Buhari Commissions Centre for Yoruba Culture in Lagos

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday inaugurated the John Randle Centre for Yoruba Culture and History in Lagos.

Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu and the Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi were among other dignitaries in the tourism and entertainment industry that accompanied the President to tour the facility.

The John Randle Centre for Yoruba Culture and History which used to serve as a hub for cultural tourism, recreation and entertainment was originally built in 1928.

The centre has now been redeveloped as a cultural attraction meant to reveal to visitors the time-honoured story of Yoruba ethnicity being one of the most influential ethnic groups in Nigeria.

Conducting the visitors round the facility, the site architect, Mr Damilare Ojewole, explained that the centre brings to the fore the origin of Yoruba culture.

Ojewole said that the centre educates individuals about the creation of Yoruba empire through ‘Ile-Ori’, ‘Ori-Olokun’, ‘Esu’ and more.

He noted that there is another session for recreation where there are large sized swimming pool and restaurants.

“This place, you will learn about happenings in the Yoruba empire in the olden days and now, the customs and practices.

“We have exhibitions on how naming ceremonies were conducted in the old, divinations, it reveals the various masquerades in Yoruba land, we have contemporary art section, fashion and more.

“At another session, we have a gadget for visitors to check the meaning of their names and we have a good ambience for tales by moonlight.

“The permanent exhibition here celebrates the language, rituals, festivals, deities and ancestry of the Yoruba people at this time and will ensure that the legacy of Yoruba culture and history is kept alive in Lagos,” he said.

The space provides unbeatable atmosphere for learning programmes, art installations and live music events.

The centre is said to serve as a place for remembrance and reconnection for Yoruba people from Cuba, Brazil, Haiti, America and the Caribbean as well as the rest of Southwest part of Nigeria.

It reveals how Yoruba culture continues to influence musicians, artistes, and creative innovators in the present day.

The architecture of the centre takes its cues from traditional Yoruba architecture and craftsmanship, using visual metaphors to reflect the strong art and philosophical origins of the language and culture.

The building form responds to its context in the shape of a fractal, rises from the earth and leans forward – O tesiwaju, reflecting the progressive nature of the Yorubas.