One of the country’s oldest citizens, Josephine Jackman, celebrated her 108th birthday yesterday with a prayer service surrounded by loved ones at her Welcome Peters Street, Siparia home.
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Nigerian Princess Folashade feels at home in T&T
Princess Folashade Adeyemi says knowing history and culture is important to society. Adeyemi is the daughter of the Alaafin Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, traditional ruler of the Yoruba state of Oyo in Nigeria. During the World Sango Festival held in Oyo last year, practitioners of Yoruba spirituality from all over the world gathered at the Palace of the Alaafin. Two T&T nationals presented the national instrument, the steelpan, to Adeyemi.
This generated so much interest that Adeyemi, who is the cultural consultant to the Alaafin, set out on a mission to investigate the presence of the Orisha in T&T. During her stay, the princess will visit several shrines in both islands with a view to strengthening cultural ties between the Kingdom of Oyo and Orisha devotees.
Director of Afrika House Avery Ammon; priest Ojise Obatal of the Ita Oosa Shrine in Woodbrook; president of the Foundation of the Belmont Rada Community Henry Antoine, and Attillah Springer, who is a member of the Orisha community, greeted her yesterday. In an interview at the Yoruba Village site next to Riverside Plaza, Adeyemi said: “I am here to promote culture and I am a consultant and run the Arewa House of Culture in Nigeria.
“I never heard of Trinidad before and I am here to see how they are connected to our people and see those who practise traditional religion (Isese). “My father became interested in the culture and what retention existed here of the Yoruba culture. Right now your people are not far from the culture, but they have to go back to originality,” she said. Adeyemi said she feels at home and had visited several Orisha houses since she arrived on Tuesday.
Commenting on Carnival, she said it was important to go back to tradition: “It is creative tourism. We could lose our originality and should go back to their ancestors. The message I have for women is to go back and learn where they are from and be more cultural.” A woman can maintain a home but it also takes a woman to maintain a nation. Character, personality, knowing who you are and ancestral legacy make a person, she said.
“If you don’t know your background you don’t know who you are. It is not about religion, it is about culture,” she said. Adeyemi is also asking citizens to support the Ifa Agidan Festival hosted in Oyo between April 5 and 10.