Our activities so far are highlighted below;
We have successfully organized, or part-organized, the following conferences so far:
- An international, UNESCO-supported Colloquium on Slavery and the Slave Trade in Iloko, August 2010
- An International Conference of Black Nationalities in Osogbo, August 2010
- An International Conference of Black Mayors in Osogbo, March 2011
- Plans have also reached an advanced stage for a local conference on Performance Poetry in Nigeria, Traditional and Contemporary in September 2011.
On linkages with the Black Diaspora, we have taken trips to Brazil and Cuba, though the language barrier has impeded progress. We are nevertheless exploring ways of overcoming or bye-passing that obstacle;
We have established linkage with the University of Parakou in Benin Republic, though an MoU has not been signed yet;
At the local level, we have established linkages and/or working relationships with Centre for Black African Arts and Civilization (CBAAC), Lagos; Obafemi Awolowo University Institute of Cultural Studies and University of Ibadan Institute of African Studies.
We have also started talks on linkages with the Caribbean Islands of Grenada and Trinidad and Tobago, especially in the teaching of Yoruba language there.
• Nigerian Festivals:
we embarked on the documentation of Yoruba festivals in 2009 and, so far, we have covered almost all of Osun State, some parts of Kwara and Ogun. The eventual aim is to produce a calendar of Yoruba festivals, and then proceed to nearby ethnic cultures and, eventually, have an ‘encyclopaedia’ of Nigerian festivals.• Yoruba Market Days:
along with this is also the aim to produce a calendar of Yoruba market days. Here, we have also covered all but one of the 6 zones in Osun State.• Nigerian Traditional Cuisine:
we have also been doing work on Yoruba cuisine. Here, the aim is not only to document these foods together with their recipe, but to find ways of making them popular again. We thus hope to publish one or more Yoruba cookery books on this. We intend to follow this with work on the cuisines of the people of Akwa Ibom and Cross River states.• Ifa Project:
we have also embarked on an ambitious project of documenting all the odu and ese ifa. After the documentation, we shall move on to translating them into Spanish and Portuguese.• Oriki Orisa:
we have been collecting and documenting the oriki of the orisa. So far we have covered those of Ogun and Esu in Ile-Ife and Ondo. Like the Ifa project, clearly this is a gigantic project that will go on for years and for which the centre has to seek steady outside funding.• Promotion of and support for Local Artists:
we have been particularly keen on promoting and supporting local performers such as Sango of Africa, Sango Osogbo, Rabiu Ayandokun and his Bata group, and a group of women dancers-singers from Shao in Kwara State.• Yoruba Language:
we consider this our most important project, though we have not started it. It has been and remains our dream to make Yoruba a literary language capable of expressing scientific thoughts and ideas, as well as in all the other fields of modern human intellectual and creative endeavours. This, needless to say, is in line with UNESCO’s overarching policy on the preservation and promotion of endangered and/or deprived languages all over the world.
Towards this end, we envisage the formation of Akèdèmii Yoruba to oversee this long-term and highly complex project. This body, when created, will oversee the following (and other) projects:
- Encouragement of creative writing in Yoruba through the institution of annual literary prizes in poetry and fiction;
- Prizes for translation of works in all fields into Yoruba;
- Standardization of Yoruba orthography, and its eventual harmonization with that of Yoruba in Benin republic;
- Creation of Yoruba-Yoruba dictionaries for different educational levels;
- Translation of the Bible and the Koran into contemporary Yoruba;
- Institution of Ulli Beier Annual Lecture, to be given preferably in Yoruba.
The Yoruba language project also includes the following:
- Establishment of a Yoruba Publishing House;
- Establishment of a ‘Yoruba’ Library (the video-film inclusive);
- Establishment of a Yoruba Radio station and newspaper.
• Twelve (12) festivals video taped
• Calendar of traditional market days
• Calendar of Traditional Cuisine – three (3) states
• TV series of thirteen (13) Yoruba Folktales and presented through local TV
• Exhibit, Kings and Priests
• Supported Masifa School of Ifa (Elementary School), two hundred (200) students Infrastructure Support; Pay salaries of 2 staff persons).
• Secured Consultant (Babalawo) for support for translation of Ifa corpus into Spanish
• Consultant for market day calendar (consistency and relevance to Ifa calendar for next 100 years)
• Secured Ulli Beier’s papers
CBCIU has acquired the building on Station Road, Osogbo, where Duro Ladiipo
lived and had his theatre (complete with a stage). The idea is to renovate it, preserve the stage and changing rooms out of which came those great plays Oba Koso
, and so on. We also intend to create spaces for a museum/gallery in which to showcase works of the original Osogbo artists, as well as regularly exhibit works by other contemporary artists.