Arts  

At Adire Heritage Festival, participants lament Nigerians’ taste for foreign culture

A stand at the first Adire Heritage Festival

A stand at the first Adire Heritage Festival

It was a showcase of culture and African identity at the Adire Heritage Festival organised by Sisi Adire at National Museum, Onikan Lagos. The festival, which centred on the preservation of African cultural identity and the re-orientation of Nigerians to the significance of their native culture, took place last week.

The speaker, Mr. Felix Banya, bemoaned the negative impact of globalization to native cultures. He cited examples from various prominent people such as the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Kofi Anan, who saw globalization as “a false god hoisted on weaker states.”Banya also described globalization as “a foreign invasion that destroys local cultures, regional tastes and national traditions.”

He lamented the computer illiteracy of the average Nigerian teacher and spoke extensively on how the lack of quality infrastructure severely limited the job opportunities for today’s youth.

Other issues discussed included dynamism and the spread of political ideas and systems and how Nigeria appeared left behind, open market competition and how to cope and survive, information technology and how to integrate it into the country’s cultural values and the world as a global village and how to stay float and not be swallowed up in that village or to what extent to participate in it.

Participants at the event also expressed their views on the negative effects of foreign culture on local ones. One of the participants was of the opinion that foreign culture has been successful in luring African peoples away from their own culture due to the incentives embedded it that attract Africans. Another participant was of the view that the source of African alienation from their own culture came from among the people.

The participant, Mr. James, who claimed to have the largest cultural photo museum in Nigeria with over 30,000 pictures, observed that Nigerians are more focused on what they stand to gain instead of what they can do for the betterment of their society. He backed up his observation using the recent visit of the CEO of Facebook, Mr. Mark Zuckerburg, to Nigeria. He stated that the aim of the visit was not for profit making, but to positively impact lives, something Nigerians hardly do for young people at home.

Another speaker said before the invasion of foreign culture, Africans already had ways of communicating, stressing that globalization was rapidly eroding the tradition and culture of the people. He advised participants o be culturally awake so as to preserve the nation’s culture.

Various stands were set up within the museum compound where a variety of beautiful locally made items such as beads, baskets, bags, clothes and other materials of their ilk were put on display.

The organizers, Sisi Adire, also addressed the attendees on the aim of the organization, which is to empower Nigerians through the use of adire. He also gave appreciation to all the attendees for participating.



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