Wednesday, 9 September 2015


The word culture has always been subjected to definitions, which more or less brings it to some difficulty in understanding its context and meaning.   The very classification of the definition and concept of culture is a retrace of the root word for it.  Its Latin origin associates it with "cultura" or "colere", the past participle of cult which means “cultivate or “inhabit.”  In general, culture is the accumulated generations of all that is excellent about a group of people in the various forms of their arts and material objects, manners, customs, ways of living, behavioral patterns,  habits, systems of knowledge, beliefs, language, experience in terms of conquering and nurturing nature, their environment and all their intra and inter societal relationships.  It includes values that differentiate good from evil, right from wrong, natural from unnatural occurrences. All these issues of the concept of culture and the cultivation of the societal norms and forms get socially transmitted, learnt and imitated from generations to generations, then ultimately form the tradition of societies. 

Generally, culture manifests and is recognised by those who share its forms, norms, elements and values.  The way culture manifests and is recognized within any shared group, is found in words, gestures, arts & objects and heroes – past, present, real or fictitious.   Culture is a prized characteristic of any society or any group of people and may be practiced by way of rituals which are considered socially essential. Culture manifests in the manner of greetings, ways by which respect is paid to others and in religious and social ceremonies. Hence, no society’s culture is superior or an inferior to another, since the various characteristics of culture differ from one society to the other.   This therefore brings one to lament over the way our various cultures in Nigeria are being manifestly disregarded, eroded and jettisoned for the culture of seemingly superior societies.  Our cultures are indeed being subsumed for the so-called superior societies of Europe and America.  They are being neglected and demonized. Our languages are gradually disappearing. People generally no longer communicate with their children in their local languages and would rather bring up their children with foreign languages.  Our value system of differentiating what is good from bad, what is right from wrong is also being super-imposed by the so-called superior culture of the Western world. 

