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'Africa Must Protect Rich Cultural Heritage'
 
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29-Oct-2009  
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Professor Akwasi Asabere-Ameyaw, Vice Chancellor of the University of Education, Winneba, has called on Africans to reactivate the cultural values that helped their ancestors to protect, maintain and develop the environment.

To achieve this objective, he asked African leaders to stop blind copying of foreign cultures that tend to pollute the rich cultural heritage of the continent. Prof. Asabere-Ameyaw was speaking as Special Guest at the annual Olokun festival of the chiefs and people of Badagry in the Lagos State of Nigeria.

He expressed appreciation about the rationale behind the festival, which was meant to protect the culture and traditions of the ancestors of Yoruba. The Vice Chancellor praised the founders of the festival for their excellent vision and appealed to all Yorubas and other ethnic groups in Nigeria to welcome the initiative as a step towards the reformation of the African culture.

Prof. Asabere-Ameyaw cited certain cultural practices in Ghana which effectively protected the Ghanaian ecology, including rivers for centuries, adding that in recent times the country was suffering from numerous environmental challenges such as droughts, fierce bushfires, drying up of rivers and streams, and depletion of virgin and secondary forest reserves.

The Vice Chancellor said that it was about time Africans took concrete and more decisive steps to correct what he described as cultural genocide, which was seriously undermining the future of the African continent.

Prof Asabere-Ameyaw said every culture had something to contribute to the totality of the world culture. He expressed regret that some cultures are contemplating the decimation of other customs, through sophisticated propaganda and other forms of deceit and histrionics.

Prof. Asabere-Ameyaw cited colonialism, neo-colonialism and imperialism as examples of attempts to decimate other cultural values. Dr. Otunba Gani Adams, Chief Promoter of the Olokun festival, described as a huge challenge the desperate attempts by the youth in Africa to copy everything foreign and Western without looking back to their own cultural heritage.

He asked the youth to consider the socio-economic implications involved in copying blindly. Dr. Adams said the essence of the Olokun festival was to sensitise and inculcate into the Yoruba youth a deeper sense of cultural feelings and belongingness in order to reactivate and maintain the useful cultural heritage bequeathed them by their ancestors.

He expressed satisfaction that the festival was gradually promoting a revolutionary cultural revival across the Yoruba land. The theme for this year's festival was: "Exploring the ideas of African Culture for positive social change."
 
 
 
 
 

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