A former governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, has urged Nigerians to emulate late German researcher, Ulli Beier and Austrian-born Osun priestess, Susanne Wenger, by leading self-sacrificing lives and taking pride in the richness of their cultures. Prince Oyinlola made the plea, on Thursday, in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, at the 2019 Annual Ulli Beier Lecture and Workshop organised by the Centre for Black Culture and International Understanding (CBCIU).
The programme, which also featured the 2019 Susanne Wenger Memorial Lecture, attracted national and international participants. Oyinlola, who is the chairman of the Board of Trustees of CBCIU, said the works of Beier and Wenger had put Osun State on the world map and contributed largely to the state’s economic, cultural and tourism development. The former governor, who was represented by a former Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Kazeem Adio, promised that the centre would continue to perform optimally and live up to its mandate. The guest speaker, Professor Olutayo Adesina, in his lecture entitled “The Essence of Ulli Beier,” commended the CBCIU for taking the front seat in reviving the “eroding historical and cultural background of the Yoruba race.”
He urged Yoruba youths to emulate the selfless lifestyle of the German researcher. “In Nigeria of today, there are three people; I, me and myself. We are now at a point where selfishness is the order of the day. Until we retrace our steps, the society will continue to suffer,” he said. Adesina, who is the Head, Department of History, University of Ibadan, in noting that the uniqueness of the Nigerian culture was what attracted Ulli Beier to it, called on the youth to always respect and cherish what belongs to them.
“Let me also state here that history is not about the past alone. It is a total way of our lives. More so, the heritage we are preserving or protecting is not only for tourism but it is about us. We are exactly how we present culture and heritage to the public,” the don said.
A former Dean, Faculty of Arts, University of Ilorin, Professor Oyeronke Olademo, delivered a lecture on the life of Susanne Wenger at the event. Highlights of the programme were cultural displays by a number of troupes, presentation of awards to personalities who have distinguished themselves in the promotion of African culture across the globe.