Our cultural practices, being generally ritualistic, is very different from the system of congregational worship of the culture of the Western world. The lack of understanding of this basic difference, has probably given rise to the complete denigration of our culture for western established religious with many social institutions in our mist, reeling out derogatory remarks about our culture. Unfortunately our people have generally bought into this derogation and denigration.  This is in spite of how lowly our people and society are rated by the people whose cultures we are shamelessly preferring.
 To demonstrate how lowly we were regarded by the British, I hereby offer you the opinion of Lord Frederic John Dealty Lugard expressed in 1926. He is our country’s first governor general and I quote; “In character and temperament, the typical African of this race-type is a happy, thriftless, excitable person, lacking in self-control, discipline and foresight. Naturally courageous, and naturally courteous and polite, full of personal vanity……………………. he suffers little from the apprehension for the future, or grief for the past. His mind is far nearer to the animal world than that of the European or Asiatic……………….. Through the ages , the African appears to have evolved no organized religious creed, and though some tribes appears to believe in a deity, the religious sense seldom rises  above pantheistic animalism and seems  more often to take the form of a vague dread  of the supernatural…………………… He lacks the power of organization, and is conspicuously deficient in the management and control alike of men or business. He loves the display of power, but fails to realize its responsibility……………….. he will work hard with a less incentive than most race ”.
This is representative of how we have been held by Caucasian philosophers since about 500Bc with Homer who stated that “Africans belong to the race of savages and monstrous tribes who are dog eared and headless….. they support their eyes in their chest
When we were under the rule of the Britain empire, some of the things they employed to colonize our mental state were religion, the law and the guns.  Religion is defined as any system of belief and worship of higher unseen controlling power or powers with emotion and morality connected therewith.  During the colonization of Nigeria by the British, they indoctrinated our people into equating our culture with religion.  To control our minds, they cleverly personified, encapsulated and branded all the elements of our culture as religiously demonic and unfortunately by this, we have and are by this, distancing ourselves from our own culture. Unfortunately   we have not generally realized that the spiritual aspect of our culture and practices do not equate to religion as defined in western culture. This is because, the spiritual aspect of our cultural life is not based on any system of their congregational worship. As of fact, our culture is only associated with ritualism of our deities.  Ritualism in our culture, relates to engagement in a series of rites in the manner of performing divine ceremonies to our deities.  In our culture, different deities are symbols of divinity which are messengers of God Almighty. These deities intercede with God on our behalf. Rituals in our culture are devoid of congregational worship, but rather they generally involve festivals and ritualistic activities at isolated locations in series of rites by few people from time to time. This is distinct from that of western and Arabic cultures where their religions are based on congregational worships which happen in pre-determined times, of regular congregational religious services where adorations are paid directly to God Almighty by large member of people in agreed specific locations solely identified for such purpose.  
During the interpretation of the English Bible into Yoruba language by Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther, the nearest he could find relating to Satan (the devil) was Esu.  Whereas Esu is not Satan in Yoruba culture.  In Yoruba culture, the devil is believed to reside in every human being and does not exist as an entity by itself. In the Yoruba culture, Esu is one of the deities (disciples) of God, or one of the archangels of God whose job is the enforcer of God’s justice,  and who is sent by God (Eledumare) on errands to punish the offenders of God Almighty.  Bishop Crowther erroneously substituted Satan in his interpretation of the English bible for Esu  and unfortunately to this day, this misconception of Esu, is continued and promoted by western and Arabic religious writers, followers, stakeholders, institutions and religious houses of worship. Our gullibility as a people in accepting this indoctrinating misconception of the British needs to be contrasted to that of Indians in India, who are another set of people and country of historical similarity to ours.
