By Eric Elezuo
The Abolarin College, Oke-Ila, Orangun, Osun State, recently played host to a prominent Nigerian whose interest has been focused on among many other issues, arts, culture, tourism, literature and leisure, Chief Dele Momodu, the Chief Executive Officer of Ovation Media Group, owners of Ovation International Magazine, Ovation on TV and The Boss Newspapers among other distinguished professionals.
The ebullient publisher spoke convincingly on the importance of adding the teaching of cultural-tourism education in the curriculum of various institutions of learning across the country.
In his submission at the event, the successful journalist, who was the special guest of honour at the institution’s end of session ceremony, highlighted what could possibly be Nigeria’s missing link to economic recovery and sustenance.
In his speech, Momodu reiterated that cultural tourism shapes the inert character of students towards making them functional members of the community.
“Apart from the moral, ethics, values and mores which cultural–tourism education exposes the students to, it also moulds their character and inject in them the consciousness of their being a functional member of their community with a grasp of its tourism potentialities,” Momodu said.
The accomplished writer whose Pendulum, published every Saturday on various news media, including the Boss Newspaper, is the toast of not a few readers, expressed happiness at the efforts of the management and staff of the institution, saying that the Founder of the school, Oba Adedokun Omoniyi Abolarin, is not only a traditional ruler who is widely exposed and travelled, but has never allowed his ‘cosmopolitanism’ to rob him of the necessary dictate and observation of cultural-tourism values.
Expressing himself in seasoned Yoruba Language, Momodu received a standing ovation from students and parents after he presented the epithet of his mother which greatly impressed the gathering while commending the students of the school for ‘a superlative display of cultural dance”.
He said: “I am happy and proud not only because of the fact that Oba Omoniyi Abolarin has planted a generational factory of wisdom and fountain of knowledge here, but also the fact that these leaders of tomorrow are inculcated with cultural–tourism ethics.”
He added: “For a person to be a total man, that fellow must not only be educated and professional in his area of calling, but must be at home with his cultural values. Anybody with no cultural affiliation has no identity. And I am happy seeing this manifesting in the socio–cultural interaction of these students here in Oke–Ila.”
He commended Oba Abolarin “For having within his thought process the fate of the downwardly poor and poverty wrenching people who God has blessed with children who are though educable, but being deprived economically from going to school”.
Momodu pointed out that “I feel great always to showcase my cultural identity anywhere. I see my studying of Yoruba in the university as a veritable advantage which enabled me to gain deep knowledge of the wisdom of the words.”
The seasoned journalist was conducted on a tour of the school facilities including the laboratories worth N10 million donated by Honourable Lanre Laose Foundation, by Oba Abolarin.
Another eminent Nigeria who was present at the event, Dr Rueben Abati, also expressed his joy, saying that the nation needed a cultural–tourism rebirth to enable the present and future generation withstand and survive the rampaging wind of cultural indoctrination and domination engendered by globalisation.
“We should start the cultural–tourism right from the primary school for proper understanding and appreciation of the value. We must start now. It is necessary”.
Dr Abati eulogized Oba Abolarin for his vision for every child and his stride at stoking an intellectual revolution from a hitherto unexpected quarters of the have not.
Oba Abolarin in his response thanked Chief Momodu and other special guests present among whom were Dr. Godwin Nwabuanka, Alexander Enyinnah, Adesoji Taiwo for believing in the mission of the school; Dr Obawale Adebisi, Commissioner for Home Affairs, Osun State who commissioned the laboratories donated by Honourable Lanre Laose Foundation.
Oba Abolarin submitted: “It is our vision to produce a bundle of well-educated indigent students, who are not only excellent in their studies but well-honed in cultural-tourism value.”