U.S-based NGO trains 125 traditionalist kids in Osun
United States of America-based non-governmental organisation (NGO), DuniaFore Foundation, has screened the popular Afrocentric movie, Black Panther, to children of traditionalists in Osogbo, Osun State capital.
The screening was part of the grand finale of the NGO’s annual month-long programme, tagged: Asalaye Academy, an initiative that enriches traditionalist children with academics while emphasising Pan-African awareness and pride in African culture.
The NGO’s founder, Dr Nzinga Olabisi Metzger, who is an African-America anthropologist with Sierra Leonean origin, told reporters her passion for the emancipation of the African traditional religion made her to set up the annual academy, which holds in classrooms provided by the Araba Awo of Osogbo, Chief Ifayemi Elebuibon.
The Asalaye Academy project, according to Dr Metzger, seeks to give a sense of belonging to children of traditional worshippers, who are condemned to the curriculum of Western education, which centres only on Islam and Christianity.
The academy, in the past four weeks, has trained 125 children, aged seven to 17 in Osogbo.
It has been feeding them, providing instructional materials and tutoring them in courses geared towards re-awakening the consciousness of traditionalist values in the religion.
It has also been motivating the children to pursue their futuristic dreams without minding the social stigma on them.
Dr Metzger said: “There is a kind of societal colouration to being a traditionalist. We have discovered that the normal school curriculum in Nigeria does not create a space for the traditional religion to be learnt as we have in the two religions brought by missionaries to Nigeria.
“We are also trying to establish the Pan-Africanism in the values of the traditional religion on them in a bid to change the idea of backwardness and illiteracy associated with the traditional religion and its worshipers. The curriculum also opens the children’s minds to the history of their continent, fusing it with the current trends in the global space.
“So far, some of the students have the full knowledge of the African continent, the countries, cultures and tradition. They have also been taught how to become self-reliant pan-Africanists.
“What has excited me more in all of these is the ability of those participants who have been able to learn more and become better traditionalists and contributors to their society.”