By Dare Kuti
The gods of the foreigners by now will be laughing at the gods of our land (Nigeria); Sango, Obatala, Oya, Amadioha, Ikuku etc while the dead Baloguns must be weeping profusely in their graves.
How can sports of foreigners be made compulsory at our own indigenous sports festival while our own Tiwan Tiwan sports relegated, i mean totally removed. I always tell people close to me that I am an African man (FIRST) before chosing the white man religion; an Asian, American or European will never chose an African sport over theirs. My Late extended Uncle, Fela ANIKULAPO Kuti sang a song titled: “Kolomentality”, I’ll suggest you listen to it during your spare time.
Kung Fu, Taekwondo, Judo, Kickboxing, Tai Chi are all traditional sports of Asians, how on earth can we choose them over ours. When you visit most states in the North, Dambe is watched more than football; spectators leave their various houses, shops and work to watch Dambe because it reminds them of their origin. In fact, Dambe is our MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) due to its brutality.
In the Southern part of Nigeria, Kokowa is practically their way of life. Kokowa is fought at every traditional occasion including New Yam Festival. It is also on record that most of Nigeria wrestlers that hails from Bayelsa were once Kokowa wrestlers while others are very much active. I’m sure some of us know the slogan of the Offa people in Kwara; it states “Ijakadi loro offa”.
Back to our National Council on Sports that decided not to leave the Traditional Sports as option but sanctioned the removal. They are indirectly disrespecting the gods of the land, all the traditional rulers, all the chieftaincy holders in the land and all the masquerades (awon Ara orun).
Traditional Sports reminds us about our history, how wars were won and lost; reminding us of who we truly are. Nigeria has always dominated West Africa whenever we participate in the events. Traditional Sports is not expensive to organise and not time consuming like other sports listed at the forthcoming National Sports Festival.
I don’t know if the Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Chief Sunday Akin Dare who doubles as the Chairman of the National Council on Sports has forgotten in a hurry that he is a titled Chief (the highest in Ogbomosho) bestowed by the Late Soun of Ogbomosho.
If other members of the National Council on Sports and host of the National Sports Festival (Delta State) are using their left hand to point at the Traditional Sports, the representative of all the Chiefs (Sunday Dare) should be the one to uphold our tradition. Dear Chief Sunday Dare, you are not only the Agba Akin of Ogbomosho but the Agba Akin of all the Traditional Sports in Nigeria.
I am using this medium to call on all the Kings (1st, 2nd and 3rd class), Queens (Oloris), Traditional Rulers, Chiefs (including Chief priests) in the North, East, West and South in Nigeria, market women, lovers of traditional sports, Director of Sports, Commissioner of Sports, House of Representatives and Senate Members on Sports and ultimately the Federal Government of Nigeria to help appeal to the National Council on Sports to include Traditional Sports.
The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari has always lay emphasis on patronizing home made products and Trado Sports is our own.
God bless you all