Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode has asserted that culture is critical to the healthy development of any society since it links a community’s past and the present, thereby imbuing the people with the requisite faith and confidence to face the future.
Ambode who made the assertion in Lagos today while unveiling a book titled “Owe: Yoruba Proverbs” written by Professor Anthony Kila noted that culture evolves with time as a society faces new circumstances, confronts fresh obstacles and attains new levels of development thus, the challenge is to successfully retain the best-inherited traditions while making necessary changes to adjust to new realities.
The Governor commended the author of the book, stressing that his efforts correlate with the commitment of the State Government to champion the revival of Yoruba language.
“Earlier in the year, I signed into law the bill on Yoruba Language Preservation and Promotion Law which among others makes the teaching of Yoruba Language in both private and public schools in Lagos State compulsory. This is why I am appreciative of the author for writing a book on this very important subject at this time when it has become compelling for cultural renaissance in our society,” he said.
Ambode opined that the book also represents a major contribution towards rediscovering and projecting to the world some aspects of the people’s rich culture to demonstrate their innate capacity to think and respond creatively to their environment.
He pointed out that the richness of Yoruba as a language could only be appreciated through its proverbs which are used to emphasise a specific message among others, adding that one profound characteristic of Yoruba proverbs apart from the depth of wisdom in its meaning, is its evergreen nature in terms of relevance across all ages, ancient and modern.
“Proverbs reinforce and validate our moral value system and must, therefore, be preserved and passed on to the younger generation. Once again, I commend Prof. Anthony Kila for his effort in packaging “Owe” into a book form towards sustaining our indigenous language. Our mother tongue is our identity and a key component of our culture and tradition which we must strive to pass on from one generation to another,” the Governor stated.