Archive for the ‘BLACK FESTIVALS’ Category

YORUBA RONU ! -THIS white girl is FIGHTING TO SAVE YORUBA LANGUAGE/CULTURE-WHAT ARE YOU OMO YORUBA DOING TO SAVE IT? -she also IS SMART ENOUGH to KNOW That ORISA ARE NOT gods but Messengers from GOD JUST LIKE Jesu ati Muhammad!

April 28, 2013

FROM thenationonline.com
Nigeria is a better place than its image outside

Posted by: GBENGA ADERANTI

on April 27, 2013

in Saturday Magazine

Leave a comment

Dr. Paula Gomes is the only white face in the palace of the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi 111. Fast-pacing, quick-talking Gomes first visited Oyo 20 years ago; and ever since, she has been going and coming to the ancient town. Recently, the Alaafin of Oyo noticed her interest in the culture of Yoruba people and the monarch honoured her by making her his Cultural Ambassador. In this interview with GBENGA ADERANTI, this Portuguese shares her experience in Oyo in the last 20 years and why she has embarked on a crusade to preserve Yoruba culture. Excerpts:

 

What do you really do for Alaafin?

I’m the Culture Ambassador for Alaafin.

How did you meet Alaafin?

My first contact with Alaafin actually was the beginning of last year, but I have been in Oyo already for a while, coming and going.

What were you doing in Oyo before now?

I came to Oyo because of the culture. I used to come to Nigeria while I was a student of History about 20 years ago. I know Yoruba land though I cannot say very well but quite well; 20 years ago was the first time I came to Oyo and I thought there was no more culture in Oyo. When you talk about culture, culture is in everything, food, literature, the way you dress. All this time while I was a student, I always shuttled between Osogbo and Oyo. With time and mixing together with people, I saw that a lot of cultures came from the ancient town of Oyo Ile. That is why I actually came to Oyo to make more research on it.

Does that mean you are leaving Oyo after the completion of your research?

No, I’m not going to leave, I’m just telling you that while I was a student, I used to come to do research and after that I came to Oyo not on my private interest to know more but because Oyo had nothing to offer more about their own culture. If you go back to the history, you will know that Oyo Empire dominated all the kingdoms in Yorubaland and you as well know that it was when Alaafin Sango was a very strong king ruling, actually during the 7th or 8th century, that the influence of Oyo Empire in Yorubaland was massive. And much of the culture in our day not only in Yorubaland but also in the Diaspora, everything was connected to Sango. That was why I came here to know more about him and like I said, I have been around for four years. There is a lot here to be preserved because that is the history of a ethnic group that has survived outside and is really appreciated.

In Europe nowadays, we are looking for the ancient culture that has something to give to the humanity because what we are expecting from life is to live long and to live long with quality, you can have a good car, you can have lots of money but if your body is not in the equilibrium, if you die young, what is the essence of life? Life is long life with quality and quality means first of all, your body has to be strong, has to be healthy and the philosophy and the knowledge of the Yoruba is like the philosophy and culture from India and China.

Acupuncture from India is based on lots of ancient culture, they are very similar to Yoruba culture. What we are looking for is that deep knowledge of Yoruba which they have about the nature, that you can find the equilibrium between the body and the spirit, because Yoruba believe that there is one God who is called Olodumare. Then this Creator has created, and when He created the earth, He sent the energies to the earth which are divided into four elements and these are known all over the world: water, you cannot live without water; air, you cannot live without air, that is oxygen; fire and earth.

These are the four elements that the Yoruba people believe and if you go to other ancient cultures, all of them are the same. They are all talking the same language. So the Yoruba people like to personify those energies like other ancient cultures and they believe that if the body, which is the aye; the material life which is also aye and the spiritual life, which is orisa. Orisa is not God; orisa is what you cannot see, it is invisible. You have the visible world which is aye and the invisible world which is orisa, people used to think that orisa is another God, it is not. It is not the correct translation because when you say orisa sango, orisa osun, all the 401 orisa are the invisible power of the nature. They are everywhere in the world. You cannot live without water, you cannot live without air, so people should be very careful when they translate.

We don’t say Olodumare Sango, Olodumare Osun . When you have the equilibrium of the invisible world, aye and not visible world, orisa, you have what you need to live, you have ase, you have power; it is very simple. These people have philosophy, these people have a very strong knowledge which is given through Ifa. It is an oral history coming from very ancient times like all the other ancient cultures, and these need to be preserved. That is why I’m here, to try in my own capacity to show the Yoruba people that they are very valuable.

