The premier web site of Edo speaking people.
Nation of people who are mostly located in the Midwestern part of Nigeria, Western Africa.
How do we Enhance the Unity & Virtues of Edo Women in the Economic Climate of the 21st Century?
MRS OMOLOLU OGBENI
(OMOSEDE INTERNATIONAL WOMEN OUTREACH, LOS ANGELES CALIFORNIA USA)
EDO GLOBAL ORGANIZATION ANNUAL UNITY CONFERENCE
SPORTS HOTEL VERONELLO, VERONA, ITALY 12-14 NOVEMBER 2004
Dear Brothers and Sisters, it is an honour to be invited to give the speech as titled above to this august gathering in this historic setting
of Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet with the primary focus of enhancing unity, trust and love amongst all Edos. There can be no better setting for this gathering.
By unity we mean to come together, thinking with one mind, working together with one heart and achieving a soul purpose. It takes love, loyalty, friendship, co-operation, understanding and most importantly trust. Every culture has it own song and with every song there is story, let me sing the Edo song. The Edo as I knew it was a prestigious people, proud, honourable, with morals and values. They knew the meaning of shame and so avoided disgrace, they were passionate in their beliefs, we were known as the number one in the country. Yes, I remember Bendel state is number one as we participated in sports, education and so on and how others come and share in our glory. As children we came out in the moon light, listened to stories, sang songs and played games, there was plenty to eat and enough for everyone. As the years went by our song changed, we gradually sank in our accomplishments and soon despair, depression and desperation set in. Our song now is our daughters are being organized into prostitution rings, our sons� world renowned 419ners. Our young, able and vital graduates are armed robbers, murderers and assassins for hire our song is now sorrowful. For those of us who knew of those good old days weep as our children will find no comfort in going home, others will flee, as we suffer brain drain, our money is shipped out, our home dilapidated, the streets no longer exists and every home has a sign that says this �house is not for sale and there is division and discord in the family. Edo where is the love, did it never exist or was it just a fragment of my imagination? Where are our loyalties gone, that when we disagree we just decamp to some place else, we do not stay and support each other? We no longer trust one another, we spend too much time looking over our shoulders, and we worry about who is who.
As many of us will argue, accepting the western civilization into our culture changed all that. The western culture is not to blame for the division that we face, the economic imbalance of our state and great nation caused a change of course and plunged us into a role that we were totally unprepared for. We will soon find ourselves in a theoretical, selfish and materialistic environment that clearly dictates that your value is worth only your penny, soon dissatisfaction will set in, envy and abuse that will set us on a course to destruction to gain the love of a world that rejects us. We gained electricity, water supply into our homes, gas for cooking, the telephone so we can talk to family and friends any where in the world, telex machines now faxes, modern ways of agriculture, vehicles to carry our load and to take on our journey that will takes us days by walking, aeroplanes to travel and see other continents and so on, we did not have to take on the bad and completely disregard ourselves and our culture, but once we accepted it, and not allowed to evolve at our own pace, we will find it difficult to cope.
Our mothers of old were accountants, managing small amounts of money to care for the home, they were traders who travelled for miles to sell their wares or exchange by batter, farmers as they joined our fathers to till the soil, teachers as they taught us how to count the circles of the moon, midwives as they cared for us during childbirth and herbalist/nurses as they mixed herbs to cure us from our ailment and cared for us when we were sick. They taught us everything we know. In the year 2004 the mothers of today are trained physicians, nurses, engineers, accountants, technologist, politicians, scientists, hairdressers, tailors and much more, we compete with the rest of the world, but our lives are still in the balance of Culture/tradition and evolution and so we must compromise, we must find a way to bridge the gap that now plagues us, to bring the family back together to organize ourselves so that our existence is a blessing and success and not a detriment to ourselves and our families. The Edo woman is more, we must begin building from the ashes left behind, we will start with our children, raise them to be honourable, encourage them to do the right thing, prepare them for the work force, support them in trying times, love them for a child that knows love has love to give. Teach trust rather than fear, do not encourage them to do harm to others, call them back home and reorganize their minds, hold them and let them know it will be all right.
We can claim that the western civilization was imposed on our culture that caused our down sliding economy, but I say we did it to ourselves. Our society places too much emphasis on theoretical education and little to none on practical education. Our society is not sympathetic or empathic to the fact that not all children have the metal ability to attend normal school and our society frowns on hands on work. In so doing we are turning out graduates every year that have no jobs, nothing to do and no source of income. Let me ask you if we did not have the mechanics who will fix your cars, if we did not have the carpenters who will do your wood work, make your furniture, if we did not have brick layers who will build your homes, so why do we look down on them.
Are we not rich in resources and yet they are not cultivated? So I ask you where are the weavers of our clothes, is it for lack of cotton, and what about making cheese is it that we have no more cows existing in Nigeria. What about the farmers, they have all gone south to the great European countries, yet I know that farmers all over the world are the richest in the society. Our tailors do not need patterns to sew our clothes yet they do not compete with Bangkok and Singapore in the world market. How is it that a Chinese man sells me crayfish, do we not have water spots and rivers in our mist, and are our bronze casts not displayed all over the world? Edo we are blessed when are we going to realize it and make good use of it?
I ask you, the Edo women, have we not had our own Banks, what is osusu about, is it not where we put our money together in one place and one person carries it each month to do as they please, is this not based on trust that we will give our money to one person. My mothers and sisters we must not envy each other, but rejoice with each other. We must support each other in these trying times and we cannot leave our Edo man behind, and we must stay in the fight, for ourselves and for our children. We must find a way to bring the family back together and in turn bring about unity among our people. Our work is cut out for us. I ask the Edo man to please love your wife, protect her and honour her, she is all you have. For together we stand, together we shall conquer. We must begin to rebuild Edo, we must take back our glory and we must take back our honour.
I ask every Edo son and daughter to stand up to be counted, recognized and represented and be proud once again as in this new beginning of unity we are determined to move forward and we will. May you all remain blessed, thank you.
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