Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, in a bid to unite worshippers of the world acclaimed Osun Osogbo Festival with diaspora counterparts in the Caribbean, yesterday scooped the spiritual Osun water into a container with a view to transferring same to worshippers in Brazil.
Soyinka, who is a United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)ambassador, in addition visited the groove to inspect the conditions of the tourist sites’ relics and natural resources within the groove.
He said that the Yorubas in the Diaspora, who are worshippers of Osun, only use symbolic water in a bowl to depict the Osun River in Brazil during festival.
He said he promised the worshippers that in his next visit to the South American country, he would bring them water from Osun River, so as to confer originality to the ‘spiritual essence of water’ during festival.
“I am taking Osun Osogbo water samples to Brazil for the Osun worshippers. We have a lot of black people there and many of them are devotees of Osun, Sango, Obatala, Ogun, Yemoja and other deities.
”When I visited the worshippers in Brazil, I found out that they have preserved Yoruba culture, from the liturgies to some of the prayers and even the processions of the devotees. I saw the Iyalorisa of Osun. I saw a bowl of water, which was symbolic of Osun River and I promised them that I would bring them the actual water from Osun.
“I came to see how the work is going on here because there is a lot of restoration here and there is always a conflict of ideas when projects like this is being done. In making sure that one element in a preserved place like this does not clash with another element and to see how we can harmonise it.”
Over 50 million Yoruba descents are said to be living in the Diaspora including West Africa, North, South and with the largest concentration in Central America and the Caribbean.
Soyinka, who went round the Osun groove in company of Senator Sola Adeyeye, observed that some of the relics, art and cultural artefacts need constant maintenance and restoration so that they may retain their tourist attractions.
The Commissioner for Home Affairs, Tourism and Culture, Mr Sikiru Ayedun, told journalists that the government of Mr. Rauf Aregbesola is leaving no stone unturned in making sure that the state becomes the major tourist destination of the country.