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March 4, 2024

Culture Advocate calls for preservation of African heritage

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Ikenna Osuoha

Ms May Ikokwu, a Culture Advocate and Chief Executive Officer of Save Our Heritage
Initiative (SOHI), has called for preservation of African heritage.

She made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Friday
in commemoration of the 2023 African World Heritage Day, annually celebrated on May 5 for people around
the world to celebrate Africa.

The day was declared by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in 2018.

Ikokwu, therefore, said Africa is blessed with intangible assets inherited from past generations, including monuments,
languages and vegetation which should be preserved.

She reiterated the need for preservation of the African cultural heritage, adding that they were significant in defining peoples’ true Identity.

She said “there are over 2,000 recognised languages on the continent. The most spoken language is Arabic, followed by English, Swahili
and French.

“Africa, according to UNFPA, has 1.1 billion people, and over half of the population are under the age of 25 years.”

Ikokwu urged African governments at different levels to evolve policies that would preserve the cultural heritage.

The culture advocate expressed the imperatives of fighting malaria and other diseases that tend to threaten African heritage.

According to her, the World Health Organisation says about 90 per cent of malaria cases in the world take place in Africa.

She advised that more effort aimed at preserving lives and cultural identities be put in place in the fight against malaria.

She added that it was time to prevent Africa’s cultural and natural gifts from the risk of losing universal value.

Ikokwu, who warned against negative influence and pressure of foreign culture affecting Africa, called for stronger
resistance against such incursions.(NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Chidinma Agu/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu

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