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Ekiti man redesigns Arin game for global market

Driven by the desire to preserve Nigeria’s tangible heritage, especially those facing extinction, Ekiti state-born Product Concept Creator and Developer, Mr Micheal Aderemi Agbetuyi has embarked on rebranding and standisation of Arin (Dioclea reflexa) game, a popular age-long game among the Yoruba people. His interest in developing the game started in 2017 while on a visit to his home place, Usi in Ekiti state.

Agbetuyi who is worried that most youths are unaware of this ancient game, recalled that growing up as a little child, Arin was a common game among youths in most communities in Yoruba land especially Ekitiland. Today, modernity and urbanization have displaced the game from the people’s sporting activities.

He stated that ‘Arin is a game played by old and young people. It has since gone into extinction and the youths do not know anything about it. It is only few people that still engage in it in some remote villages. It is a game dying for lack of promotion and sustenance. I doubt if any of our youths today can identify (Dioclea Reflexa) Arin as a seed being used for a game.’

According to Agbetuyi, the task of embarking on rebranding and standisation of the game began in 2017 during one of his visits to his home town, Usi Ekiti where he saw some kids playing the game. This experience, he said, brought back sweet memories of when he was a little child in the community.

“It brought back the experiences of those periods when we were younger, when anxiety, dexterity, calculation and all sort of expertise must be brought to bear in knocking your opponent seed.

“That was when the process of rebranding, standardization and efforts to globalise the game started. That was when I researched and discovered that the game can actually be played in individual homes, lounge, hotel, and stadium as tournament. If Billiard, Bowling, Beer-pong and other recreational games and sports can attain international recognition, definitely this new game will,” he said.

But two years later, Agbetuyi had the opportunity of presenting his design project of the game to Ekiti state government through Wale Ojo Lanre led-Ekiti state Arts Council platform for review and possible partnership. That review brought about the second design followed by the construction of another play table, new rules guiding the mode of play and also instructional book on the game. However, the game is yet to receive Ekit state government’s attention.

“In 2019, I heard of a town hall meeting being put together by the office of then Director-General Ekiti state Art Culture, Ambassador Wale Ojo Lanre on revamping of all forgotten events and games notable to Ekiti People. I made sure I attended with the motive of partnering Ekiti government. The town hall meeting was in encouraging and reassuring especially with the personal commitment of the DG to see through for whoever comes up with a worthy proposal or project. With this in mind I went back to the project and came up with the first design.

“I presented the first design to friends and was reviewed. The review brought about the second design followed by the construction of another play table, new rules guiding the mode of play and also instructional book on the game. The game is designed to be played by opposing player of two or more to form a team. The game will soon be unveiled as soon as we are done with the process of naming it,” he said.

Beyond preservation of heritage, Agbetuyi is inspired by the potentials of the game to create a new line of employment of professional players, and new line of event through tournaments among the teeming youths. He observed that by the time it becomes a national and international game, crave for the seeds will be enormous, although artificial might emerge later, but artificial gold is differentiated from real.

“This will definitely open up a new line of agricultural production in the country. It will also give our teeming youths something to keep them busy. Being Nigeria origin we would have contributed to global game village. A new game tournament will equally be created locally, nationally and globally,” he added.

In order to give the game a global outlook in the event he is unable to get a local support, Agbetuyi initiated a process of naming the game via democratic process whereby people from across the world are free to nominate distinguish global personality with positive impact. The 1st 10 of these nominees will stand to be voted for via the web App: https://www.pcan.ng/. The winner will have his/her name attached to the game.

1 Comment
  1. Famusere Emmanuel says

    That’s awesome

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