Dozens of writers from within and outside Nigeria have put together an anthology to preserve the culture and language of the Yoruba.
They were brought together by Egbe Àtẹ́lẹwọ́, a Yoruba cultural advocacy group founded by Ọ̀rẹ́dọlá Ibrahim and Rasaq Malik.
The duo said, the group was “founded on the 1st of June, 2017 as a response to the myriads of challenges and threats facing the preservation and survival of the Yorùbá culture and language”.
“Apart from the fact that most people nowadays cannot even read in their indigenous languages, there is also a greater concern as regards the waning presence of quality literature materials in these languages.
“And this has no doubt impeded our ability to sufficiently and originally contribute to global discussions and solutions. For instance, just as we have robotics, we also have the concept of Ṣìgìdì in the Yorùbá culture as a programmable auto-bot capable of performing all of the functions of a robot – and even more!
“But lack of preservation of our indigenous knowledge and practices – of which language and literature plays a principal role – has not afforded us enough opportunities to harness our rich heritage.”
The group aims to create a platform to document cultural values, drive dialogues among the youth and preserve Yoruba culture and literature.
“In furtherance of our stated objectives above, we are glad to inform you that we are launching a book titled ÀTẸ́LẸWỌ́ PÉLÉBÉ– an anthology.
“ÀTẸ́LẸWỌ́ PÉLÉBÉ is a collection of poems, short stories and articles written in the Yorùbá language from about 40 contributors within and outside Nigeria. The book showcases established and emerging names of writers of Yorùbá origin.”