By Adeola Aderounmu
Yoruba Union in Stockholm was founded on the 15th of May, 2010. Our goals are clearly stated in the constitution of the Union:
• To serve as a common forum through which the Yorubas in Sweden can meet and discuss matters of common interests.
• To serve as an avenue for social and cultural interactions among the Yorubas and other nationalities
• To act, when necessary as a link between members of the union and the Swedish Authorities
• To promote and encourage solidarity at all times amongst members.
• To teach our children about the traditions and knowledge of the Yoruba race
• To show/ introduce the Yoruba culture to the the Yorubas and other people living in Stockholm and Sweden in general
We knew that through these goals we will be able to achieve the following:
• create a community of Yoruba people living in Stockholm
• unite the Yorubas in Stockholm through this community
• create a sense of belonging for ourselves and our families in Sweden
• create an atmosphere for togetherness like the one we experienced, growing up in Nigeria and not the least,
• create a home away from home
To make our plans come true we have been organizing different activities such as:
• Regular meetings to form a solid social contact among ourselves
• Organizing annual summer Yoruba Family Day in Stockholm. This year we will have the fourth edition of this tradition for our families and friends
• Organizing annual children’s day celebration for our children and friends of the Union.
• Inviting one another to our individual or family activities here in Sweden (marriage ceremonies, naming ceremonies, house warming, graduation ceremonies and so on)
Nowadays, in addition to our regular monthly meetings, we also have our mingling and chat sessions every Wednesday at a place called Medborgarplatsen. We drink Yoruba palm wine and relax after work 7pm to 9pm, just like we used to meet under the tree way back in Nigeria.
On the 11th of May 2013 our dreams in the Yoruba Union came true. We were able to organize the first ever Annual Yoruba Day Celebration in Stockholm. It took 3 years to get to this point but it was worth every minute we waited and invested into the process.
Our special guest was the Nigerian Ambassador to Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland His Excellency Onochie Amobi. He was accompanied by his wife, Mrs. Amobi. We had other notable Nigerians at this inaugural event including Mr. Shola Mansur Amao, Engineer Olatunde Aluko, Mrs. Clara Kilete Rogo and Mr. Adetunji Ogunnoiki.
We also have the president of the Nigerian Union in Stockholm Mr. Dominic Emene in attendance. A representative of our partner organization-SENSUS Ms. Ingrid Bjurström was present to witness the special day.
To see what transpired on the day we celebrated the first ever Yoruba Day in Stockholm, Sweden, anyone can subscribe to our YouTube channel to see some of the events that took place on the YORUBA DAY (type Yoruba union Stockholm). We had cultural dances, drama sketches, the ambassador’s speech and Yoruba fashion parade among other interesting things that took place on that day.
The Yoruba Union in Stockholm has the following executive members, Lydia Akinwale-social secretary, Funmileyi Adenuga-treasurer, Abiola Kamoru Amos-Public Relations Officer, Ibrahim Onifade-secretary and Debo Fasheyi-Assistant PRO.
The union is made up of energetic young men and women who are intellectually rich and determined. In the group, positive energy radiates and different life experiences merge to create a dynamic forum that moves our common ideologies forward in the right direction.
Dialogue remains a useful tool in the group where issues are openly discussed and agreements reach based on democratic principles.
The group is well known in Stockholm and we remain popular among our sister organizations in Goteborg and Malmö. We continue to encourage our Yoruba brothers and sisters in Stockholm and its environs to become a part of us. But we show deep respect for people’s rights of association.
In the Yoruba Union family every member is important and treated with respect. Executive and non-executive members understand the principles on which the association was founded. Therefore we enjoyed utilizing our various resources and talents to the benefit of the association.
The cultural group is headed by Olarewaju Omogunloye, an expert in Yoruba folksongs and dance. We also enjoyed the company of Samuel Ayorinde, ex-super Eagle player who has hosted a number of our meetings. One of our members Samuel Oladipupo Ayoola often travels with his family from outside Stockholm to attend our meetings and events.
The Yoruba Union in Stockholm has come to stay and we are looking ahead to consolidating on the gains of the awareness we created during our recent celebration of the Yoruba Day. We will continue to look for more ways to promote the Yoruba ideals, culture and heritage in Sweden and elsewhere on the Scandinavian islands.
Oodua a gbe wa o..!
(An adaptation of the speech read by Adeola Aderounmu, president Yoruba Union, Stockholm, during the first ever Yoruba Day celebration in Stockholm on May 11, 2013)