Olumo Rock Creative Gallery opens in Water Works

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Olumo Rock Creative Gallery opens in Water Works

BY ANTHONY LEWIS
Observer West writer

Thursday, January 09, 2020

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WATER WORKS, Westmoreland – Angel Tours, an arm of Country Style Tourism Network, recently launched the historic Olumo Rock Creative Gallery at Heavy Sand Road in Water Works, Westmoreland.

Angel Tours is the operator of Abeokuta Private Nature Park, Olumo Rock Creative Gallery, Discipline in Schools Campaign (DISC), said to be endorsed by the Ministry of Education since 2015.

The company is also set to re-establish its Olumo Rock Mineral Bottled Water plant in the parish.

Entrepreneur Mitsy Wright Pryce, popularly known as “Angel”, who is the founder of the Abeokuta Private Nature Park and Olumo Rock Gallery, said the aim of the gallery is to provide information on Abeokuta, Jamaica, and its linkage with Nigeria, before going on a tour of the nature park where visitors can interact with community members. An entertainment package is also provided at the gallery which has a wide variety of artefacts on display.

“It is very beautiful. If you love nature, you wouldn't want to be anywhere else but Abeokuta. If you like history and if you are a student, you definitely must come to the gallery because this history that is here in the gallery is found nowhere else in the parish and found nowhere else on the island,” said Angel, a justice of the peace for the parish of Westmoreland.

The Abeokuta Private Nature Park, situated off the Dean's Valley main road, features the remains of a great house made of cut stones which dates back to the 1700 and overlooks acres of sugar cane. The park also features remnants of a Georgian-style tombstone made of marble and a 500-year-old Olympic-size swimming pool which is supplied with water from a nearby spring via a quarter-mile-long aqueduct. The property also contains the renowned Olumo Rock, which is said to be only found in Abeokuta, Jamaica, and Abeokuta in Nigeria, Africa.

The attraction was officially opened by Florentina Ukonga, the Nigerian high commissioner to Jamaica on January 5, 2003.

The name “Abeokuta” is a Nigerian name which means “Under The Rock”.

Ancestors who lived in Abeokuta, Jamaica, came as slaves from Abeokuta in Nigeria, Africa. They were referred to as the “Masai Tribe”, some of whom wore locks and would start to lock the hair of their children when they attained the age of 13 years.

Another set of Africans is said to have been brought to Abeokuta, Jamaica, from Abeokuta, Nigeria, after slavery was abolished, as indentured labourers.

The spring which provides water to the pool was used in the past to provide water to a bottled drinking water plant operated by Angel Tours.

The spring also provides a National Water Commission (NWC) facility in the area with water that supplies the communities of Water Works, Dean's Valley, Cameron and a section of Petersfield.

But, even though the NWC takes water from Abeokuta, that community is not served by the commission, and it is Angel and her family who have allowed community members to connect pipes to her source.

Meanwhile, the gallery is also the home of the DISC programme.

“We know that a lot of emphases is placed on academics, but the biggest of our problems does not rest with the lack of education. It stands with the lack of discipline in our society. So, we are trying to do our little bit here and we would like to have partner members come on board with us and partner with us to help to stem the indiscipline that plagues our society,” said Angel.

Additionally, a talent development programme called Creative Sundays where youngsters are able to expose their talent through singing, dancing, poetry, playing of instruments and acting is hosted at the gallery.

“We are giving them a stage to showcase what they have because we must understand that some of us will not survive or make our lives out of all academics. Some of us will survive by shared talents and our skills that we were born with,” argued Angel.


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