As of contrast, India was colonized by the British Empire in the year 1600 and did not attain independence until 1947.  Thus, the British ruled India for a total of 347 years (compare 99 for Nigeria). Yet the culture of the Indians in Hinduism remains intact till date.  As at date, 80% of Indians practice their Hindu culture and religion with only 18% being Moslems and 2% Christians.  Now, fast-forward home to Nigeria.
The current entity called Nigeria was colonized by the British in 1861 and given independence in 1960, a period of only 99 years. Yet our culture has been denigrated, demonized and belittled to the extent that our people generally regard our culture as inferior and demonic and would rather preferably associate with the culture of the British which ruled us for only 99 years as against 347 years of India. 
The situation is so painful when visits are made to our churches with their stained glass artworks of angels produced and displayed to promote the Christian religion to their congregations.  All the holy elements, objects, people and angels are painted as Caucasians; there are no black angels in the stained glass artworks in the Nigerian churches for their black congregations.  One then begins to wonder whether it ever occurs to these black Nigerian worshipers of these churches, whether they are not deluding themselves in hoping to go to heaven through Christianity where no black angels reside.  

All through our history, the Caucasian race have programmed us as a people to feel inferior through consistent Christian religious manipulation to exploit and enslave us.  An example, can be cited in history of the letter of King Leopold II of Belgium to the colonial missionaries to Africa, dated 1883, under his seal of office. I quote the content of this letter:

“Reverends, Fathers and Dear Compatriots: The task that is given to fulfill is very delicate and requires much tact. You will go certainly to evangelize, but your evangelization must inspire above all Belgium interests. Your principal objective in our mission in the Congo is never to teach the niggers to know God, this they know already. They speak and submit to a Mungu, one Nzambi, one Nzakomba, and what else I don't know. They know that to kill, to sleep with someone else's wife, to lie and to insult is bad. Have courage to admit it; you are not going to teach them what they know already. Your essential role is to facilitate the task of administrators and industrials, which means you will go to interpret the gospel in the way it will be the best to protect your interests in that part of the world. For these things, you have to keep watch on disinteresting our savages from the richness that is plenty [in their underground. To avoid that, they get interested in it, and make you murderous] competition and dream one day to overthrow you. Your knowledge of the gospel will allow you to find texts ordering, and encouraging your followers to love poverty, like “Happier are the poor because they will inherit the heaven” and, “It's very difficult for the rich to enter the kingdom of God.” You have to detach from them and make them disrespect everything which gives courage to affront us. I make reference to their Mystic System and their war fetish – warfare protection – which they pretend not to want to abandon, and you must do everything in your power to make it disappear. Your action will be directed essentially to the younger ones, for they won't revolt when the recommendation of the priest is contradictory to their parent's teachings. The children have to learn to obey what the missionary recommends, who is the father of their soul. You must singularly insist on their total submission and obedience, avoid developing the spirit in the schools, teach students to read and not to reason. There, dear patriots, are some of the principles that you must apply. You will find many other books, which will be given to you at the end of this conference. Evangelize the niggers so that they stay forever in submission to the white colonialists, so they never revolt against the restraints they are undergoing. Recite every day – “Happy are those who are weeping because the kingdom of God is for them.”

