The President of the African Cultural Centre in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Oba Adekunle Aderemu, has stated that the organization’s partnership with Brazilian giant Santos, is geared towards promoting African culture as a whole.
A delighted Oba Adekunle stated this while speaking with our correspondent during a chat recently in Lagos as Santos FC management, who recently arrived, paid a courtesy call to the President-General of the Nigeria Football Supporters Club in Lagos Dr. Rafiu Ladipo in Surulere, Lagos..
“The African Cultural Centre has been promoting African Culture since 1990, organizing cultural activities in Brazil such as giving lectures about the importance of culture in Brazil” Oba Adekunle started.
“So along the line, we found out that Santos FC had the same ideology of promoting African culture and this paved way for a partnership that has made Santos FC visit Nigeria today to pay homage to Nigeria”.
“In doing this, we had to ride on the accomplishment of football legend Pele, who is a black man and also a former player of Santos FC”.
“We used this opportunity to remind the world that there was once a black football legend who led Santos FC during his hey days to play a ceasefire friendly match in Nigeria during the civil war, and that match halted the war for 48hours”.
“This is the first time a club is paying homage to an African nation, and this became so because Pele played for Santos”. “There are several other black players who played back then and yet no one is talking about them, but Pele is a very lucky man because we are still talking about him”.
While still speaking on the issue of using football as a tool for bridging culture, Oba Adekunle noted that the Yoruba people have a very important role to play in the Brazilian way of life as it affects their food, religion, clothing and general way of life.
When posed on the possibility of having one or two Bendel Insurance players being picked to play for Santos FC, Oba Adekunle said he would be extremely honoured and pleased to see such happen as these are the kind of things the foundation looked up to when the partnership was forged.