Stakeholders, sponsors and media gathered at the Ile Odua Palace of the Ooni of Ife,Oba Adeyeye Eniitan Ogunwusi Ojaja 11 on Wednesday for the unveiling of corporate sponsors and programme for the two week Olojo Festival 2018 scheduled to hold in Ile Ife, Osun State.
Chief Festival Administrator, Otunba Ago Olumoko, while speaking at at the press conference held at oduduwa palace ile ife disclosed that Corporate organisation including Grand Oak, makers of Seaman Aromatic Schnapps, MTN , Nigerian Breweries PLC , producer of Goldberg beer, Bet9ja, and Adron Homes & Property are major sponsors of the festival,” Otunba Olumoko said.
He added that more corporate sponsors have indicated to participate in the 2018 edition , due to the success recorded during the 2017 edition of the Festival.
Olumoko said, “ This year’s OLOJO Festival is bigger, better and fun packed to ensure that tourists and other participants enjoyed the festival. He however assured the sponsors that the planning committee would give them all the necessary support.
His Imperial Majesty, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, Oonirisa of Ile Ife, in his remark commended the sponsors for their interest in the festival , which he described as a major tourism programme in Africa.
According to him, the festival is an important aspect of life , as it shows the relationship between humanity and divinity. He added that the festival is a period set aside to celebrate the Almighty God, who created the “DAY”.
He said, “Olojo is God’s festival. It is meant to celebrate the first dawn – first day and night of creation. This divine arrangement is only celebrated in Ile Ife ( land of expansion) forever, as our heritage from God. It is therefore a festival meant to uphold the culture ad heritage of the Yoruba people.
“We are using the day to commemorate “ Ogun”, the quintessential deity of Iron and truth, who charted the way to Earth for Oduduwa , progenitor of the Yoruba people and other deities. Ogun is the father of modern science and a pathfinder. We are appreciating God for helping the scions of Oduduwa to lift the sacred and symbolic Aare Crown, which is worn once in a year,” the Ooni disclosed.
The Imperial majesty however disclosed that the festival is not idolatry, but an attempt to pay homage to the deities in Ile Ife , being the centre piece of earth. He however noted that the festival will attract thousands of tourists who have expressed interest in witnessing the event.
Oba Adeyeye based on tradition of the festival is expected within the week of the festival to go into stable seclusion for a total of seven(7) days and expected to come out on Friday, September 28, being the ILAGUN DAY- a day of terrestrial message to the world and prayer for Nigeria.
The grand finale of the 2018 edition of the historical festival in Ile Ife, with the theme: THE OLOJO FESTIVAL: An Impactful Domestic Tourism Product, is billed to commence Saturday, September 22, with Gbajure Cultural carnival, September 23/25- Ooni’s football Challenge Semi final/final, September 26- Ayo-Olopon traditional game and September 27, Festival Fashion Show, Yoruba Cultural Entertainment Night and music concert.
Others are September 28- Ojo Ilagun, community cleansing/Ooni’s terrestrial message to the world, September 29- Ojo Okemogun, Aare’s cultural procession, September 30- Olojo ceremonial grand finale and October 1- Ooni ancestral traditional propitiation, cultural trade and closing ceremony.
The event was attended by all the Obas and Chiefs in Ile-Ife, made prayers for the Ooni. The representatives of corporate organisations sponsoring the event also paid homage to the monarch and unveiled their programme for the festival.