The above letter to the Caucasian missionaries posted to Africa written by king Leopold, shows the real intention of the Christian missionary journey to Africa. The letter was exposed to the world by Mr. Moukouani Muikwani Bukoko who per chance in 1935, while working in the Congo, bought a second hand Bible from a Belgian priest that forgot a copy of the written speech under the crest of King Leopold II in the Bible.
An example of a society that did not allow religious super-imposition on their culture are the Japanese.  The Japanese Shoguns, clearly realized the danger of Japanese conversion to Christianity by forming a 5th column within the Japanese society and people.  This 5th column was loyal to their co-religionist in Europe only for the purpose of ridding Japan of the danger of the imposition of Western religion on their society. Thus in the late 16th century, the Shoguns began their expulsion of Portuguese and Spanish missionaries on the grounds that they were forcing Japanese to become Christians, teaching their disciples to wreck Japanese temples, taking and trading in slaves, etc. 

Indeed in 1956, it became clear to Japanese authorities that Christianization had been used as a prelude for Spanish conquests of other lands and it quickly dawned on them that the 5th column loyal to Rome and controlled by the priest of the foreign religion was a clear danger to their sovereignty. Hence soon after, the persecution and suppression of Japanese Christians began. That is how Japan saved its population from the indoctrination and colonization of the mentality of its people by the western missionaries.  Thus as of  today, Japan is made up of about 129 million people, majority of which remain Shintoists because they did not allow the missionaries to denigrate their Buddhist and Shintoist culture.
Come back home, our society is predominantly Christians and Muslims. Yet it is these two religions that enslaved our people for about 400 years.  In fact, even when the British had abolished slavery in Black Africa in 1823, the Muslim Arabs still continued the trade.  They continued the trans-Saharan slave trade to supply Black Africans as slaves to white slave masters in America and defied the efforts of anti-slavery movements in Europe and America. The slavery of our people continues till today.  Except that this time, the slavery is that of the mind and our economy.  

To avoid being accused of departing from the topic of this paper, which is the Impact of Promoting Culture in National Development, I will now focus on considering the implications of culture to our national development and in doing so, limit my discourse of culture to the human accumulation of institutions, mores and ideational constructs that govern societies and  nations.   I will in the first instance, sketch an analogy in my approach, to the true understanding of culture and how the word, “culture “lodges into a larger concept of national development. 
So many years after God created the world, what nature offered humans was just about sufficient.  Society had no need to cook, little need to fetch water, harvest oranges nor do anything outside gathering what God created within our immediate environment to feed our small family units. After the discovery of the plough Society gradually grew into more enlarged family units, such that what it could gather from nature’s immediate offering, became inadequate for its family needs and purposes.  This seeming condition of need became one, where the human brain was put to task to find ways to overcome its dependence on nature.  Many inventions of today, were created by man over time, in such situations of increased societal need.  Communities grew larger and larger and there was need to satisfy man’s needs across distant lands.  It is in such circumstances that man-made knives from sharpened rock flints were used to cut logs of wood.  These logs of wood were then used as transportation medium for heavy items from one place to another.  On a set of many logs, would be placed heavy objects.  In this setting, the logs with the heavy objects became rollers, with one last log taken to the front as soon as the objects rolled over it.  Gradually, the objects got to their destinations. This is one of the ways by which the Egyptians built their incredulous pyramids.
Thus in general, what nature could not offer society, man found ways out by tasking human intellect for solutions.  In primitive society, such as in the above examples, what nature could not offer, society created to meet its needs.  These societal solutions brought about two distinct ideas co-existing together.   These are made of, the world of human-made culture and nature inherited culture of society. The nature inherited culture are those inherited without society’s interposition or involvement, which constitutes man’s heritage.  The human made cultures of society are those cultures cultivated by man, which in many instances are placed against nature’s many gifts. 

