TRADITIONAL SPORTS AGENDA FOR THE INCOMING GOVERNOR OF EKITI STATE 2018 [PART 2]

In the part-one of this topic, there was an averagely extensive discuss on the first stream of our Traditional Sports in Ekiti Land using Ayegbaju-Ekiti as the case study. So I am going to go ahead to discuss the second stream as epitomized by that same society, because that is my niche where I have the clearest view of the issue being deliberated upon in this paper, presented to alert us and especially the incoming Governor of Ekiti State, Nigeria this 2018.

 

Please I am not very sure of this fact and figure I am going to quote on this matter now, but I think my assertion will not be too far from the real figure. The matter is this, by 1960 when Nigeria got independence from Great Britain, not less than 70% of Ekiti towns and villages were without public electricity supply. If it is better or lesser than that, please forgive me for it, I apologise. However, I know that Ayegbaju-Ekiti had no electricity at that time. So, as a result of that, the people still enjoyed the natural light from the sky in the night time, provided by the MOON. This was more so during the dry season, This takes me to the second stream of our Traditional Sports in Ekiti land, now EKITI STATE. Moonlight Traditional Sports was the second stream of our Traditional Sports. This stream is another large stream in our Traditional Sports in Ekiti.

 

Traditional Sports in this stream are divided to subheadings; which include:

  1. Moonlight folklores
  2. Sport of low organization
  3. Dancing and then singing ( to spite, criticise and correct)
  4. Mockwar gyration competition sport

 

The Traditional Sports under this second stream are done in the night. They are totally different from the earlier first stream category done in the evenings.

  1. Moonlight folklores are not sports per se. They particularly replace the moonlight sports when the moon wanes i.e not available. There are times when the moon would be out during the lunar month, the folklores and some sports of low organization would be in action fully together. The folklores are story telling time for the children. They listen to stories from elders and children from other societies who had just arrived in this regular society.
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A good number of members of Club De Royal, Ayegbaju-Eliti in a recent post some of them were moonlight play guru in the late fifties (1950s) and early sixties (1960s).

 

 

Apart from the folklore stories, there were local quizzes to decipher e.g “opa tere kanle o kan orun” i.e the slim whip stretches from the ground to reach the sky-heaven. What is it?. The answer is simply deciphered as the RAIN. Another one, “my father’s cock, it ever eats money, not maize grain”. The answer is “court”. This is one of the “educating processes” of indoctrinating children to avoid what would take them to court because, once you go to court, you certainly have to spend money. There is no alternative to spending money. There is no alternative to pursue litigation without gulping hard earned money. That is why they say “won ki ti kotu de wa mase ore” i.e you never become best of friends again after court litigation with an individual.

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This folklore and quiz aspect of this night program of educational activities that compliment sports is like the classroom teaching of the youths before formal western education arrived our land. They called this process “Aloo apagbe and Aloo apa mo” The two of them were two in one” This aspect was where morals, history and philosophy of the people were indirectly and directly impacted.

 

The age group that were involved were mostly age of six and twelve or more just as the evening stream. This age group is more or less the primary school age of Western Education System.

 

  1. The moonlight sports of low organization were many and varied. They are also very peculiar from one village to the other, even from one quarter of same town or so. These sports are both sedentary and mobile. For example the sport named Mudesi. Mudesi is a game designed to teach children “detective ability” and at the same time “how to keep secrete”. In Mudesi, there is a grown up conducting the game. They sing to it. A detective is selected among the participants, he goes away or just stay by when the adult wanted to hide the ‘ide’ i.e an object, a very small object, like the seed of Ayo, cherry or small stone. The person conducting the game will lead with the song of the game. And the participants will answer with the chorus of the song.

 

Leader:   Mudesi o.                 [I put ‘ide’ in your hand] or [I hide “an object”

in your hand]

Chorus:   A mude mude         {Yes, that is the ide]

Leader:   Gba ko sibe              [Keep it secret there]

Chorus:   A mude mude         [Yes, I hide it well]

Leader:   Di mushin mushin [Hold it very tight]

Chorus:   A mude mude         [Yes I do]

Leader:   Mudesi o etc

After the object had been “berried” inside the fist of one of the participants that may be up to ten or more in number [in an episode], the detective would be called back or now given a go ahead  to fish out the object by only one touch selection..

