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Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of SAYLC-UK: A Noble Cause

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By Akintokunbo A Adejumo & Adelagun Abudu (akinadejum@aol.com & ade2abudu@yahoo.com)

Let’s pass it on to our children. “The great and most powerful gift a parent can give their children is to pass to them their language and their culture …”

We would have loved it very much to write this in Yoruba but for two main reasons: one, we would love this article to reach and be readable and understood by all in the world, Yoruba and other peoples, and two, it is unfortunate, but our own written and spoken Yoruba has not reached the level where we will be most accurate, articulate and fluent in the translation of the article in such a way that the language will be appreciated by all and sundry.

The 12th of March 2016 marks the 10th Founding Anniversary of SAYLC-UK, founded by Late Sir (Dr.) Ezekiel Olusoji Smith. The primary objective of the association is to promote the speaking of Yoruba language amongst Yoruba people, especially our children who are totally losing the language. Many other similar organisations in UK have ceased to exist within five years of their founding and it is therefore apt to celebrate the Founder’s Day of this unique and noble association.

The NOBLE CAUSE to sustain and advance Yoruba language and culture in the United Kingdom started its journey from the first meeting held at the premises of Yoruba Tennis Club in Onikan, Lagos, Nigeria on 17 January 2006. Following the meetings in Lagos, the United Kingdom Branch of the association was founded at a meeting held in Emukay Restaurant, London on 12 March 2006; the meeting was chaired by Dr. E. O. Smith and ably supported by Omo’ba (Prince) Adebambo Ademiluyi. The first representatives of the association in the United Kingdom were:

1. Mr. Ade Abudu – Coordinator

2. Chief Tunji Oyelana – Coordinator

3. Alhaji I. A. Balogun – Coordinator

4. Mrs. Tokunbo Gregory – Coordinator

5. Chief Abiodun Sowunmi – Secretary

6. Mr. Toyin Laguda – Secretary

7. Mr. Akintokunbo Adejumo – Publicity Secretary

8. Mr. K. A. Faloyin – Publicity Secretary

9. Chief Abiodun Odusanwo – Publicity Secretary

The early actions and activities of the new association included regular meetings on every 2nd Sunday of the month, sub-committees working in-between meetings, membership drive, creation of e-mail address for communication, design of website, contact with Agbajo Yoruba Agbaye (AYA), identification of similar associations in the country, arrangement of visit to Nigerian High Commissioner and drafting a constitution for ratification at planned inaugural general meeting.

The inaugural general meeting of SAYLC-UK was held at Emukay Restaurant in London on Sunday, 13 May 2007. The outcome of the successful general meeting included the adoption of agreed constitution, election of trustees, election of executive officers and overall commitment to an Improvement Plan towards delivery of the Aims & Objectives of the association. The Constitution’s Preamble reads as follows:

We the members of “Egbe Ifesemule ati Ilosiwaju Ede Yoruba”, United Kingdom (UK) Branch, being a cultural, non-political and non-denominational Association establish this Constitution to govern the matters within our Association. The registered office in United Kingdom would be at Emukay Restaurant, 91 Camberwell Road, London SE5 0EZ.

The aims and objectives of the Association shall be:

1. To promote the speaking of the Yoruba language amongst Yoruba people, especially our children who are totally losing the language.

2. To cherish, uphold and project the honour and dignity of Yoruba culture, language and tradition in United Kingdom and the diaspora.

3. Facilitate full access to education about Yoruba Language to all and sundry through the media and the use of Information Technology.

4. To work with other organisations inside and outside the United Kingdom to promote Yoruba Language and culture.

5. Subject to approval by members of the Executive Committee of the Association, to obtain or accept subscriptions, donations, grants, gifts, devices and bequests from individuals, corporations, and institutions in furtherance of the Association’s aims and objectives.

6. To organise Yoruba classes for Yoruba youths in the United Kingdom.

7. To set up a Yoruba Cultural Centre where the aims and objectives of this Association would be further promoted within the United Kingdom.

8. To publish a periodic Yoruba Newsletter and other publications to promote the aims and objectives of the Association.

9. To liaise with educational institutions and local authorities in the United Kingdom towards achieving the aims of the Association.