 In general, the primitive approach of man, in early society provides us an insight into how culture and society developed to accumulate ideas such as material things, artifacts and concepts and institutions.
Considering the state of competence of early society, what was a most primitive way of moving items would become the forerunner of the motorized vehicle in the track of the development of culture.  For, not too long, it occurred to humanity that those logs of wood that needed relocation from the back to the front, in a mobile trajectory could be approached in another way by making roller discs from logs, which are connected with slim strong wooden members.  A pair of such constructions could thus bear loads that could now be rolled with twine or pushed to roll on and on.  With time, it turned out that animals could be trained to roll such transportation devices.  This was how the Cart was invented from the ancestry of mobile logs.  It was not too long again, that it was discovered that the animal could be replaced with a motorized device now pulling discs of metal radial tires.  A motor vehicle was then eventually invented.  The reminiscence of the way the horse was useful in this regard is responsible in defining engines with such terminologies as five horse power, etc, etc.

I have spent time so far discussing what may appear a narrative regarding culture.  This is because definitions appear to limit the ambiences that bring to prominence what a concept or terminology stands for.  What the explanation above thus stands for therefore, opens up for us, the understanding that culture is a human institution with structure, as far as human intellect can allow, which is constantly built upon to facilitate better society for humans.  Culture accommodates past accumulations of human institutions, industry and conventions, which we refer to as heritage.  The above understanding is the reason why I interpret culture, as the cumulative material and mental deposits that are outstanding with a group of people. These may include but is not limited to all things made by humans, which, as George Kubler (1962) notes, are hard-worn solutions to problems that confront society.  Things made by the human, on the other hand, implicate the accumulation of symbols, manners, customs, habits, system of knowledge, beliefs, modes of communication, ethics and mores, recreations, procreation, etc.
The above are usually socially shared or transmitted under what we generally regard as tradition.  As we all know, with the analogy of the development of the automobile, which I have earlier mentioned it shows, that there is nothing static about tradition.  Tradition could then mean ‘translation’.  This is because when we take tradition as convention, it has a follow-up consequence, which is innovation.  This is what we refer to as development.  Two conventions or instincts of humans, support the above assumption.  In philosophical parlance “to live is to change and to have changed often is to be perfect.”  Change comes in the guise of the aspiration of an age to create a difference between it and what is inherited from past ages.  Without landmark impact, an era would pass without impact and may never be remembered for what it added to cultural heritage.  Another cause for change relates to the Senghorian saying that “we are all cultural half-castes.”  It simply implies that we also depend on others outside our culture to change.  Thus, change that re-energizes culture comes as a product of intercultural dialogue and negotiations.
So far in this text, development is seen within a framework that points to human development that is qualitative and not quantitative.  While qualitative growth leads to value-added or better quality of life, a development that is quantitative simply addresses contexts that point to development.  In a nutshell, to develop is to exhibit a progression that is driven by perfection and better life offerings.
The question now is, how does a cultural outlook occasion national development and cultural progress?
We should in answer to this question, be looking at the factor called tourism.  A tourist is that individual who leaves the comfort of his abode and culture to another in order to experience what is not available to him or her.  This is key to why tourism occurs at all.  This implies that when society is ordered and packages itself and its culture well, it is bound to attract people who have come to experience its uniqueness.  In recent times, Nigeria has been suffering from economic hemorrhage of all sorts.  Such condition is partly funded by the penchant of Nigerians to engage in educational, recreational and health tourism .The other tourist engagements by Nigerians worthy of note is the need for holidays and shopping.  When properly harnessed, good cultural and heritage management instigates tourism.  This is found in the way the creative enterprise of a nation is packaged and cared for.  The current state of our national heritage sites and conservation of hardware heritage in Nigeria is worrisome and does not promote either domestic or international tourism.
In a world without borders, or in this age of globalization, the rate of change owing to intense cultural trading and dialogue would appear to blur or obfuscate local and national differences.     In general, societal cultural civilizations have continued to remain stimulating and also generate cultural uniqueness.  This has not been so with us in Nigeria. 
 Nigeria is blessed with very rich cultural heritage.  The cartographic boundary known as Nigeria, hosts the most diverse culture and works of creative art in Africa.  These works are not only diverse; but are also rich in content.  This truth remains, such that when the late keeper of our national heritage, Professor Ekpo Eyo wrote the book entitled Two Thousand Years of Nigerian Art, he underestimated grossly, the time value of Nigerian art.   The contemporary sustenance of the avid and robust practice in creative arts in Nigeria today, is being sustained predominantly by the private sector individuals and institutions.   When the economy of Nigeria was recently rebased, it factored into it the impact of the film industry which is also mostly private sector driven.  Its impact at about 2% of our GDP as rebased, remains impressive.  Unfortunately, the exclusion of a commensurate value that relates to the visual arts was left out of this rebasement.  This is in spite of the real and the new dynamics that now define the visual art market in Nigeria.
