the full process has been completed for enlistment on the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

World Sango Festival is the most significant in Oyo, as it is deeply linked to the survival of the people’s identity, culture and history. The annual Sango festival represents the community’s linkage and constant connection with its ancestral world, appreciation of the productivity season, and reaffirms the spiritual power of the Throne of Oyo.

It remains a socio-cultural mechanism of extreme importance for unity, mass participation, the sense of belonging and common identity of the Yoruba people. This is also a social practice, rituals and festive events deeply linked to social, religious, cultural and political institutions. It is a fundamental element for the maintenance of the identity of the city, unity among people since time immemorial and the survival of the heart and mind of Yoruba culture. It is the maintenance of coexistence with the ancestral world and nature.

Dr. Paula and Late Alaafin, Oba Adeyemi III

The festival lasts ten days during the month of August with traditional practices and intensive beliefs that accommodate many cultural characteristics, and it is the period of heavy rains that marks the beginning of a new cycle of productivity season and a bond of renewal between the Alaafin and Sango, the ancestral spiritual world.

It is a festival that reflects the traditional diversity of its environment. Various activities take place such as traditional prayers, rituals, declamation of oral poetry to the rhythm of traditional drums, followed by traditional dance to evoke the ancestors and the exchange of traditional gifts between the royal palace and the main Shrine of Sango Koso.

This is also the period that the Orisa pilgrims will invoke the mercy and divine guidance of Sango divinity through the Olodumare. For many it is a time for devotion and supplication through belief, sharing of love and respect to the Will of Olodumare . With fervent hope and strong faith in Olodumare , all Olorisa pilgrims will receive the divine grace of Olodumare.

Sango priests are expected to be at the prayer ceremony with the blessing ceremony for the offering of bitter kola, silence and mutual co- existence. They are expected to sit by the shrine and devotionally pray to the Olodumare, while some priests will carry the bitter kola in the Calabash, open it and spray it with water. There will be a sense of fulfillment to those who make it all the way.

The highlight of the Festival takes place on the first and last day. The first day is the celebration of the Traditional NEW YEAR (Odún Ìbílè Tuntun), which begins with the new 13 monthly cycle of the Yoruba Indigenous Calendar, when the High Chief Mogba Koso accompanied by the chants of the sacred Sango Pipe along Koso performs the sacred rites to Sàngó at the main sacred shrine at Koso.

The Last day is another import day when the population of the city gathers in Koso and eagerly awaits the arrival of Elegun  Sango Koso, leading the crowd towards the palace for the final spiritual blessing of the feast. The Alaafin withdraws from the palace, as it is strictly forbidden for him to see the manifested ancestral spirit of Sango.

The Festival is a particular expression and probably the most distinctive of the intangible heritage of the city of Oyo uniting all forms of knowledge. As such, it covers the full range of techniques, skills and crafts through which the cultural values, customs and traditions of Oyo people manifest them. As an indigenous society, traditions are perpetuated as a generational legacy and transmitted through oral transmission.

The Yoruba language is still used to convey the linguistic values incorporated from the ancestral identity of the traditional community in general. For example, reciting the traditional “Oriki Sango Pipe” (praise poems) as a way of codifying historical advance in an interpretable and intelligible way, is a clear example of the rich oral heritage related to the ancestor Sango, and indispensable for the realization of the Festival. Learning “Oriki Sango Pipe” poems, songs, prayers, liturgical rites, dance, natural medicinal production, divination, percussion and even dance starts from a young age. To ensure that parts of this rich and complex oral legacy, performing arts and learning are not lost, traditional families impart their knowledge through the informal method, teaching their male and female children and other community members. This learning system is the basis of the successful resistance of Oyo traditions.

 

Legacy continues….