10. To undertake any other activities which are consistent with or which the Association considers will promote its interests, aims, and objects.

On 13th day of May 2007, the Constitution was attested to by the following;

Chairman – Mr. Ade Abudu

General Secretary – Mr. Adeyemi Bello

Legal Officer – Mr. Kole Ojo

The elected members of the executive committee were:

Trustee – Sir (Dr.) E. O. Smith

Chairman – Mr. Ade Abudu

Vice Chairman – Major (Rtd.) Dovi Yebovi

General Secretary – Mr. Adeyemi Bello

Assistant General Secretary – Chief Abiodun Sowunmi

Treasurer – Chief Abiodun Odusanwo

Financial Secretary – Mrs. Tokunbo Gregory

Publicity Secretary – Mr. Akintokunbo Adejumo

Social Secretary – Mr. Toyin Laguda

Legal Officer – Mr. Kole Ojo

Internal Auditor – Mr. Olumide Balogun

Welfare Officer – Dr. Dapo Williams

There were subsequent annual general meetings (AGM) on the following dates:

2008 AGM & Ede Yoruba Day in August

2009 AGM & Socio-Cultural Event in August

2010 AGM & Socio-Cultural Event in August

2012 AGM in August

2013 EGM in March

2014 EGM & Election of Interim Executive Committee

The current Board of Trustees are as follows:

Chief Tunji Oyelana – Chairman

Papa Samuel Bright

Pastor (Major, rtd.) Dovi Yebovi

Prince Adelagun Abudu – Secretary

The current Interim members of the executive committee are:

Cllr. Adedokun Lasaki – Chairman

Mr. Amos Akin Adejinmi – General Secretary

Mr. Morakinyo Bamidele – Publicity Secretary

Chief (Mrs.) Abiodun Abiri James Treasurer

Amos Akin Adejinmi, current General Secretary sees the future of SAYLC as very bright and outlines some of the future actions of the association as intending to go and visit every Yoruba organisation, such as Towns meetings; restructuring and improving on the Saturday Yoruba classes in London; reaching out to all Yoruba worldwide, through the Internet; having regular interactive programmes, and facilitating the use of all media, radio and television inclusive.

There were other activities of the Association:

Visit to the Nigerian High Commission office in December 2006 and met with Mrs. Adeola Obileye as representative of the High Commissioner.

Opening of Bank Account HSBC in 2007

Registration of the association with the company house in 2007.

Production of Association’s Logo

Promotion Fliers & Business Cards

Launching of Iwe Akarerin at Emukay in April 2010

Monthly Yoruba Interactive Event at Emukay from June 2010

Website: edeyoruba.org.uk

WhatsApp Account for members only.

Facebook Account for promotion of Yoruba Language & Culture

Fund Raising Dinner

Donation Envelopes

Yoruba Class

Letter to Lagos State House of Assembly

Annual End of Year Festivities

Yoruba Jingles on CD:

Ede enii ni ami eni

Ede enii ni iyi eni

Ede enii ni awo eni

Ede enii ni ewa eni

Ede enii ni owo eni

Ede enii ni irawo eni

Eyi ni ajodun kewa lehin ti, Baba Ologbe (Dokita) E. O. Smith da egbe naa sile ni odun 2006. Mo ki wa ku ajodun, a ku iyedun,

Odumare Olojo-oni ko ni je ka feyi sasemo,

Odoodun la a rorogbo, Odoodun la a rawusa,

Odoodun la a romo obi lori ate, Odoodun ni sapo ruwe,

Odoodun lewura ruwe, Odoodun nila a sogun,

Odoodun ni iroko sogbon, Odoodun labiyaya saadota,

Odoodun leegun jo, Odoodun loro gbona,

Odoodun ni ka ma ri ire iru eyi se lawujo wa,

Gbogbo wa ta a sodun yii la a samodun, Tayatomo, Tokotomo,

Igba ile wa a le si, Awo ile wa a le si,

A o ni pee din lagbara Olodumare,


Ede Yoruba koni paarun o!

Happy 10th Founding Anniversary!!

Adelagun Abudu – Trustee & Past Chairman and Akintokunbo A Adejumo – Pioneer Publicity Secretary


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