A LECTURE DELIVERED BY DR. VICTOR OKHAI DURING THE FUGAR CULTURAL FESTIVAL LECTURE/SEMINAR NITE. VENUE: UTAGBABOR (ANCESTRAL TREE) ULOMOGHIE FUGAR CITY, EDO STATE
 
Ladies and gentlemen, esteemed members of the Fugar Community, honored guests, and fellow enthusiasts of entrepreneurship, I stand before you today with a profound sense of purpose and passion. Today, we embark on a journey to explore the profound connection between cultural values, identity, and heritage as catalysts for entrepreneurship development in our beloved Fugar Community. We shall delve into the unique opportunities presented by the Fugar Day celebrations, the rich tapestry of our tourist sites, such as Utagbabor, the ancestral tree where our community first settled, the Edegbake cave, and the Ogodogodo cave that sheltered our ancestors during the 18th-century wars. These historical sites not only offer a canvas for the production of souvenirs but also provide an avenue for training tourist guides, all while building on Fugar’s legacy of unity and support for the youth through skills and capacity-building programs.
 
Our cultural tapestry is a rich and vibrant mosaic, woven together by the threads of traditions, customs, and values passed down through generations. Fugar, with its diverse history and unique heritage, possesses a reservoir of cultural wealth that can be harnessed for the betterment of our community through entrepreneurship.
First and foremost, let us reflect on the importance of cultural values. Our shared values serve as the moral compass that guides us through the tumultuous seas of life. They instill in us a sense of responsibility, integrity, and respect for one another. In the realm of entrepreneurship, these values become the bedrock upon which successful ventures are built. When entrepreneurs embody and promote cultural values, they create businesses that not only thrive economically but also contribute positively to the social fabric of our community.
 
Take, for instance, a local entrepreneur who prioritizes fairness, transparency, and community collaboration in their business practices. By doing so, they not only achieve financial success but also foster a sense of trust and solidarity among customers and fellow entrepreneurs alike. This interconnected web of trust becomes the foundation upon which a resilient and thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem can flourish.
 
Now, let us delve into the significance of identity. Our individual and collective identities are shaped by the stories we tell, the customs we uphold, and the history we share. Embracing our identity as Fugarians empowers us to carve a unique niche in the entrepreneurial landscape. It allows us to infuse our businesses with the distinctive flavors of our culture; creating products and services that resonate not only locally but also have the potential to captivate markets beyond our borders.
 
Consider a business that draws inspiration from Fugar’s traditional craftsmanship, blending age-old techniques with modern innovation to produce artisanal goods. Such enterprises not only preserve our cultural identity but also create a market niche for authentic, locally crafted products. In turn, this not only sustains traditional skills but also provides economic opportunities for artisans and entrepreneurs, thus ensuring the continuity of our unique identity.
 
Let us celebrate our heritage, the tapestry of stories, art, and wisdom handed down through generations. Our heritage is not a relic of the past but a living, breathing force that propels us into the future. Entrepreneurs who tap into the wellspring of our heritage can create businesses that not only stand the test of time but also contribute to the cultural renaissance of Fugar.
 
Imagine a cultural heritage center that becomes a hub for both locals and tourists, showcasing the rich history of Fugar through art, music, and traditional performances. Such initiatives not only boost tourism but also create employment opportunities and stimulate economic growth. The preservation and promotion of our heritage, when integrated into entrepreneurial endeavors, become a powerful engine for community development.
 
The Fugar Day celebrations, an annual commemoration of our shared identity, provide a unique platform for entrepreneurs to showcase and market their products and services, attracting both locals and visitors alike. Imagine Fugar becoming not only a hub for cultural celebration but also a marketplace for entrepreneurs to thrive, creating economic opportunities during these festive times. Local artisans can capitalize on this occasion to produce culturally significant souvenirs inspired by the stories of Utagbabor, the ancestral tree, and the historic caves of Edegbake and Ogodogodo. These souvenirs, infused with the spirit of Fugar’s history, can become cherished mementos for visitors and a source of income for local entrepreneurs.
 
Our tourist sites, each telling a unique tale of our community’s journey, present an untapped opportunity for entrepreneurship. Utagbabor, the revered ancestral tree where Fugar first took root, could be transformed into a cultural hub. Entrepreneurs can establish centers for cultural exchange, offering workshops on traditional practices and artisanal skills. The Edegbake and Ogodogodo caves, with their historical significance, can become focal points for guided tours. This not only creates opportunities for the training of local tourist guides but also promotes an immersive experience for visitors eager to learn about Fugar’s rich history. The demand for skilled guides can lead to the establishment of training programs, contributing to the development of a tourism sector that is both economically viable and culturally enriching.
 
Moreover, let us draw inspiration from our collective identity as Fugarians, a community that has always united to build its foundations and support its youth. Our entrepreneurial endeavors can be strengthened by fostering a collaborative spirit, where businesses work together to uplift the community as a whole. Building on the tradition of community support, we can establish mentorship programs, business networks, and cooperative ventures that amplify the impact of individual businesses.
 
Consider the potential of a Fugar Entrepreneurship Alliance, where experienced business leaders provide guidance to emerging entrepreneurs, sharing knowledge and resources. This collaborative effort not only strengthens individual ventures but also contributes to the overall economic resilience of our community. By pooling our talents and resources, we create an environment where every entrepreneur, regardless of their starting point, can thrive and contribute to the collective success of Fugar.
 
Furthermore, our commitment to youth empowerment through skills and capacity-building programs becomes a crucial pillar in the edifice of Fugar entrepreneurship. By investing in the education and skill development of our youth, we lay the foundation for a new generation of entrepreneurs who will carry the torch forward. Imagine vocational training centers, supported by the community, where young minds are equipped with the skills needed for modern enterprises, ensuring the sustainability of Fugar’s entrepreneurial spirit.
 
Fugar has a pool of talented, creative and youthful population and an educated pool of retirees. Fugar has beautiful locations and unoccupied mansions that can be used as movie sets. The community can be delibrate about promoting Fugar as a preferred destination for shooting movies and series in edo stae especially as the stae government has prioritised this as part of its tourism and job creation strategy. Fugarians can pool together resources to sponsor movie projects to be shot in Fugar. It will not only promote and open up the community, but it will create new jobs and stimulate the local economy.
 
In conclusion, let us seize the opportunities presented by the Fugar Day celebrations, our tourist sites, and our commitment to community unity and youth empowerment. As we embark on this journey, let us be the torchbearers of a new era of Fugar entrepreneurship one that is not only rooted in our rich cultural soil, guided by our shared values, and propelled by the legacy of our heritage but also fueled by the collective strength of a united community. Together, let us forge a path towards sustainable development, economic prosperity, and the preservation of the unique spirit that makes Fugar an extraordinary community.
 
Thank you, and may our entrepreneurial endeavors be guided by the light of our cultural heritage, the opportunities of our celebrations, the beauty of our tourist sites, and the unwavering unity that defines us as Fugarians.
 
Thank you for listening.
 
DR. VICTOR OKHAI

By osibanews

Eliel Otote A is an Actor and Filmmaker, with a bias for journalism. He was a freelance feature writer with the Nigerian Observer in the 80's in Benin City, he also presented programmes on both radio and television. Eliel is the Editor and Publisher of OSIBAnews Network Magazine, of which this blog is an affiliate.

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