Thursday, August 13, 2015

Topical issue : A Young African Thought on Cultural Change (Yoruba Angle).

The reason for this post is for young Africans to share their views on traditions but not to condemn. I really am scared to know that one is purposely created to live and die for another. Read And Share His Thoughts.

Dear cultural brethren,

I am an African, I am a Nigerian, I am from Osun state, I am an advocate of cultural propagation and re-orientation, I believe in the future of Africa. I have followed with reserved humor, the recent outburst about the ABOBAKU of ilé - ife as declared missing on the demise of Ooni of Ife. Though the council of Chiefs is yet to make an official announcement of such case, but if it is true, this is what we have to say... It is a character in traditional yoruba setting for a king to be buried alongside ABOBAKU and some other victims of the oro rite. This is to ensure the smooth transition of the King into the journey of uniting with ancestral beings. As informed by wole Soyinka in THE FOURTH STAGE, Africans celebrate death especially if it is royal. Life and existence operate on the cyclical levels of the unborn, living, the dead and the stage of transition. For the passage of the king to become easier and for the community to experience more peace after the king's demise, the ABOBAKU is traditionally obliged to lead the final transition rite. Thus, this transition is timed as most events in Africa have their respective execution times. In a case where the ABOBAKU absconds or refuses to perform this rite of strong will, there is a notion that such community will experience calamities. This issue occupies the major thematic preoccupation in Wole Soyinka's DEATH AND THE KING'S HORSEMAN. In this fantastic dramatic piece, Soyinka satirically reveals the cultural realities of being an African, particularly being a Yoruba. He gives a new dimension to the concept of tragedy in tandem with Africa's Socio-Cultural collective understanding. While Pilkins intensifies his attempt to disrupt the "due process", there still exist manifestation of communal essence as the king's Horseman's son takes up the responsibility of standing in for his father, whose captivity is as a result of his self - incurred crisis through unnecessary delay and intention to play on the gods by "traveling light". In this post - modern age, one of the major issues in cultural discourse is for us as Africans to embark on a journey of cultural propagation and promotion. In this case, the question is, should we still subscribe to the king's horseman tradition? Though culture is the people's total way of life, establishing itself across all spheres and levels of human existence, the main point is, the people make culture, culture does not make the people. Beliefs, norms and ideologies survive on the pedestal of people's ACCEPTANCE, and without that, the strength of cultural values fades. Unlike Kurunmi who died on the efforts of sustaining a tradition, it is the concern of this writer and many stakeholders that the tradition of king's Horseman's death should adapt to change. The concerned traditional heads should device human-friendly alternatives. This is particularly for us as a continent to meet up and relate with post modern realities.

Bello, I. O Social Commentator, Critic, Arts administrator

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