By Olakunle Taiwo
The Olojo Festival for the year 2019 has come and gone but it left us with indelible marks. The festival has remained a gathering of sons and daughters of the source- Ile Ife, other guests from all over the world, to celebrate the creation of the world and receive blessings from the king.
As the norm, the Olojo festival starts weeks before the grand finale and the king is expected to partake in certain activities such as being in seclusion for seven days. His coming out usually changes the mood of the whole city. It was a big moment for all who attended this year’s edition.
Part of other activities done during the festival were street carnival called Gbajure; the carnival takes the people round designated routes and streets within the precincts of Ife town.
There was also a colloquium which 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.
Others were cultural dance display from different groups, talent hunt, hosting of dignitaries to a sumptuous banquet, among others
As usual, a very close associate of the King, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi (Ojaja II), Chief Mrs Toyin Kolade, added sauce to the festival in a unique way. She had come in a very long convoy from her base in Lagos, escorted by the King’s pilot.
Influential and resourceful personalities were invited and well taken care of by the Iyalaje Apapa, now referred to as the Iyalaje of the Source. Technocrats, politicians and music stars, reputable media houses came in her company since Saturday she arrived Ile Ife and waited till the whole programme ended.
One thing she did that people kept talking about was the way she planned the entertainment of guests- those that followed her and the others. She ensured all the people were refreshed and even decided to show her singing ability to entertain some guests. Everyone applauded her delivery as if she borrowed the voice from the muses.
She even stooped low to peck some handicaps while she encouraged them. Of course she made them smile home. In fact, everyone on the scene was surprised to see such an influential woman behave in such a respectful manner.
In all, Iyalaje is said to have been a pillar of support to the King and always ensures the Ooni is successful in anything he is involved in. And as such she was part of the success history of this year’s Olojo festival.