By B.V. Ashram Maharaja
Our preaching in Nigeria is targeted to specific audiences. One target area is the entertainment industry and media. We are getting conscious entertainers to work with and endorse our Krsna conscious activities. One example is Yeni Kuti, daughter of famous Afro-Rock legend Fela Ransome-Kuti.
She is the manager of the Femi Kuti and the famous Shrine night club – the biggest night club in Africa. She is chanting Hare Krsna, and also arranged for another artist Maimouna Youssef (Yamuna) ex-lead singer of the famous Hip-Hop band,The Roots. They had an extremely successful Lagos tour and have plans of presenting God consciousness (Krsna consciousness) to the general public in a simple way. These artists are reading some of the sponsored books, and Yamuna chants 4 rounds a day (was, she is on a holiday from chanting right now).
When I go back to Nigeria in a month or so, I plan to have a Krishna conscious radio show. I will also do some T.V. shows. The T.V/Radio shows will not only present Krishna consciousness “as it is” or in our traditional format but will also deal with issues that are topical, whilst giving a Krishna conscious perspective. An obvious example in Nigeria is Boko Haram, (the terrorists that kidnapped the 280 school girls in Northern Nigeria) We will discuss kidnapping and terrorism. We are in the process of setting up dialogue between a Muslim cleric and a Christian clergy. The dialogue will be broadcast in Nigeria. Preaching through the Media will be our main outreach program. Through this we plan to not only distribute a lot of Krishna conscious literature but to systematically educate the populace in “Universal principles of spirituality”, as presented by our Guru Parampara.
We will also be doing programs in the Universty of Lagos. The head of the philosophy department is very receptive and eager to have us participate in his department.
Another project that we have started on in the last year is the building of a small temple for a farm community that lives 30 minutes outside of Lagos. This community has been practicing Krsna consciousness for the last 25 years by themselves. They are about 20 strong and they all get up every morning to at 4:30 am for Mangal arati, including the 3 year old children.
The temple is situated in a resort park, and will be one of, if not the main tourist spot in Lagos in the next two years.
The temple is very basic. We have a temporary altar for the time being. This is what I could afford without doing a big fund-raising program. But the local devotees are extremely grateful. It can accommodate 150 devotees. It has been built according to Vedic standards. Bhumi puja has been done, Ananta-Shesha has been installed. The altar has traditional parikrama round it with kitchen in the Southwest part of the temple. Even though the windows and doors are not put in yet, the devotees are coming enthusiastically for daily programs. The costs of putting up the existing structure has been minimal. It has come from the kind donations that I have received whilst preaching in Nigeria, England, the U.S.A and the West Indies, and a devotee from Brasil. We need another $5,000.00 to $10,000.00 to put in windows, doors, etc. Any donations for this project would be greatly appreciated. The temple will also be used for community purposes.
front side view
back of temple with kitchen windows
The Community lives next door to the temple. They have all received books, and are eagerly waiting for more. They especially want our books in French, because many of the come from the neighboring country, Togo.
You can see more pictures of Lufasi Park If you click on this link and scroll down the page. (Lufasi park is the name of the Resort area where the temple is situated.) http://nomad4now.com/tag/lufasi/
Next to the site is a film village which is being built. We hope that it will be a focal point for Nollywood film productions. The world’s 3rd largest film industry is in Nigeria, it is called Nollywood.
A vegetarian snack bar will be built to cater to the Nollywood people.
The Nollywood connection is convenient because as I mentioned earlier, our next project will be filming TV shows in which we will be interrelating with people form different faiths. These shows will go on YouTube and will broadcast in America and Nigeria.
Anyone with good ideas for the TV /Radio shows, or wants to help with the project please get in touch. We are also looking for somebody who practices holistic medicine/ yoga teacher who would like to be situated in the resort park. The owner of the Resort Park has said the he will have western type accommodation and facilities within the next 12 months.
So if anybody would like to offer any help or suggestions, they can get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org