Connect with us

News

Olojo Festival, Grand Celebration Of Rich Yoruba Cultural Heritage

Published

on

Olojo in Yoruba means ‘the day of the first dawn’ but in the lores of Ile-Ife, the Olojo Festival is an annual cultural festival created to celebrate the day the Almighty created the earth.

However, to the Ooni of Ife Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, it has grown to become a celebration for the black race as a whole.

“Olojo is the celebration of God Almighty. It is a way of our culture, our tradition and our heritage. That is the reason why it’s the celebration for all black race all over the world and it is the pride of the entire blacks, not only people of Ife, Osun State.

Not only Nigerians; it is the celebration of the entire blacks all over the world. God actually appointed me and anointed me on this throne to do my very best to correct a lot of wrongs, especially as far as our culture and tradition is concerned.

It’s indeed the celebration of God at the first dawn (Ojo ti ojo di ojo),” he said in a recent chat.

To the monarch, beyond the usual frenzy and razzmatazz, Olojo Festival is very remarkable and symbolic.

“We have landmarks to prove that there’s nowhere in the world that you’ll place a cock, the cock must crow at dawn. And for this celebration, a cock is symbolic to what we are doing. A cock is the indicator of time; a cock does not have any wristwatch, but God uses a cock to tell every human being about the dawn of a new day,” the Ooni said.

Olafare Moses, the monarch’s spokesperson, who explained the nature of the seclusion process, said, ‘’the monarch, during the seclusion would not be receiving visitors nor step outside.”

He added that the ancestors would be appeased and pacified during the period. Prior to the King’s exit after seven days, some rites and rituals were performed to appease the gods.

In the Olojo mysticism, it is said that the night the king first appears to the people, whatever he says will come to pass as he will be highly spiritually possessed by the Irumole and the gods. Various groups from across the world waited with bated breath as they expected the exit of the king.

Ooni had on Sunday gone into seclusion in Iledi House in Iremo Quarters to perform traditional rites, for seven days during which he communed with the ancestors and prayed for his subjects, the Yoruba race and the entire humanity.

The Arole Oduduwa on Friday night returned from the seven days seclusion exercise which he embarked upon as part of the Olojo Festival.

While addressing the cheering crowd at his Ile Oodua Palace, Ooni Ogunwusi described his journey as a core spiritual exercise during which he prayed for his subjects, the Yoruba race and the entire humanity.

“Tonight, I’ll give you keys towards receiving heavenly blessings and all round breakthrough. It is fasting and prayers to the Most High God.

“I implore you to fast according to your strength as a person and back it up with the request of all you need in prayers and leave God to do the rest.

“During the just concluded seclusion exercise, I had the privilege of seeing the world beyond and I can assure you that the good God is ever ready and willing to help only if we ask.” Ooni who is the spiritual head of the Yoruba race admonished.

This is the ancient, sacred crown inherited by the king and it is the only physical symbol of authority the Ooni of Ife.

The crown is believed to be the original crown used by Oduduwa during his reign in the classical era of Yoruba history.

Myth has it that the holy Aare crown is made of over 149 undisclosed objects such as cutlasses and hoes and weighs, conservatively 100 kilogrammes.

This crown holds great significance in the Olojo celebration, as the Ooni of Ife is the only person spiritually enabled to wear it during the cultural feast.

Historically, it is believed there is a deep tie between the sacred crown and the Ogun deity (the god of iron) due to the crown’s components and it must be brought before the Ogun deity at Oke-Mogun shrine in Ile-Ife on each Olojo festival season.

The King’s exit was a spectacle to behold as the monarch – supposedly possessed by the spirits, stepped out gracefully and looking every inch like a secluded man.

All the gods in Yoruba historical background were duly represented in performances that lasted for 30 minutes.

Speaking, the Governor of the state, Adegboyega Oyetola, restated his administration’s commitment to prioritising tourism for huge economic gains and rapid development of the State.

This is also as the Governor disclosed plans by the administration to build a world-class museum and cultural Centre in the State.

Oyetola assured that his government is fully aware of the abundant opportunities inherent in the preservation and promotion of the State’s heritage and tourism.

He said government is resolved to prioritise the tourism sector as one of the economic pillars to drive the State’s economy.

He described as huge the contributions of culture and tourism infrastructure to the economic development of the State and as a foreign exchange earner, adding that government would leave no stone unturned to ensure that such contributions are maximally harnessed.

He further disclosed that his administration was already making stringent efforts to build a sustainable tourism industry in the State through collaboration with local and international partners, some of whom had indicated intentions to collaborate with the government, following the convocation of the Osun Economic and Investment Summit held in November last year.

“A few weeks ago, a team of investors and financial Institutions visited the State and were impressed by its enormous human, cultural and natural resources after going round some of our tourist attractions.

“They have therefore expressed their willingness and strong commitment to develop our tourism attractions to World Class Destinations. We are vigorously pursuing these potential investors to ensure that our dream of making Osun a tourism and investment haven is achieved.

“To further show our commitment to the preservation and promotion of our roots, Ile-Ife, the State Government has decided to establish a unique and World Class edifice – the Yoruba Museums And Heritage Centre – to showcase our unique culture, tradition, heritage and experiences to the globe and create a huge market for the State.

“We are happy to have an Ooni who shares our dream that Olojo Festival should State of Osun Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola, on Saturday, restated his administration’s commitment to prioritising tourism for huge economic gains and rapid development of the State.

This is also as the Governor disclosed plans by the administration to build a world-class museum and cultural Centre in the State.

Oyetola assured that his government is fully aware of the abundant opportunities inherent in the preservation and promotion of the State’s heritage and tourism.

He said government is resolved to prioritise the tourism sector as one of the economic pillars to drive the State’s economy.

He described as huge the contributions of culture and tourism infrastructure to the economic development of the State and as a foreign exchange earner, adding that government would leave no stone unturned to ensure that such contributions are maximally harnessed.

The Governor was accompanied to the event by the Chairman, State of Osun All Progressives Congress (APC), Prince Gboyega Famodun; the Chief Whip, Osun House of Assembly, Hon. Tunde Olatunji; Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Dr. Obawale Adebisi; Commissioner for Home Affairs, Mr. Tajudeen Lawal; Commissioner for Education, Mr. Folorunso Bamisayemi; Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Mr. Yemi Lawal; and Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Mr. Jamiu Olawumi, among others.

Recent Posts

Trending