How vast are you in Yoruba language?

Mo ti gbo die die, sugbon Yoruba ko rorun (I understand smattering Yoruba, but it is not easy).

How old are you now?

Normally you should not ask a lady how old she is.

You should be…..

(Cuts in) I will not tell you.

What about your family?

I have my family, like I said, I go and come back but I have been here for two years without going home.

I’m talking about your husband and children?

Well, I will not like to go to my private life; you know that is very private. I will just like to talk generally; I will not like to say anything about my private life.

Some people spell your name Gomez why is yours Gomes?

My name is a Portuguese name, it ends with an ‘s’ it is Portuguese but if it is ‘z’, it is Spanish.

Have you read anything about Suzanne Wenger?

Yes, I know her very well. Like I said, I’ve been coming for 20 years, I used to be in Osogbo, so I knew Suzan Wenger very well. Actually I can say that she was and she is an inspiration for me because she really tried for Osogbo and Osun State, especially Osogbo. Today, what is there, people should be very grateful because if not for her who fought for it, it would have gone long time ago. She really preserved what people who said were the bush, the history of Osun Osogbo. Every people has its own history. People are crazy to travel abroad to go and see our culture, let me tell you, you have to appreciate your culture as well because we preserve our culture, so you have to preserve your culture as well. That is what I’m trying to do. I know Suzanne very well.

Don’t you sometimes feel you are going Suzanne Wenger’s line?

Look, I’m not Suzanne, I don’t want to follow Suzanne’s line, I want to follow my inside. I want to follow what my inside says. Suzanne did what her inside said; me, I’m doing what my inside tells me. So I can never be Suzanne because each individual is unique and special, so I don’t want to imitate Suzanne and I don’t want to be Suzanne. Do you understand me? Suzanne is Suzanne. She was a great person that I have in my heart; I only follow what my inside tells me, so I can never be Suzanne because if I try to be Suzanne, I’m not myself. I’m just doing what I feel is correct to do. I’m not an artist, Suzanne was an artist so I can never try to be an artist but I have passion for this culture because I believe it can give a lot to humanity; the way India people and Chinese people are, they are already giving to the humanity.

I believe that Yoruba people can give as well but for that to happen, Yoruba must be proud of themselves and they are not, they are losing their own identity, the Indian people are not like that, they preserve their culture and they are proud of it. Chinese people, they are proud of their culture. They teach their own children to continue and today, if you go to Europe, if you’re a VIP, instead of you to go to hospital, you go for alternative medicine. Because we got to a point that we realised that all the chemical medicine you take will cure one part and destroy the other part.

Actually what you want in life is to live long, it is through the natural thing that your body can stay longer, do you understand? People want to go to Europe, people want to go to America, what kind of life do we live? A lot of people are dying too young through heart attack; the life we live is to go to work and come back home. You know we are an old continent but now we are turning the thing around. We want to go back to what we don’t have anymore; we want to eat bio-ecological, we are tired of plastic food because of cancer.

If you put a Yoruba child who has nothing inside one compound and you put a white child, which one is stronger? Why do you think Europeans live longer? It is because we have access to medicine for free because the society is organised, but if we don’t have access to medicine and the hospital to maintain us alive, we cannot live the way you people live because you are too close to nature.

I know you are not in the Niger Delta area, but foreigners are constantly being warned to be wary of Nigeria, do you sometimes get scared that you could be kidnapped too?

Look, let me talk about myself, I do go to Delta State, I’m not afraid to go. I think that the image which is given to the outside world about Nigeria is different from actually what is happening in Nigeria. I’m not saying that it is not dangerous but Nigerian people are very nice. I think the government should rebrand. For example, when you think about Brazil, you think about football and carnival, but there are people who are still eating from the garbage. There are people when you go outside they will steal your things.

But when you talk about Brazil, people think about football and carnival, people don’t talk about those who eat in the garbage or people robbing people. I’m in Oyo, nobody robs me, I travel, I don’t have any trouble with anybody. But when you talk about Nigeria, you think about 419; they tell you it is a bad place, why don’t you rebrand it? Nigeria has many things to offer the people outside. People love your culture, people really appreciate your culture but they are afraid because of the image that have been created. If government rebrands the country, I believe that bit by bit, people will start coming because of culture. So there is need to rebrand.

