Rivers born philanthropist, business Titan and frontline politician, Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs, has pledged to adopt a programme initiated to teach young Rivers teens their indigenous dialects, cultures, traditions and the exotic cuisines peculiar to the major ethnic nationalities that make up Rivers state, on a permanent basis.
The Rivers Oil industry mogul, who made this pledge on Monday, September 9, 2019, at the grand finale of the summer classes organized by the Oil Rivers Lingo Cultural Center in conjunction with Dumo Lulu-Briggs Youth Foundation, DYF 23, in Port Harcourt, expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the summer program, which lasted for six weeks.
A visibly elated Chief Dumo Dumo Lulu-Briggs, who treated himself to some of the locally prepared sumptuous native fresh fish soup and enjoyed other sampled tasty staples with obvious delight and relish and later rocked to the pulsating rhythm of native drums, ogele (gong) and other traditional musical accompaniments, with the graceful dance moves and natural dexterity of a typical homeboy, appreciated the performances of the young Rivers citizens who were drawn from the various tribes in Rivers state and, while promising to support the program in a permanent capacity, emphasized the importance of native language and mother tongue, as a veritable tool for the promotion of cultural values and social development.
He also noted that bringing Rivers people together, especially the young ones, to teach them their indigenous languages, cultures and traditions, was a veritable and most effective means of laying a proper, practical foundation for realizing the dream of a better Rivers state.
He said: “I am inspired by the excellent performances of the young ones today. There is always the need to do something to re-engineer our people; to give them the right framework for the things they need to do to excel and change their situations for good. This time, I considered that a total value reorientation was needed.
“The mother tongue is what attaches you first and foremost to where you are from. As Rivers people, we need to love and feel Rivers to begin with. We need to feel the oneness of every tribe and culture in Rivers state. So, we thought, if we could bring our people together and teach them the native tongue, then of course, we are beginning to lay a foundation for the beautiful things we expect to see tomorrow.
“I feel so overwhelmed with joy. We intend to continue with this program. So, we will make the environment more conducive for learning our native tongues and cultural values,” he gushed with undisguised pleasure.
Recall that on Monday, 29th July 2019, an organization known as Oil Rivers Lingo in conjunction with Dumo Lulu-Briggs Youth Foundation, DYF 23, began summer classes for young Rivers people to teach Rivers state native languages including: Kalabari, Ikwerre, Okirika, Ekpeye, Obolo, Ogoni, Ibani and Nembe.
The programme which aired on some National Television Networks including NTA Live, attracted people from within and outside Rivers state and also featured training in dances, traditional dress styles and native cooking.
Highlights of the grand finale included, the cooking of different Rivers staples and delicacies, exciting performances of cultural and traditional dances from different Rivers ethnic nationalities, a colourful fashion parade, exhibition and mini cultural pageant by the students, who were all gaily and majestically dressed in the colourful traditional attires depicting their ethnic identities and the presentation of gifts, certificates and awards to the participants, by a very satisfied Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs.
Below are photos from the grand finale of the 6 weeks summer classes to teach Rivers teens their indigenous dialects, cultures and cuisines.
Reported by Uche E. Woke