YORUBA CRADLE, ILE-IFE SET FOR COLOURFUL OLOJO FESTIVAL
This is to make the traditional ruler and spiritual head of Yoruba race pure and ensure the efficacy of his prayers, and before the Ooni emerges, women from his maternal and paternal families sweep the Palace, symbolically ridding the Palace of evil.
The Ooni later appears in public with the Are crown (King’s Crown), which is believed to be the original crown used by Oduduwa to lead a procession of traditional Chiefs and Priests to perform at the Shrine of Ogun.
The next stage of the ceremony is to lead the crowd to Okemogun’s shrine, where he performs duties including the renewal of oath, divination for the Ooni at the foot of Oketage hill by Araba (Chief Priest), as well as visiting places of historical importance.
Penpushing also reports that, the traditional Chiefs with the swords of office marked with chalk and cam wood, appear in ceremonial attire and dance to rhythms from Bembe, a traditional drum at the shrine. The style of drum and singing for each Chief is different. Only the Ooni can dance to the drum called Osirigi.
The Olojo has remained popular in Ile-Ife because of its myth and history. It connotes the day in the year specially blessed by Olodumare (the creator of the Universe). Olojo can also be literally translated as the “Owner for the day”. Prayers are offered for peace and tranquility in Yoruba and Nigeria. All age groups participate. Its significance is the unification of the Yorubas.
Tradition holds that Ile-Ife is the cradle of the Yorubas, the city of survivors, spiritual seat of the Yorubas, and land of the ancients.
Penpushing reports that the programme of the 2019 ceremony has it that opening ceremony of the week-long event on Tuesday 17th September 2019 held Cultural trade/ Art exhibition, opening ceremony, followed with Olojo Festival Cultural Summit.
The ceremony on Saturday, September, 21, had Gbajure Cultural Carnival, Ooni’s football challenge, and on Wednesday 25th September 2019 there will be Ayo Olopon traditional game, while Thursday 26th September 2019 there is to be the Yoruba cultural entertainment night, festival musical concert, cultural trade/art exhibition.
The programme also has it that on Friday 27th September 2019 there is to be Ojo Ilagun, Iwode ile iwe. Community cleansing, Oonirisa-terrestial message to the world Olojo Festival Ankara carnival, while on Saturday 28th September 2019 there will be Ojo Okemogun, the Aare cultural procession.
Penpushing further reports that, on Sunday 29th September there is to be Ojo Ajoyo, the Olojo ceremonial grand finale, while Monday 30th September is designated for Ojo Ibile( Oonirisa Ancestral traditional propitiation.
This is to be followed with Yeye Gbobaniyan/ Ooni’s foundation support initiative on Tuesday 1st October, while Wednesday 2nd October 2019 is for Yeye Bobagunwa/Oonirisa’s motherless babies home launch and Thursday 3rd October 2019 – Yeye Bobakeye/organizational launch & courtesy visit to Oonirisa.
Penpushing also reports that, Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Eniitan Ogunwusi, will on October 19 confer the prestigious chieftaincy title of Odole Oodua on Sir Adebutu Adebukunola Keshington, the ceremony in consent of the House of Oduduwa
The palace in a statement signed by Director, Media and Public Affairs, Comrade Moses Olafare, said arrangements were in top gear for the event, adding that, the conferment was the first since the monarch ascension of the throne as the 51st Ooni of Ife, the cradle of Yorubaland.
The statement explained that Odole is a special office which works closely with the Ooni in rallying the descendants of Oduduwa across the globe for unity, peace and progress of the race, recalling that The Odole Oodua, position was once occupied by the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo and subsequently by Chief G.O.K Ajayi.
Penpushing further reports that Odole Odua is a highly revered chieftaincy in Yorubaland pioneered by the great Oranmiyan while he was still a Prince of Ife who served as a rallying point and stabilizing force among the powerful empires within the expansive Oduduwa territory before becoming the Ooni in Ife after his exploits which cut across Benin and Oyo kingdoms where he established his Royal Dynasties which have been in existence till date.
The office according to history has its roots in the remarkable roles played by Oranmiyan, the great ruler of old Oyo and Benin kingdoms, who was known to be virile, bold, adventurous, circumspect, dutiful and at the service of his other siblings.
The statement explained further that, Oranmiyan stood as an effective link between them, adding that It was his commitment to a united Oduduwa family that is referenced in the fragment of his panegyric “Akantunkansi or as’Otuns’osi, Akinn’ile Akinl’ogun” (the great link to both sides, the brave both at home and at war.
Penpushing also reports that, even though both Benin and Oyo kingdoms were at a point most powerful domains within the expansive Oduduwa territory, but Oranmiyan ensured that they never overran each other.
The statement said, etymologically, “Odole” derives from the expression “Odo ile Oodua” (the youth in the house of Oduduwa), stating that it is a contraction of the expression adopted as a title to perpetuate the ideal of internal cohesion for which Oranmiyan stood in the Oodua family of the ancient days.
‘The traditional title of the Odole of Ife has been retained as part of Ife’s social and political system and specially conferred on distinguished Oodua descendant who in present times can replicate the roles played by Oranmiyan’.
The statement further explained that, in the contemporary history of the Oodua people, the late sage, Chief Jeremiah Obafemi Awolowo, who later held the title of Asiwaju Ile-Oodua which has since been left unfilled till date, was the first to be honoured with the title after Oranmiyan, adding that the second holder of the title was the late Chief G.O.K. Ajayi (SAN), while Sir Adebutu Adebukunola Kensington is to be the third in the line.
The statement said Keshington like his predecessor, is known for exemplary life achievements and awesome potentials for positive social transformation were a crucial factor in his consideration for the prestigious position.
‘From a very humble background to a life of a successful businessman of national and international repute, a philanthropist of rare breed and a social reformer of distinction, Sir Adebutu has emerged as the most suitable candidate for the position. He hails from Iperu Remo in Ikene Local Government area of Ogun State, Nigeria’.
Penpushing reports that, the choice of Adebutu Keshington as the Odole Oodua is also in recognition of his philanthropy, positive contributions to human development, and promotion of Yoruba prestigious cultural values and traditions as descendants of Oduduwa.
‘The Kensington Adebukunola Adebutu Foundation(KAAF) and the medical laboratory and Maternity Centre established in 2005 among other commitments to the service of the poor and other vulnerable people in the society attest to this’, the statement said.
Penpushing further reports that, the palace said in line with the established process of filling such an important position, both the political and spiritual wings of Ile-Oodua have sought Adebutu’s consent in this regard on behalf of the Ooni and he has presented his acceptance of the offer to the Arole Oodua’ Olofin Adimula, the Ooni of Ife for final ratification.
‘All the necessary rites attached to the installation are being observed ahead of the installation ceremony slated. The kings, the high chiefs (AGBA IFE) and chief priests (THE ISOROS) are atop of the coronation rites which will reach the climax on the eve of the event in October 2109’,the statement emphasised.