The Olojo Festival is set to showcase a rich Yoruba cultural celebration that is geared towards the promotion of cultural values, global peace and prosperity. It will celebrate the ancient, magnificent and splendour of Ade-Aare Crown in the public square, exhibitions of Yoruba antiquities, display of cultural troupes, other materials of the culture and much more for all visitors and residents to enjoy the weekend of September 30 to October 2, 2017. Olojo Festival cultural weekend will be held at convenient locations near the Palace at Enuwa in Ile Ife, Osun State, Nigeria.
The Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Adéyeyè Enitan Ògúnwùsì (Òjàjà II) is calling on all visitors far and wide to come and celebrate the official Yoruba New Year in Ile Ife, Nigeria, as he explains: “with my global outreach initiative which is creating a new epic movement, I’ve been travelling out of my kingdom to visit other nations around the world to share our own stories, delivering academic lectures, re-charting the leading role of Yoruba nation in the world and to reignite the immortal Yoruba spirit of enlightenment as the glowing fountain of knowledge that gave birth to the world civilisation”.
He further stated that “the existence of Ile-Ife as the source of humanity has been genetically studied and attested to by the scientific work of Dr. Etienne Papin and his 24 man-team at Institut Pasteur in Paris, France. The studies corroborate the genetic existence of the Yoruba collective in Nigeria at more than 100,000 years ago-with two distinct main groups, Khoe-San of South Africa splitting away at 87,000 years ago and Mbuti of DRC parting from Yoruba at 56,000 years ago respectively”.
Therefore, and according to Ooni “Olojo is notably the foremost festival that the world has ever known. Its existence was a triumphant initiative from divinity to humanity as it was also the primal source of the creation of other festivals. Olojo celebrates the dawn of the first day of existence on earth, as described and reference in many holy and religious books when God said let there be light and there was light. I am keen to use the event as an opportunity for the world to come and experience our authentic cultural festivities.”
The Festival as a traditional and cultural event was attended by approximately 250,000 people last year 2016, placing the event as the third largest biggest festival in the world after Rio Mardi Gras in Brazil with 500, 000 attendees and Holi in India receiving the most visitors at 2 million plus. The Olojo festival is unique as it centres on the once-a-year wearing of the Ade-Aare Crown which is arguably is the oldest monarchic crown in existence; as it has been strictly maintained over millennia and 51 successive Ooni’s wearing the exact same crown.
Brian e Ebden, Communications Consultant for the Olojo Festival said: “within the next five years, there is no reason for the Olojo Festival not to attract over a million visitors to the spiritual homeland of Yoruba people. As an African celebration, it is second to none as it draws upon an extremely wide variety of exotic traditions in terms of clothing, music, dancing and customs and is a visual spectacular.”
Prince Babajide Fadairo, CEO of House of Oduduwa Foundation, stated: “Olojo Festival continues to be an event that the city of Ife can be proud of, as it represents many of the qualities that make Ile Ife so unique. I invite and encourage our residents and visitors to take time to enjoy some, if not all parts of the festival and engage with the many visiting as they share their culture with us.”
Dr. Ayobami O. Oyedare of Ọọ̀ni’rìsà of Ilé-Ifẹ̀ Global Outreach commented: “The Olojo Festival has reinvented itself from being a seemingly insular cultural meeting point to a global fountain of togetherness and connectedness that is dispensing formidable heritage appreciation, cultural intellectualism and contemporary engagement towards the mission of world peace and unity. The result of this is a global amalgamation of people of all ages, races and backgrounds championing new cultural frontiers, transforming economic development, and reconstructing the chronicles of the human race which its source and expansion began from the Yoruba nation- Ile-Ife.”