By Gbenga Olarinoye, Osogbo
Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II, will embark on a 10-day historical visit to Brazil in June, 2018 to strengthen the cultural affinities between the afro Brazilians in Brazil and Yoruba in Nigeria with a view to using cultural heritage for an economic partnership that will be beneficial to the two countries.
According to a statement by the Ooni’s Director of Media Affairs, Mr Moses Olafare, the trip will also strategically enable the African foremost monarch to showcase tourism potentials of Nigeria attracting Brazilians to the country under the diaspora programme and open an heritage house as an export point for Nigerian businesses under the Nigerian Diaspora Exchange of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council(NEPC).
Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ooni of Ife
The statement reads:”As the Spiritual Head of Yoruba race globally, Ooni Ogunwusi is saddled with the responsibility of uniting African descendants of Yoruba extract throughout the world estimated to be more than 500 million in over 80 countries.
“Ooni Ogunwusi who recently honoured the outgoing Brazilian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mrs Maria Auxiliadora Figueiredo with Oodua Descendant Award of Excellence in recognition of her efforts in promoting cultural exchange between Nigeria and Brazil, attaches utmost importance to the South American country recalling that over 13 million people most of whom were Yoruba were taken from Africa to Brazil via Bahia, many centuries ago.
“The population has greatly increased as we today have about 80 million Brazilians claiming their ancestral root back to Ile-Ife in Yorubaland and still keeping our heritage intact till date in their country. This also informed Ooni’s choice of States of Bahia, Rio De Janeiro and Minas where the Yoruba cultures are being proudly showcased to be the historical visit destinations.
“Ooni Ogunwusi will be in Salvador de Bahia to declare the City of Bahia as the spiritual Capital of all Yoruba in the Americas, he will be in Rio de Janeiro to present a message on religious tolerance and peace at the State Parliament and also meet with the business community. He will deliver lectures at some Universities alongside Professors Wole Soyinka, Wande Abimbola, Sophie Oluwole etc.
“His visit will mark a new beginning with giant strides capable of strengthening the age long diplomatic ties between Nigeria and Brazil. This will allow cultural, economic and spiritual exchanges that will yield revenues for our people. “The Afro Brazilians are proud to be connected with the ancient Kingdom of Ile-Ife being their cradle and eager to visit their roots from time to time.