People go to America; me I don’t have anything to do in America. I studied in America, I went back to Europe because if you go to America, you have to be careful, if you are not careful, somebody may follow his gang and they will shoot you. You train your children to shoot because they can just come and kill you. Do you understand? Everything has to have an equilibrium, Nigeria needs to be rebranded because it has a lot to give to people. I cannot talk about Hausa and Ibo, I can only talk about Yoruba, that is what I know. Yoruba people are beautiful, the culture is beautiful, people are friendly and they should not lose their identity because if they lose their identity, they will never find it. They can never be white, I cannot be black. I have to accept who I’m and people should be free and be proud of what they have.

The introduction of foreign religion has eroded the belief system of the Yoruba people, what do you think will happen in the nearest future?

I don’t like to talk about religion because for me it is a private thing, religion is like politics, you are a Christian or Muslim, you are ACN or PDP or whatever. Religion is something that is private, but you know if you go back to the history, it was always a problem with religion, religion tries always to dominate and control and when you talk about Africa, especially West Africa, it has suffered a lot, through the slavery, families were destroyed, alot of blood in the name of money was shed. Religion for me, I respect everybody, I don’t look at people from their religion, I respect people because everybody is special and everybody is a creation of God. So, that is why I don’t want to go deep into religion.

Religion is a personal belief it is not only going to be today, it is yesterday and going to be tomorrow and the process that is going on now in Nigeria was in Europe before. Life is a mystery and because it is a mystery, people try to control people through religion. Me, I don’t believe in anything, I believe in what I feel because I’m a creation of God but I respect everybody and every belief, if you tell me now that this is what you believe, this chair, I will respect you.

You were talking about your support for nature and local herbs (agbo), Yoruba herbs are from nature, do you drink agbo?

Yes of course, it is not only Yoruba, we Europeans we use herbs, we have different herbs, different teas. Why do you eat efo (vegetables), why do you eat all these vegetables? Why? Because you need vitamins and minerals, so the herbs are here to help us but the new sicknesses that are in the world, they are killing people. They are sicknesses that you can cure or maintain but you destroy other parts of your body. This is not a belief, this is science, that is natural science not a belief, a belief is something you cannot prove, but 1+1=2, that is science. Yoruba herbs are science; they are natural science, not a belief. If you are feeling something, you take the herbs, like a natural tea, if you feel better, your body has eliminated what is not good.

It is not only the Yoruba people that use herbs, if you go to my country, we have alternative medicine which we are preserving, we use alternative medicine. We are no more going to doctors and Yoruba have big knowledge in this science and they are putting it as a belief because culture is part of everything, what you eat is part of your culture.

At times I wonder why people like you will leave your comfort zone for a place like this where you have to struggle to get things done. What was on your mind when you were coming here?

It depends on what you call comfort. What is comfort for you?

Light, good roads etc.

In life, we cannot have everything, if you have light 24 hours, if you have good roads, we have everything, we stay in AC office, and you leave for AC cars. Lots of people are getting sick because AC is provoking problems in the lungs. A lot of people in Europe are now putting the AC off and now open their windows. I do say we’ve given the experience to them and we want to go back to olden days. In the office we have the AC, we have the car, we don’t have to walk too much. We take the car, we go to the supermarket. We have everything we need from the supermarket, we go home, we have the TV, we get the quality of life. We human beings are meant to live up to 120 years, but at times we don’t live more than 50 and 60 because we need comfort of life, we have no exercise and we eat junk food. Lots of children are born already with diabetes and cancer because they want comfort of life.

In life, there are positive and negative sides. The individual is responsible for his own life . So we have to look the other way. Most people in our own generation in Europe, we want freedom, they want to live long. We are tired of all this imposing life style, we want freedom, we want relief, we want long life. Most people in Europe are isolated, they live alone, is it not better to live in community? We should live together. Are we meant to live alone inside houses?

A lot of people in Europe have problem with depression, they have neurotic problem because of the life they live. They are not living the life creature gave us. We are living a plastic life, we are staying alone isolating ourselves, in front of television 24 hours. No exercise, is that a good life? Can our bodies live long? It is not possible. Good life is fresh air, to breathe, to exercise. Good life depends on the concept of each individual. I love privacy, but I want to live long.

The last time I saw you, you were not wearing Yoruba attire, today, you are not still wearing Yoruba attire, why?

You know I have to be what I’m, I can never be a Yoruba. I don’t mind, sometimes I dress in batik an indigo or adire. I’m not Yoruba, the same way you are not from my culture. I have to be who I’m and I have to dress the way I feel comfortable. That is why I’m not putting on Yoruba dressing. You people are putting on Yoruba dress because it is beautiful in you, when you put on Yoruba dress, you look elegant. I used to say that and I’m not the only person, that you people have natural beauty; even if you don’t have anything when you dress, even if you go to the market, even if you go to clean something, the way your people dress, you look elegant and it looks magical. So I have to dress the way I feel comfortable with.