Driven predominantly by the private sector, the Nigerian art market in general, has sustained cultural tourism.  But there is the need for government to play its expected regulatory and developmental policy role, in monitoring and collating data for an effective data base and develop a network of institutions and infrastructure to complement private sector initiative.   Mundane challenges such as insecurity, lack of good road networks, power supply, good transportation system, poor recreational hospitality and leisure facilities, the absence of a published annual calendar of cultural festivals etc, etc, continue to hamper a robust tourism performance of Nigeria in the world scene.
Nigeria once had an enviable and very functional National Theater that housed some collection of modern and contemporary works of art.  Currently, a great controversy over the propriety of the edifice is raging.  The art holdings there has been left to depreciate.  As at today, with an enviable and robust presence in contemporary art practice, Nigeria lacks a national edifice – a national gallery – for the display of its own national collection of works of art.  It is not that government should necessarily solely fund such institutions, there are public private sector partnership strategies available to achieve the establishment of such national institutions.   
The Nigerian museums managed by the National Commission for Museum and Monuments are currently in sorry states of disrepair and comatose in their vision to drive cultural awareness and heritage management.  There is indeed the need to reinvent the attitude and perception of agencies responsible for the visibility of the nation’s cultural holdings.  These are National Commission for Museums and Monuments, National Council for Art and Culture and the National Gallery of Art.  They appear to have become their own problems by succumbing to the debilitating bug that now drives consciousness in Nigeria.  The effect of the bug is more dangerous than the way cancer destroys the cells it takes a hold on.
What must be told, however, by way of reiteration, is that tourism is funded by a lot of factors which a developing nation like Nigeria lacks.  I have itemised these to include among other things, security, good power supply, well developed and active cultural heritage architecture and sustaining activity, good and efficient transactional platforms of diverse and efficient means of commuting across space and place.  Nigeria is definitely not in want of culturally rich heritage.  My offer is that, the reason why Nigeria appears unattractive is self-inflicted.  The accompanying statistics in the attached table to this paper, show that as at end 2013, France topped the list of tourists destinations in the world.  The advantage of France over other nations of tourist destinations, is the stability of the factors earlier mentioned. The Nigerian situation can be improved upon.   The French have invested over the years in the development and cultivation of cultural embodiments that attract tourists from every parts of the world.  Such cultural embodiments, include but are not limited to,  the Eiffel Tower, the Museum de Branly, the Louvre , the Museum D'Orsay, the Rodin Museum, the Picasso museum, the Griven Museum, the Aviation Museum, the Military museum, various rich  French Chateaux, the various wine growing regions of the Bordeaux and Nice  among others. All these leads to France, as at end 2013, attracting 85 million tourists per annum visiting its cultural edifications compared to its population of only 65 million people. This leads to about 30% visiting tourists over its population.
Another country of such tourism importance as at 2013 is Spain, which attracts about 29% more tourists than its population.  
The UAE as at end 2013, where Nigerians, annually  troop to in droves, has only 9 million population but attracts over 10 million tourists per annum to this former predominantly desert region that has been developed within 30years to attract tourists from all over the world.  What do these nations have that attract people to them? They have cultivated cultural edifices and have developed events around their God-given cultural heritage sites. They have also created man-made museums art edifices and cultural monuments.
I have had to do a study based on some 20 leading tourists’ nations in the world and in that study which I took from Wikipedia, I found that as at end 2013, on the average of these 20 countries, attract 43% of their population as tourists per annum.  When we extrapolate this into Nigeria's population, if only and if our country could take tourism seriously, rather than engaging in corruption laden and foolery of holding annual cultural festivals in Abuja, then our country would be attracting about 75 million tourists visitors per annum to its shores. I have also found from this study, that as at end 2013, on the average, tourist visitors spend about 1,250 USD per annum per tourist.  When this is multiplied by about 75 million tourist potential for Nigeria, our country can generate about 94 billion USD from tourism per annum.  To achieve this, all it takes is for Nigeria to take its tourism seriously.  Redevelop tourism facilities in Calabar and Obudu cattle ranch, the two museums in Calabar, redevelop Olumo rock and the Itoku area of Abeokuta, redevelop the Gurara Falls in Jos and create more zoo, etc, etc. Build two museums of modern art in Lagos and Abuja, refurbish existing museums of antiquities and create water tourism edifices around our internal water ways and Atlantic shore line. Build cultural monuments and cultivate cultural activities around them all over our country, train and develop a lack crop of tourist guides, re-orientate people into appreciating tourism as a great platform for our national economic development etc, etc.

