The Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization CBAAC has erected a bold mask of Queen Idia in front of its office in the heart of Lagos Island.
This is on 36/38 Broad Street, Lagos-Island and for the public to see and appreciate culture and history.
According to the Director-General, Hon. Oluwabunmi Amao (FITP), the decision to move the Queen Idia mask to the Public has been one of her set goals ever since she assumed office as the Director-General of the Centre in September, 2020. ‘The Queen Idia mask is a masterpiece, an emblem meant to project the image of the Centre to more Public knowledge and we are thankful to God that today, the dream has become a reality’.
It would be recalled that the Queen Idia Mask was the main face/logo of FESTAC ’77 which CBAAC represents in Africa today.
The unveiling also coincides with the Anniversary of the establishment of CBAAC by Decree 69 of 1979 as a foremost agency charged with the statutory responsibility of promoting and propagating Black and African Cultural Heritage in its entirety.
Not many youth and children of this generation know about Queen Idia.
She was the mother of Esigie, the Oba of Benin who ruled from 1504 to 1550. Idia played a very significant role in the rise and reign of her son, being described as a great warrior who fought relentlessly before and during her son’s reign as the oba (king) of the Edo people. Queen Idia was instrumental in securing the title of oba for Esigie following the death of his father Oba Ozolua. To that end, she raised an army to fight off his brother Arhuaran, who was subsequently defeated in battle. Esigie thus became the 17th Oba of Benin.