Do you sometimes feel home sick?

To tell you the truth, no, I don’t feel home sick. Nobody sent me here, I’m here because I want. I feel good, I feel healthy, I feel strong and I feel I’m doing what I like. I’m not the kind of person that wants to stay in the office; I don’t want to live that kind of life people call comfort, I don’t .

Do you know anything about Ifa (Oracle)?

I know what I can feel, what I can see; I can never know it well as the native people. Number one, language; for you to really know it very well, you have to start from small because it is a knowledge which is given orally, it is not a written knowledge. And there is something that is very powerful, people from generation to generation transfer this knowledge orally. See how powerful, look, we have to write them. We have to go back to religion which I don’t want to talk about, Christians and Muslims carry the Bible and Koran respectively, and do you see Yoruba carrying anything? Their brain is powerful, you know the level of capacity assimilation you are exercising with your brain but we if we don’t write it down, we forget. The question is why are you destroying all these?

How have you been coping with the food?

I don’t have any problem. I eat everything. But I don’t like snake or this kind of frog, I don’t know what they call it, I don’t like it and I don’t like bush meat but I like okete (bush rat) if it is well cooked but all the remaining, I eat everything, eba, amala, fufu, semo. I don’t like so much, but I eat eko (corn paste), moimoi , ekuru (beans paste), ewa (beans).

What do you really do for Alaafin?

I’m trying to preserve the Yoruba culture and trying to reeducate the people that they are very important, they are very valuable, that they have a lot of value and they should preserve the culture. I’m trying to promote what is ancient, what is history because without history, how can you tell your children that you are Yoruba? People without history don’t have direction. I’m trying to promote what is in existence because if Yoruba don’t want it, the international people will appreciate it. There is no problem because tomorrow, we are ready to teach your children Yoruba and we are ready to teach your children about your own culture.

How did you meet Alaafin?

As I said, I had been in Oyo already and I asked Bashorun (one of the Oyo high chiefs) to bring me to Alaafin because I wanted to meet him. For me, everybody is important, I’m not saying this king is important, this king is not important but relating to history, he (Alaafin) is the strongest king in Yorubaland. I wanted to see him and tell him that he has to preserve his culture and if he fails to preserve his culture, tomorrow, nothing will be there to show to the world. So these were the reasons I wanted to see him.

How much of support have you gotten on your crusade so far?

What kind of support?

Financial support

Nobody is helping me financially. I’m doing it by myself and now I have a foundation people can support because there is need to preserve the temple, preserve the palace. These monuments, these are culture heritage, there is need for preservation. Why do you want to go to England to see the queen and the palace? For what? Because it is history. So that is why people want to come to Nigeria and see the history of Alaafin, the history of Yoruba. This palace is the biggest and oldest palace in Yoruba land, it is falling apart. I’m trying to raise fund to repair this palace in its old originality so that Oyo children tomorrow will come and ‘say that my grandfather, my ancestors were living like this’ because I can take you to my country and tell you that my ancestors are like this.

Quite funny, why is it that it is foreigners or Yoruba people abroad that are interested in this project like this?

Go back to the history, we white people have colonised and have destroyed your culture. We brought our culture, we forced people to change inside and outside. You have lost your identity, you want to be what we are. That is why now people from outside come to support what still exists for you to appreciate.

If you go to the slavery time, look, all the slaves that went to America, if they did not practise Christianity, they would be killed. What is happening again? I believe what is happening today is that everything that our people destroyed, let’s rebuild it again, we should not be ashamed. The Europeans go to Kenya to see African culture, Africa is beautiful, African people are beautiful, why not Nigeria?

POLYGAMY!-THIS SOUTH AFRICAN BROTHER MARRIED 4 WOMEN AT THE SAME TIME LIKE OUR GREAT NIGERIAN FELA DID!-BUT FELA MARRIED 27 WIVES AT THE SAME TIME!-INSTEAD OF GIRL FRIENDS GETTING PREGNANT AND BEING SENT FOR ABORTION THIS BLACK MAN IS BEING RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL HIS LOVES!

September 6, 2010

BBCNEWS.COM

SA man’s mass wedding ‘saved money’

By Pumza Fihlani
BBC News, Durban

South African businessman Milton Mbele broke all the traditional rules of a polygamous wedding when he recently married four women on the same day.

The four brides dressed in flowing white gowns walked down the aisle together, before saying “We do” to the 44-year-old groom.

