COLUMBIA — Descendents of the Yoruba people from across the country will congregate in Columbia on Saturday to join the Egbe Omo Oduduwa mid-Missouri chapter for its 15th anniversary celebration.
Egbe Omo Oduduwa is an association of descendents of the Yoruba people, who originate in Nigeria and parts of Togo and Benin in west Africa. The nonprofit group celebrates Yoruba culture and aims to educate mid-Missourians on customs, according to its website.
What: Association of Oduduwa Descendents, mid-Missouri chapter 15th anniversary
Where: American Legion Hall Post 202, 3669 Legion Lane
When: Starts at 5 p.m. Saturday
Cost: Free and open to the public
The theme for this year's celebration is "everything begins at home," a way of expressing that everything that members of the Yoruba community have contributed to Columbia and the United States comes from the culture they brought from Africa.
"How we've been able to come together to give back to the community, as good citizens, it's because of what we brought from home," said Femi Ogungbade, president of the Egbe Omo Oduduwa of mid-Missouri chapter. "(The theme) is another way of saying charity begins at home."
On the group's 10th anniversary in 2009, then-Mayor Darwin Hindman honored Egbe Omo Oduduwa with a congratulatory proclamation.
"Egbe Omo Oduduwa has been serving the needs of the community since its inception, through its participation in Adopt-A-Spot, Food Drive, Clean Up Columbia and Art in the Park," Hindman wrote.
"We have had a great relationship with Columbia," Ogungbade said. "The community has opened its hands to us and embraced us."
This year's anniversary celebration will feature a live Yoruba band, a fashion show of Yoruba attire and a guest speaker, Taiwo Falati, visiting from Nigeria. The public is welcome to attend the celebration, which begins at 5 p.m. at the American Legion Hall Post 202, 3669 Legion Lane.
Last year's event attracted at least 200 people from around the country, Ogungbade said. He is expecting a similar turnout this year.
Supervising editor is Elizabeth Brixey.