The Yoruba Cultural Center in Dallas is gearing up for Yorubafest this Saturday, October 7th, at the Yoruba Cultural Center. This event marks the culmination of a week-long celebration commemorating Nigerian Independence Day
For the fourth consecutive year, Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson has officially declared a day in October as Yorubafest Day; a vibrant celebration of the rich history, art, and culture of one of Africa’s oldest ethnic groups, the Yorubas.
Ola Ogunkoya, the center’s theater and dance coordinator, emphasizes their focus on the younger generation, especially those who may not have had the chance to visit Nigeria.
He notes, “A lot of people, especially in the diaspora, many youths have never been to Nigeria, and some don’t even know their ancestral roots. We’ve created this place to encourage people to reconnect with their origins and heritage.”
The Yoruba Cultural Center also supports young Nigerian Americans through scholarships and various programs.
October 1st marked the 63rd anniversary of Nigeria’s independence from Great Britain. Dallas is home to one of the largest Nigerian American communities in the U.S., making it a priority to honor this significant day and celebrate Nigerian culture.
Childhood friends Adeola Kofoworade and Menab Tesfu, founders of COLORS, a monthly dance party featuring Afrobeats and amapiano, saw a need for a space where young Africans and others could feel at home.
“In Texas, many Africans may not feel comfortable or connected to their culture at other events,” Kofoworade explained. “So, we created a place for everyone, where people can truly be themselves, without judgment.”
Their event, COLORS, aims to help young Nigerian Americans stay connected to their Nigerian heritage and stay informed about what’s happening back in Nigeria. “A lot of people here don’t really know what’s going on back home,” Kofoworade noted. “Events like this give Nigeria a bigger platform in the hearts of our community.”