50th Coronation Anniversary: Alaafin flags off Oranyan Heritage Foundation, Museum

by Araayo Akande

As part of activities marking his 50th coronation anniversary, the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III, is set to flag off the Oranyan Heritage Foundation (OHF).

The OHF founded by the Iyalaje of Oyo, Chief Comfort Titilola Orija-Adesoye, will occupy a 50-acre land in Oyo, with Oba Adeyemi laying its foundation from January 12 to 14.

The OHF facility, according to the project consultant/manager, Lanre Olagoke of Lumin-Artica, will include a Black Women in History Museum.

The OHF, he further noted, is dedicated to the achievements of women across generations and beyond.

Olagoke, an artist and protege of the late Professor Ben Enwonwu, further explained: “Oranyan Heritage Foundation (OHF) has its main objective in building a 21st-century Museum of Black Women in History. Kabiyesi’s Golden-Jubilee will be used to lay its foundation on the land he generously gave Chief Orija-Adesoye.”

He disclosed that British Museum Director, Hartwig Fischer, and UK-based museum expert, and former Trustee of The British Museum, Bonnie Greer (OBE ), are interested in seeing the OHF project become a reality.

Though the Alaafin, the Grand Patron of the OHF invited the duo for the foundation laying ceremony, they won’t be attending because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But ahead of the event, Greer, a former Deputy Chair of The Board of Trustees of the British Museum, sent a statement. He said: “I am fascinated by museums. I returned to the Museum in late 2019, by invitation of the Director, Hartwig Fischer, to create and work with him on a project called ‘The Era of Reclamation.’ Much of our work will be concerned with Africa’s history, of African peoples and people of African descent around the world.
“He is impressed by what I told him about the vision of Mrs Comfort Titilola Orija-Adesoye and asked me to convey congratulations and best wishes. I am pleased to relay this to you because I believe in Africa’s future as one of the chief engines of the 21st century. Nigeria, in my personal view, will be one of the nations at the forefront.

“A museum dedicated to the achievements of Nigerian women, past and present; a museum dedicated to African women past and present; a museum dedicated to all women past and present: all of these goals and more located in one museum, is an idea that I want to be a part.

“And a museum with this scope, depth and reach, based in Oyo, will be ground-breaking.

We all know that when girls and women are thriving: the family is thriving; the nation is thriving; the entire world is thriving.

“This potential new museum dedicated to the history and achievements of women will be rooted firmly in its community. It will also have an active digital life which will serve all. I believe that it also must have a female director and a female architect to design it.”

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