Please see our "News and events" section for a year-end message from Founder, Remi Omodele!
My Palace Initiative is a Pan-African initiative to restore, preserve, and stem the loss of Africa's ancient palaces which traditionally served both as community centers and the abodes of the ancestral rulers. Restoration of these palaces will bring to prominence past glory and revitalize the social systems once sheltered within their walls, social systems more relevant today than ever.
It is critical for us to rebuild these icons of our cultural legacy. Rebuilding and putting these visual reminders to use is the only way to shed light on the manner in which they once provided meaningful leadership, that is, leadership that enhanced the lives of the citizens. It is critical that our youth see these icons, real and vibrantly alive, on a daily basis. This is one of our many gifts to the world, and it is our obligation to preserve them.
When restored, these palaces will:
Showcase traditional earthwork architecture
Reinvigorate historic markets
Encourage the arts
Stimulate tourism and local economies
Serve as a resource for educational programs
And reinforce the ancient values of African communal life
Showcase the real and vital roles of women
Archeologists and historians estimate there are thousands of palaces across Africa, and most of them need work. As such, our initiative is a Pan-African one.
Our support comes from around the world, and we would like to thank the following people for moral and material support:
Akinsola Akiwowo, PhD, author and father of Indigenous Sociology, Alexandria, Virginia
Yvette Chalom, Social Activist and Philanthropist, Berkeley, California
Kandioura Drame, PhD and specialist in Francophone African literature, Charlottesville, Virginia
Kacke Gotrick, Professor and author, Lund
Charles Henry, Professor, author, Human Rights scholar, leading figure in the Reparations debate, Clinton appointee to the National Council on the Humanities, 1994-2000
Prince Adedotun Layade, Dotlay, Inc., Civil Engineers & Contractors, Ibadan/Ile-Ife
Niyi Osundare, Professor and award winning author, New Orleans
Laura Simms, Internationally recognized Story Teller, New York
Wole Soyinka, Nobelist in literature, 1986, Ibadan/Abeokuta
Keiko Takemura, Professor, Swahili/African Studies, Osaka
Zodwa Tsajwa, UNESCO Secretariat, South African National Commission
Margaret Wilkerson, Professor Emeritus (UC Berkeley); Ford Foundation's Media, Art, and Culture Director, Berkeley/New York
Quentin Wilson, Professor and expert in Adobe Construction, New Mexico
Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN, Lagos/Abuja
Entrance to the Palace at Ikere
Ruins of a Ruler's Palace in Balawayo
Refurbished City Walls in Morocco
“The king's palace or court is a square, and is as large as the town of Haarlem and entirely surrounded by a special wall, like that which encircles the town. It is divided into many magnificent palaces, houses, and apartments of the courtiers, and comprises beautiful and long square galleries, about as large as the Exchange at Amsterdam, but one larger than another, resting on wooden pillars, from top to bottom covered with cast copper, on which are engraved the pictures of their war exploits and battles, and are kept very clean. Most palaces and houses of the king are covered with palm leaves instead of square pieces of wood, and every roof is decorated with a small turret ending in a point, on which birds are standing, birds cast in copper with outspread wings, cleverly made after living models."
From the description of a seventeenth century Dutch engraving in Olfert Dapper's Nauwkeurige Beschrijvinge der Afrikaansche Gewesten, Amsterdam, 1668
"My Palace Initiative sounds like an
interesting and worthwhile project. I'm glad somebody's thinking about this, because
in so much of Africa normally the only large old buildings restored have been
the slave forts, and this would be a happy change from that." Professor Adam Hochschild,
San Francisco United Nations In 2005, UNESCO, under Director-General Koichiro Matsumura, recognized the Ifa Heritage Project and presented it with the prestigious Third Proclamation of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.My Palace Initiative is a similar project and should garner this level of international recognition and support.
My Palace Initiative - Restoring our Icons Brick by Brick IRC section 501(c)(3), US tax ID (EIN) 26-2158214 Established March 2008 Copyright 2008