Helpline graduates 189 in traditional attire weaving

No fewer than 189 Abuja original inhabitants have been trained in the making of traditional attires of the people.

Presentation of graduation certificates was made to them, mostly women, in a colourful ceremony on Thursday, at Area 10, Garki, Abuja.

Project Manager, Helpline Foundation for the Needy Abuja, Onoja Arome, who spoke on behalf of the Foundation’s President, Dr. Jumai Ahmadu, expressed the determination of the organisation to ensure preservation of the cultures of all original inhabitants in Abuja.

He stated that part of the non-governmental organisation’s project was to transfer the Abuja natives’ “endangered traditional skills to the next generation for continuous preservation of the cultural heritage, as we have observed that this art is fast dying out as an express result of urbanisation.”

Arome also said the aim of the project was to “improve local economic development practise and enhance livelihood of the people which has been challenged by loss of economic trees and lands to the urbanisation, along the line of cultural preservation.”

He however called on the original inhabitants themselves to, even as he tasked them to create platforms that will enable them engage with governments to resolve their plights and preserve their culture.

Arome also urged institutions of higher learning in and around the FCT to incorporate the cultures of all the original tribes in Abuja in their curriculum and programmes especially during cultural exhibition.

All others who also spoke at the event encouraged the original inhabitants not to be ashamed of their culture but be proud of them and teach their younger ones.

One of the resource persons, Prof. Muhammed Umar Ndagi, Dean Faculty of Arts, University of Abuja, berated the people for promoting other peoples’ cultures to the detriment of their own, adding that it was even ungodly to disdain what God has created.

He advised the graduands to have passion for the work, imbibe integrity, set realistic goals for themselves, be confident and be creative in their work.

Another resource person, Dr. Mathew Michael, who represented Prof. Adamu Ayuba Binchi, also Dean Faculty of Arts, Nasarawa University, charged the original inhabitants to collaborate, be committed, creative, have confidence and be critical of negative cultural practices to preserve their cultural identities.