As part of efforts towards promoting traditional events and heritage sites, the Lagos State Council for Arts and Culture (LSCAC) joined adherents and cultural enthusiasts to celebrate the year 2023 edition of the annual Olokun festival.
Speaking at the event, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs Oloruntoyin Ganiat Atekoja, who led the delegation to the event on behalf of the State Government, noted that our indigenous cultures define who we are as a people and it behoves on us to preserve them so as not to go into extinction.
She stated that cultural events such as the Olokun festival were the traditional way of life of our ancestors, which brought them good tidings before the arrival of the Europeans and subsequent civilisation.
“When we worship Olokun, it brings us luck, it brings us success and it brings us long life. This was what differentiated us as a people with a distinct culture before the Europeans came and trivialised our belief system”, Atekoja added.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of LSCAC, Mr. Idowu Johnson advocated digitisation and more youth involvement as sure ways of sustaining our indigenous cultures and heritage, adding that it is essential to educate the youth on the importance of our indigenous cultures and traditions.
He maintained that when people lose their languages and other aspects of their indigenous culture, they tend to become endangered.
According to him, “This is our culture, this is our heritage and this is who we are. Without the preservation of our culture, we will become extinct as a people. The Lagos State Council for Arts and Culture remains committed to promoting our indigenous culture”.
The Convener and Chief Host of the Festival, HSM (Dr.) Lara Fashola disclosed that the Olokun festival serves as a veritable way of communicating with the Olokun deity which in return brings abundant blessings and growth to the people of the State.