Such recommendations if effected would lead to creating employment for the teeming unemployed of over 60% youths in our population.
I urge us all to notice that the nations that have prospered in the world have done so by integrating their culture into their national development. An example is china, which is a predominantly Hinduist, Buddhist and a Taoist society and is the world's second largest economy. They have successfully resisted any foreign imposition, debasement and erosion of their culture.
India is predominantly 80% Hinduist and it is one of the leading economies of the world.  Japan, of 129 million people with the greatest majority of its population being Shintoists is the third richest country in the world.  America has refused to allow others to change its culture, not even the French which occupied a portion of that country at some time in its history and neither the British. Even their spoken and written English is different from that of the Standard British English. They have retained their culture and have grown and developed to be the leading economy and power in the world.

Tourism has definite advantages towards development and midwifing good governance, stable institutions and infrastructure.  Considering that private sector cultural productions in Nigeria remain robust, it has become imperative for governments to stimulate cultural and artistic investments activities, events, festivals and heritage sites.  Governments may not necessarily be involved directly.  All that government is required to do, is to create the enabling environment to encourage the private sector with appropriate incentives above the UNESCO minimum recommended standard to which Nigeria is a signatory.
As we conclude, it is pertinent to observe that the monetary gain of tourism is usually not an end in itself.  On the other hand, tourism fosters development through intercultural trading, dialogues and negotiations.  It also offers Nigeria the greatest avenue to improve and integrate its social, ethnic and tribal diversity, through domestic tourism emanating from the development of cultural heritage sites, activities, festivals and events. No culture improves without the experience of other cultures.  Awareness that a society is not alone and that it is sought out regularly, for what it has, is a strong drive towards national development.  Development that is qualitative in terms of human capacity development, infrastructural and institutional development, is progressively built up on the long run, in intense situations of intercultural dialogues.   Nigeria needs to focus attention now on these critical areas.  After all, the value of cultural development as an inestimable value that serves any given populace before it gets to others.  
At this stage of our history, we need to embody our different material forms of culture in terms of their ability to generate income for our nation through domestic and international tourism. This will not only generate income, but also to promote interaction within our culturally diverse nation by promoting intra and inter relationship between the different ethnic and tribal societies of our nation.
Culture has a way by which it attracts such interactions and one of the ways by which these interactions are enhanced is by creating activities, developing God-given cultural sites, creating man-made cultural sites, creating events around the culture of a people to attract intra national and international movements of people and such touristic movement.  This is why one bleeds internally when one recollects the attitude of Nigerians in their lack of self-esteem and identity of their very rich culture.  The demonization of our culture goes a long way in destroying the intra-tourism potential of our nation.  The great nations of the world have developed their God-given cultural structures, they have recreated innovative structures to embody their culture and these structures have led to great tourism potentials for such nations and developed their national wealth.
We need to look around the world to learn from countries that have used their culture as a means of developing their nations. Nigeria has a great potential at developing itself into one of the greatest countries of the world if she could polish, rebuild and realign its culture, promote its culture and encourage its youths to imbibe the culture of our forefathers.  In this wise, I commend the Kegites club of Nigeria for promoting our culture and hope that they would raise the level of acceptability of palm wine to that of beer in Germany and to other parts of  the world in general and thus promote our culture internationally. Let us gyrate.
Thank you for your attention. 
 Prince (Engr) Yemisi Adedoyin Shyllon B.SC.(Hons) Engr, MBA, LLB(Hons), BL, D.Litt ACS, CCS; F.loD, FNSE, FNIM, FCIM, FBIM, FNIMN, FNIAE, COREN, CEngr

Principal Partner
Knightage Attorneys, Ikeja

Founder / CEO
Omooba Yemisi Adedoyin Shyllon Art Foundation (OYASAF

Katanturu by Prof. Sophie B. Oluwole (first edition 2011)
Cultural Heritage Law and Management in Africa by Prof. Folarin Shyllon (2013)
Socrates and Orunmila by Prof. Sophie B. Oluwole (2015)
A Little History of the World by Ernst Gombricjh (1985)
Black Africa by Laure Meyer (1994)
New Traditions from Nigeria Seven Artists of the Nsukka Group by Simon Ottenberg (1997)
Masterpieces of Nigerian Art by Dr. Ekpo Eyo (2008)
UNWTO World Tourism Barometer Rankings

Thursday, 20 August 2015


Ms. Johanna Wild

Ms. Johanna Wild, Ph.D. Candidate at the University of New Mexico. Is spending 30 days with OYASAF researching Lagos’ contemporary art production as a site of globalization and transcultural influences.

Monday, 15 June 2015

At university law school, Justice and Culture may define new direction in Nigerian law

The Faculty of Law building, University of Lagos, Akoka is wearing a new look with the donation of a sculpture Justice and Culture by, Omooba Yemisi Shyllon.

The donor, Omooba Yemisi Shyllon (left); Vice Chancellor, Prof Rahman Adisa Bello; sculptor, Adeola Balogun; and  Hon Justice Amina A. Augie, Presiding Justice at Court of Appeal, Lagos Division during the unveiling of Justice and Culture statue at Faculty of Law building, Unilag, Lagos.

 Produced by artist, Adeola Balogun, the Justice and Culture lady is meant to blend Nigerian culture in the dispensation of justice.
At the unveiling ceremony, the Dean, Prof Akin Ibidapo-Obe sad the whole idea behind the sculpture, "is to encourage our students that culture has a place in law," noting that "for example, our needs are not the same as the European's."

In his welcome address, the Vice Chancellor, Prof Rahman Adisa Bello, stressed the passion of the donor in the area of art and culture, of which the university’s Creative Art Department has benefited from. Extending the philanthropic commitment to the Faculty of Law, Bello said, "shows that there is a link between law and culture."

The choice of art and culture in his philanthropic activities, Shyllon explained, was aimed at preserving the people's identity. The donation to the Faculty, he added, goes beyond just a sculpture to beautify space. The donor hoped that "this would influence how we symbolise justice." Shyllon recommended: "This is Nigeria's symbol of justice."