Dancers perform at the Yoruba Cultural Exchange Festival held Sept. 9 in Chicago.

CHICAGO—Chicago-based First Eye Concept recently hosted its Annual Yoruba Cultural Exchange Festival at Malcolm X College.

Yoruba, one of the three largest ethnic groups of Nigeria is concentrated in the southwestern part of that country. The Yoruba mainly inhabit parts of Nigeria, Benin, and Togo. The areas of these countries primarily inhabited by the Yoruba are often collectively referred to as Yorubaland.

Naimah Latif is the editor of ON AIR Magazine and worked as the lead assistant to First Eye Concept, to promote the cultural event which was held Sept. 9.

Organizers welcome attendees during cultural exchange. Photos: Haroon Rajaee

“It is always an honor and pleasure to not only attend these great events but to also play a role in help making it come to fruition. The Yoruba Cultural Exchange is a way to connect Nigerians and Black people born in America with one another,” said Ms. Latif.


“Chicago’s Mayor Brandon Johnson was extended an invitation as a dignitary, however, he was unable to attend. Jesse King, a veteran musician, also known as ‘Buga,’ was honored for preserving the Nigerian culture through his music. He received the ‘Excellence Award in Preservation of Musical Genres,’” stated Ms. Latif.

“We are always delighted to celebrate anyone or brand that is passionate about the growth of our culture. Buga is a typical example of a personality that is committed to protecting traditional values and culture. This has given our tradition more leverage and recognition among other cultures beyond the shores of the country,” stated Ambassador Wole Akanni Duro-Ladipo.

“The festival is an avenue to foster cultural values among Nigerians, specifically the Yoruba people to provide an opportunity for people to have a feel of home despite being away from their home country.”

The festival also showcased a fashion show, cultural dance, drumming, African food, and more.