The host of the 2013 Fagunwa conference, Dr. Segun Mimiko, spoke briefly with journalists on the sideline of the presentation ceremony. Excerpts:
YOU hosted the conference that led to the event back in 2013, how do you feel?
We are excited, especially that they have taken the pains to document what transpired in Akure. This is a very major part of our history as Yoruba people and as Africans; everybody has something to learn from D.O. Fagunwa’s works. When we were reading these texts in primary school, we were more fascinated by the weird spirits, ghouls and all of that. But Professor Wole Soyinka, did us a favour by translating one of those books into English and we got to understand the very importance, the very essence of Fagunwa’s message which is about perseverance, altruism, about being able to make sacrifice for the common good. So, we are happy to be here to be documenting part of our history. Fagunwa was undoubtedly an uncommon genius. There is no question about the fact that this is part of our history.
Part of the challenge that people have with our history is that we are even yet to generate a national consensus on some of the narratives of our own history. You find out that the narrative of the Nigeria
Civil War depends on who is writing the history, there is no unified narrative but in a case like Fagunwa, he tells a history of our culture and I have no doubt in my mind this is part of the renaissance that we need to be able to tell our own history and get it right.
You promoted culture and tourism as a governor, are you continuing same as a private citizen?
I’m a private citizen and I’ve come for this. This is part of my commitment to culture and the values that I think we should celebrate as a nation. Culture is the very essence of the being of a people and we cannot talk about development outside our cultural milieu. If you look at the countries that have developed rapidly in the last 20, 30 years, you can see the place of culture in their economic development. China, Japan and others in Asia, it’s an admixture of contemporary political economic wizardry but all ingrained in their culture. That cultural substructure is very important for the rapid socio-economic development that we all yearn for.
Source: New feed