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OJUDE OBA’S FESTIVAL

Ojude Oba’s festival is a cultural festival held on the third day after eid el kabir (sallah) celebration in western Nigeria. The famous festival started in 1892, when the then Oba Adesumbo Tunwase offered landed properties to the Muslims for a Mosque to be built. He also offered the British missionaries the opportunity to preach Christianity in Ijebu Land as well as the land where St. Saviours, Italupe, the first church in Ijebu was built.

Ojude Oba Festival started as a religious festival, when a small number of adherents and followers of the Islamic religion chose to pay homage and show appreciation to the reigning Monarch for his kind gesture and benevolence towards them. However, the festival has transcended religious lines today and it attracts people of all faiths as well as tourists from within and outside Nigeria. On the day of the event, various peers and age groups come in festive attires to pay tribute to the king after which the festival continues with various forms of entertainment.

HISTORY OF OJUDE OBA FESTIVAL

A cultural festival held on the third day after eid el kabir (sallah) celebration in western Nigeria. The famous festival started out in 1892, when the then Oba Adesumbo Tunwase offered landed properties to the Muslims for a Mosque to be built. He also offered the British missionaries the opportunity to preach Christianity in Ijebu Land as well as the land where St. Saviours, Italupe, the first church in Ijebu was built.

Ojude Oba Festival atarted as a religious festival, when a small number of adherents and followers of the Islamic religion chose to pay homage and show appreciation to the reigning Monarch for his kind gesture and benevolence towards them. However, the festival has transcended religious lines today and it attracts people of all faiths as well as tourists from within and outside Nigeria. On the day of the event, various peers and age groups come in festive attires to pay tribute to the king after which the festival continues with various forms of entertainment.

If you are seeking to party, have fun and also wish to explore during this upcoming Eid El Kabir festival, then Ijebu-Ode, Ogun, South-West, Nigeria is the place to visit. The Ojude-Oba festival is a grand, glamorous and colourful festival celebrated with extreme pomp and pageantry.
The town is literally shut down, hotels in Ijebu-Ode are fully booked and there is so much to eat and drink.

For the people of Ijebu-Ode, who are notorious for their insatiable love of parties, it is a day of the year they anticipate as it offers them the opportunity to celebrate their heritage and have a once in a year meeting with family and friends.
Jumia Travel, Africa’s No 1 hotel booking portal rolls out 5 things to know about the Ojude Oba festival.

1. It started as a religious festival
Long before the Ojude-Oba festival became an all-encompassing gig, it was a small gathering of adherents and followers of the Islamic religion. Today, however, the festival has transcended religious lines and attracts people of all faiths as well as tourists from within and outside Nigeria.

2. Usually held on the third day of Eid El Kabir.
The two days before the Ojude Oba festival is for Muslims to savour and enjoy the Eid with their families, friends, and well-wishers. On the third day, Muslims, Christians, dignitaries, tourists and even visitors, troop to the Oba Sikiru Adetona Golden Jubilee Centre to witness and experience the glamour of the festival. It is a spectacle you shouldn’t miss if you find yourself in Ijebu-Ode.

3. Extravagant display of culture and heritage
The aim of the Ojude-Oba is to celebrate the rich culture and heritage of the people of Ijebu Ode. This is showcased via resplendent traditional attires, deft hairstyles, cuisine (ifokore) and the reenactment of rare cultural dances which can only be watched at a festival of such magnitude.

4. The 100-year-old festival welcomes over 45,000 visitors amidst heavy, singing, dancing and drumming also pay homage to the paramount ruler of Ijebu-land, HRH Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona, Ogbagba 11. Again the age-grades and the Oba’s subjects take turns to pay homage to the Awujale of Ijebu-land by presenting different foodstuffs and other items.

5. Horse-riding, gunshots and dance competitions
Horse-riding among the various horse riding families and male/female dance groups are the two things you shouldn’t miss during the festival. The different horse riding families dress their horses and exhibit their horse-riding skill to the admiration of spectators. Meanwhile, for the dance competition, men and women belonging to different age-groups called regberegbe will display their dancing prowess. The best-dressed regberegbe and horse-riding family will be rewarded with cash prizes. During the celebrations, there are intermittent gunshots.

Oso Oluwagbemi

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