I congratulate Nigeria for the adoption of a Nigerian language, Yoruba, as a testing language for the Department of Motor Vehicles in the United States. Similarly, since 2014, Selfridges and Harrods have been employing Yoruba-speaking staff, and the UK Metropolitan Police Service has been hiring Yoruba-speaking Constables and Officers since 2015.
Elsewhere, I have written about traversing the American continent and studying the staying power of Yoruba language and culture in the Americas. Enslaved people were taken from all over Africa, but ONLY the Yoruba language, culture, and traditional religion have collectively withstood the acculturation by European culture to become one of the most dominant cultures in the Americas and Caribbeans.
Yoruba Ifa-based Babalawo are very popular with Whites and Latinos in the Americas, and Santeria and Candomblé are two of the fastest growing religions in North and South America. They are both based on traditional Yoruba Ifa religion, mixed with Catholicism, with saints known as Orisa.
Even in modern times, music of Yoruba origin is rebranding Nigeria’s image away from 419 and romance scams. For this, we thank those who set the table and laid the foundation, especially Fela Kuti, King Sunny Ade, and Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey.
Unsurprisingly, all of Nigeria’s Grammy Award winners have been of Yoruba descent, except Burna Boy, including: Sade Adu (1986), Babatunde Olatunji (1991), Sikiru Adepoju (1991) and Seal (1996), Burna Boy (2021), Wizkid (2021), Temilade Openiyi AKA Tems (2023). Once again, I say a big congratulations to Nigeria.