The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, has called on stakeholders to intensity efforts to revive Yoruba heritage to save it from going into extinction.
Ooni stated this during a courtesy visit to his Palace on Monday by Pastor Henry Odeneye, founder of Harvest Point Ministries and a pioneer Yoruba Christian preacher based in Houston, Texas, United States.
Odeneye had said the purpose of the visit was to seek royal blessings and invite the Ooni to an International Yoruba Christian Rally in Houston, Texas, U.S.
Ooni, however, lamented that most Nigerians had lost their cultural values to those of the western world.
The traditional ruler urged Nigerians to always embrace, appreciate and showcase their cultural values home and abroad.
While appreciating the initiative and extension of personal invitation to attend the event, Oba Ogunwusi said that the objectives would promote Yoruba heritage.
The traditional ruler commended Odeneye and his team for their dedication to promoting Yoruba culture and spreading the gospel message in the United States.
While endorsing the proposed International Yoruba Christian Rally, the Ooni pledged his unwavering support, promising to leverage on his esteemed position to ensure the success of the event.
“With a vision of unity and harmony”, Ooni envisioned the rally as a symbolic convergence of faith, culture and community on an international scale, fostering bonds that transcend geographical boundaries and celebrate the rich tapestry of Yoruba heritage.
Earlier, Pastor Odeneye, founder of Harvest Point Ministries, shared the journey of how God led him to initiate ministrations in the Yoruba language in the U.S.
He explained how this intervention birthed impactful initiatives like the Harvest Points School of Ministry, Dagunduro Prayer Family and Yoruba Christian Fellowship which he said had provided salvation.
“We are delighted to inform you that Harvest Point Ministries and its sister organisations have been at the forefront of promoting the Yoruba language in the United States for over two decades now.
“The significant strides made in recognising the Yoruba language in Houston, citing the proclamation of Dec. 6th every year as “Harvest Point Ministry Dagunduro Yoruba Day in U.S and Congressional Awards.
“Additionally, Yoruba has been acknowledged as an official language for the documentation of immigrants as American citizens, thanks to the advocacy efforts of the ministry, ” he said.
The ordained minister of the Apostolic Church said that the rally, designed as a three-day programme, would showcase various activities celebrating Yoruba culture and gospel ministrations.
He also said the activities include live ministrations by leading Yoruba Gospel ministers from Nigeria, a showcase of Yoruba cultural ceremonies like marriage and musical concerts featuring Yoruba Gospel singers.
Odeneye emphasised the significance of the Ooni’s participation in the event, underscoring the rally’s aim to spread the gospel, foster unity, cultural diplomacy and celebrate Yoruba heritage.