One of the greatest festivals for which the ancient town of Ile-Ife is known is the Olojo festival. Every year a whole month is devoted to it. It is time to reflect on the socio-cultural lives of the people of the old Ife who constitute the kingdom and have also contributed immensely to the historic values of the Yoruba heritage. This year’s Olojo began three weeks ago and the grand finale will be celebrated on the 27th and 28th of this month.
In a statement made available to The Nation, Mr. Akin Adejuwon, one of the directors of the festival said that on 21st, there will be a street carnival. Entitled Gbajure, the carnival will take the people round designated routes and streets within the precincts of Ife town. Some of the important sons and daughters of the ancient historic town will be in attendance. This is essentially to give clout and credence to the glorious outing. Usually it is the glow of the people that add vibes and colours to the carnival. Already some of these important personalities have begun to arrive Ife in readiness for the grandiose epic gathering.
On 25th there will be a colloquium. This colloquium became an important segment of this show to enable scholars, culture technocrats, administrators, activists and advocates to brainstorm and determine how best to ensure that Olojo and other related cultural festivals do not lose focus. The contributions of these eggheads will add more values to the ideas already on ground and then proffer more ingredients to be added to the festival to make it richer, bigger and more attractive.
Adejuwon, a former Director of the National Troupe of Nigeria is of the opinion that the outcome of the colloquium will be documented for further references for future use. Ideas germinate. Ideas propel an issue and ignite new moves to help civilization. Therefore all ideas to be tabled and discussed there will be totally taken into cognizance for the sake of culture in Nigeria. Olojo needs to go places. It needs to lead while others follow. That is the basic concept and idea.
On 27th and 28th, the main events will then happen. On these days the Ooni, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi will be in place to receive the people. The whole town will be in special mood to welcome visitors, tourists and culture enthusiasts from all over the world. It will be colourful and magnificent, bringing the town to the full attention of the world.
The festival is one of the many traditional celebrations from time immemorial by the people of Ife. They do not treat it with levity. It is part of the town as the cradle of the Yoruba race, a place where customs hold sway. Indeed, a place where the Ooni does not joke with the heritages bestowed on the people by their great ancestors and progenitors.