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Culture & Tourism

OONI to host festival of Alaraagbo Deity in Ile-Ife

All roads lead to the cradle city of Ile-Ife as the African foremost monarch,
Arole Oduduwa Olofin Adimula, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, the Ooni of Ife will on Sunday 26 June, 2022 play host to African Traditional Religion faithfuls and guests expected from all over the world for the 2022 edition of the annual WORLD ALARAAGBO FESTIVAL
In a statement signed by Director, Media & Public Affair,Otunba Moses Olafare, It was annouced that the festival scheduled to hold on Sunday at the Ile Oodua Palace of the Ooni of Ife will also mark the official installation of Chief (Mrs) Abike Osunbunmi Ifasemilore, an Osogbo born Ibadan based Osun priestess who is the President of Omilere Alaragbo Global Foundation, and CEO of Gberanle Herbal Mixture and Adoleen Herbal Balm as Yeye Alaraagbo Oodua.
The annual festival had its maiden edition in Ile-Ife on 3rd of June last year celebrating Orisa Egbe known as Alaraagbo being a deity of covenant fulfillment and a lively spiritual entity that believes in people making good their promises made in heaven.
Like other deities; Olokun, Osun, Osara, Ogun, Oranfe, Orunmila, Obatala, Oduduwa, this Orisa Alaragbo was among the 401 super human beings seconded to the world to populate the first dynasty of mankind known as Ife Oodaye.
The 3 day festival from Friday 24th to Sunday 26th June 2022 is in fulfillment of the Ooni Ogunwusi’s vision and mission to showcase our traditional culture to the world with a view to advancing cultural tourism as veritable means for economic development.
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Africa

ANNOUNCEMENT: AFRIK Ultimate Hero Search to Start Audition July 1- August 30, 2022- Organiser

AUHS organiser has announced that the online audition will start in July and run through August 30, 2022.

The announcement was made recently during a briefing held in Lagos, by the convener, movie producer, and host of the new TV reality show, Thompson Ukeki.

Arrangements have been made for the premiere of AFRIK Ultimate Hero Search (AUHS), an initiative of a Nigerian movie producer, Thompson Ukeki, which aims to create a platform for multi-tasking Nigerian youths to hone their cooking skills and showcase African dishes and culinary culture.

According to him,  AUHS online audition will start in July and run through August 30, 2022. The show will commence on September 1 and end on September 30, 2022. The online audition will take place in all the state capitals across the country, including Enugu, Oyo, Lagos, Ogun, Ekiti, Abuja, Ondo, Edo, Kaduna, Rivers, Benue, Delta, Imo, Uyo, Jos, C/River, Anambra, Kwara, Ebonyi, Osun and Katsina States.

“With 30 contestants and six local chefs as judges, the show will be viewed all over Nigeria through Dstv, Gotv and Startimes channels with contestants from different backgrounds living together, undergoing rigorous training daily and carrying out tasks,” he said.

Ukeki said the show was aimed at promoting cultural decency, enlightening Nigerian youths and encouraging them to focus on their dreams and aspirations.

He noted that one of the objectives of the reality show is to improve the wellbeing of the average Nigerian youth, help to build capacity for multi-talented Nigerians.

He said, “This show is targeted at youths who are multi-talented, but not sure of their cooking skills direction. It will also enable them to gain access to what the society has denied them in terms of religion, ethnicity, responsibilities, family pride and life balancing effect.

”AFRIK Ultimate Hero Search makes a strong statement, showing that the world can be properly entertained without an iota of nudity and promiscuity, which have characterised our recent reality shows.”

“In the history of every nation, there are times when products and brands like this come up. First when I was accosted, I was very reluctant to support this programme, knowing very well that we abuse brands, and for me, anything Nigerian is my project.

“I would like to say that we the organisers of this programme have made history at a time when we are talking of the worrisome state of morals, morale and the upbringing of our youth in a country like Nigeria. The AFRIK  Hero Ultimate Search is a wakeup call and an indication that there is hope for this country.

“There is also the saying that some men like women a lot. Any man who does not like women cannot get a good wife. Because to get a good wife, you must know who is a woman. So for me, AUHS is a unique brand that has come to tell us that when others are developing programmes that show nudity among others,  we  are here to bring the best out of our youths.’

”I know that this is just meant to be a very fantastic event, a fantastic show. Which is going to bring you the real house hands as this course is going to encourage a lot of youths.

“And if you have not started at all, you begin to find yourself learning to do something. This is a very lovely initiative.

Let us believe in our African food and cultural heritage. The New reality TV show, AUHS, is to promote our cultural heritage and decency values.”

To be part of the historic event; Kindly log on to: https://www.africultimateherosearch.com

Registration is Free

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