 

If the person he chose was not the one holding the object, then his detective ability is poor. He is going to repeat it. If the person holding it is not good in keeping secret and the detective is very smart, he would get it at a go with psychological prowess. Other games in this category are Bojuboju, Gbadigbadi, Ekunmeran  etc.

 

  1. (a) Dancing: Dancing is mostly used to teach children in Traditional Music and dancing. This one would be done for cultural festivals only. It can also take place in the evenings or any time of the day.

 

(b) Singing to spite, citicise and correct offenders: In those good old days, there used to be blowing of “Upe” the equivalent of when the “trumpet sounds.” This “upe” was usually blown/sounded to erald series of festivals in the town by a particular clan man in the town. You shouldn’t taste the new yam before it was sounded. These series of festivals usually involved singing of songs composed against individuals that misbehaved with certain misdemeanors such as stealing, sexual scandals, social scandals, spiritual scandals etc

 

These songs were also accompanied by another tradition of cutting tree branches with fresh leaves called “emuru” to be deposited at the front door of the house of an offender {symbolic seal-off} during the circle of a whole year in the town. This is to dissuade citizens of the town from those misdemeanors. This was part of the Moonlight Sports because it was during the night they composed, practiced the songs and rendered them very early in the morning at dawn. The speed with which the youths paced round the town for this was tantamount to Traditional Sports Marathon done annually in the town. It was rather a complimentary and co-operating sports than competitive sports. Really, you will have a nostalgic feeling if you were youth of the sixties from Ayegbaju-Ekiti going through this narrative.

 

  1. Mock war gyration: This is the real Moonlight Sports that is physically involved. Both boys and girls are involved. However, girls do their own separately while boys do their own separately. Also, they group up according to age and size. This mock war gyration is done by each quarter/street group together to interlock their arms together, forming a circle and rotating sideways to move towards their perceived enemy to go and lock-horn with the opponents. They sing songs. The girls songs are different from the boys songs. The song for beginning of the play are unique for starting.

 

The mock war songs are there while there were song for closing up. This is the real sport that trains the youths in physical fitness during moonlight sports.

 

Now that these sports have or are on the verge of total disappearance, that is the reason why the incoming Governor of Ekiti State should be alerted, so that he will show interest, commitment and passion to save the sports and promote the sports to stardom where possible in preparation for the sports becoming global or Olympic Sports. However, retaining the sports, and protecting them from extinction is more expedient. Te solution is to incorporate the sports into the school system.

 

One of the papers on TSG, Europe, through TAFISAL RECALL stated of Traditional Sports: “They are not just games” they are part of culture, history, a goal, a people, a purpose, a structure, a philosophy and a strategy.

 

…During most of TSG we can develop fair play idea and a healthy life style or positive attitude to life [Egan 2003]. Therefore, the incoming Governor of Ekiti State, If he is approachable, the citizens of Ekiti State should be able to:

 

  1. Think for their leaders
  2. Dream for their leaders
  3. Mentor their leader
  4. Suggest to their leader

 

So, Afrotradosports suggests as follow:

 

  1. The Governor to commission documentation of Ekiti State folklores now or they will all go into extinction.
  2. Documentation of Traditional Sports available in Ekiti State to prevent and ensure practicing them in schools in the spirit of Verona declaration on Traditional Sports by UNESCO.
  3. Make facilities and equipment available for Traditional Sports like Abula, Aarin, Ayo, Traditional Wrestling, Langa etc in schools.

 

Afrotradosports group will be readily available to ensure success on this matter.

 

Thank you.

 

Mallam Elias Yusuf

04/06/2018

 

N.B: Afrotradosports greet and welcome the Tourism Program delegates in Abuja, our capital city today. In particular, African Billiards greets you all and wishes you a happy stay in Nigeria and journey mercies back home on behalf of sports Tourism.

 

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