Posted by News Express | 2 November 2018 | 1,941 times
All is set for the maiden edition of Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Babatunde Ogunwusi (Ojaja II) initiated International Art and Craft Festival in Baltimore, USA.
The two-day event will hold at the Convention Centre, Downtown, Baltimore, on Friday and Sunday, December 14 and 16, 2018.
Chief Executive Officer of TellAfrica, Gbemisola Bisi-Taiwo, said on Thursday: “Ooni Ogunwusi has taken his efforts for peace, love, unity and charitable act to a new level in his bid to preach and practice ‘Unity and Love’ within and outside the shores of Nigeria. The Arole Oodua has touched lives with his charitable acts and currently the number one projector of African culture and heritage all over the world.
“For this event, the Obalufon clan, royal cast masters of Ile-Ife and the Ooni of Ife Art & Craft shall be the grand exhibitor at the TIAF 2018 in Baltimore- MD, USA.
“Asides from supporting the less privileged, the prestigious monarch is notable for presenting African artefacts to most, if not all of his elite guests, either at his palace or while visiting within and outside the country. Such artefacts include bronze-heads, wooden crafts, metal sculptures, fabric and accessories from all over Africa.
“According to Ooni Ogunwusi, those crafts were stolen treasures from Africa and they mean a lot to our people.
“The artefacts are significant as they represent deities revered and worshiped in African traditional settings. Taking or stealing them at that point in time means separating the people from their gods and beliefs that contravene their right to religious worship and association.
“The highly revered monarch is of the opinion that for peace and unity to reign among nations of the world, there must be forgiveness and restitution. It may be difficult for those items to be returned to their original owners but Africans owe those who stole from them forgiveness. Severing them from their property caused them hardship during the period. No amount of apologies could heal such memory, but we must forge ahead to permanently forgive in order to maintain world peace, love and unity.
“Therefore, to forgive and towards restitution between nations of the world, and at the same time promoting African’s cultural-heritage and ingenuity, H.I.M Ooni Adeyeye Ogunwusi is commencing a promotion of these arts and crafts.
“Most of these arts are now being produced locally in Ile-Ife, Benin city and other neighbouring communities in large quantities. These artefacts are characterised as ostentatious goods are now used as gifts and interior home decorations across the globe.”
A statement made available to News Express quoted Ooni Ogunwusi as saying: “These arts and crafts will soon hit the international market again; this time around, they shall be exhibited and sold while the proceeds shall go to charitable causes within the formerly colonised states, especially African countries where some masses are suffering and need all the support they can get at this point in time.
“Proceeds from the stock shall be used to support the basic needs of people and communities; food & clothing banks, baby rescue response bank, homelessness and educational provisions among others are some of the essential provisions that this cause shall fend.”
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