Mr Mbele says he didn’t marry them purely for the spectacle but also because it made financial sense.

“I don’t know how much four different weddings would have cost me but I know doing it all at once saved money,” he explains.

“For example I only needed one tent, I needed to hire one caterer and one photographer for the entire ceremony.”

If I feel like taking another wife this is something that will be in the open

Milton Mbele
“I began putting money aside for the event towards the end of 2007 and started collecting quotes for things like the tent and catering costs early last year.”

He says he loves all his wives – Thobile Vilakazi, Zanele Langa, Baqinisile Mdlolo and Smangele Cele – equally and also treats them that way.

Mr Mbele himself wears four rings on his finger – he says this is a sign of his commitment to all his wives.

The wives say they were shocked by the news that Mr Mbele wanted to marry them at once but add that they agreed because they love him.

Some two weeks after their much publicised two-day ceremony, Mr Mbele says he is overwhelmed by all the attention his wedding has attracted.

I met Mr Mbele and Smangele, at 23 the youngest Mrs Mbele, at a hotel in Durban – the pair were set to do a radio interview with a national radio station the next day.

‘Our culture’

In their hotel room the pair sat comfortably on the bed while taking questions about their big day.

Mr Mbele, a Zulu businessman and municipal manager, says polygamy is still very much part of Zulu tradition.

Milton Mbele has four wedding rings
“This is a proud part of our culture. It has been practised for generations before us.”

“My grandfather himself had three wives,” says Mr Mbele, quickly adding that he isn’t blindly following in his grandfather’s footsteps.

“I prefer polygamy to having many girlfriends which is what some married men do,” he says.

“If I love more than one woman, I would rather make it known to the other women in my life and make it official.

“If I feel like taking another wife this is something that will be in the open and my wives would know,” he says.

President Jacob Zuma, also a Zulu, has three wives.

But the practice has been met with criticism.

Inside polygamy

Some point out that it does not afford equal rights to men and women.

Women are not allowed to wed more than one husband, while a man can have as many wives as he wishes.

There are seven days in a week and I have four wives. I will take turns visiting them and use the remaining three days to rest

Milton Mbele
In a polygamous marriage only the first wife is legally recognised, which could pose some difficulties in dividing the husband’s estate when he dies.

South Africa has the highest number of HIV-positive people in the world – some five million.

Since having more than one sexual partner increases the chances of contracting the virus, it is understandable that Smangele’s family had reservations about her entering into a polygamous marriage.

“My family was not pleased at first but they came around eventually,” she says.

They are taking the necessary precautions, which include regular HIV tests.

“I had my last test a few months ago when I was pregnant. We are all disciplined about staying healthy,” she says.

The arrangements seem to have been carefully thought out down to the last detail, including how Mr Mbele will alternate between his four wives, who all live in different parts of northern KwaZulu-Natal province.

“There are seven days in a week and I have four wives. I will take turns visiting them and use the remaining three days to rest,” he says.

At this point Smangele, who has been quiet with her head bowed until now, looks up and smiles at her husband.

The second day of the wedding was a traditional Zulu wedding ceremony
When asked how she feels about Mr Mbele’s visitation plan she quickly responds.

“I believe it will work. I am used to living on my own and having him visit me on certain days so this won’t be anything new to us,” she says, reaching for her husband’s hand.

In fact, Mr Mbele has already been in relationships with his new wives for several years.

He has three children with “first wife” Thobile, two with “wife-number-two” Zanele, one child with Baqinisile, referred to as “wife-number-three” and two children with “youngest wife” Smangele.

He also has three children from a previous relationship.

Mr Mbele is the breadwinner in all his homes – none of his wives is employed. They say they are happy to be provided for by their husband.

He owns 100 cows and 250 goats and has a good job, so he is relatively wealthy, at least by traditional standards.

‘Why we love him’

Earlier in the day, I spoke to Baqinisile, who lives in a large home which she says was a gift from her husband.

The yard has three separate houses; the main house is made from orange bricks – it is the biggest and only one of its kind in the small village.

The Mbeles have postponed going on honeymoon to save money
She welcomes me into her home and ushers me to sit down on luxurious cream leather couches.

In an area where employment and the luxuries it affords are difficult to come by, Baqinisile is living a life some young women in the area would envy.

Baqinisile describes her husband, who she met in 2006, as a fair man.

“He respects us and treats us all the same way,”

“When he buys us clothes, he buys us similar things. Also when he gives us money.

“I admire this about him because it shows me that he loves us the same way,” she says, adjusting her ring.

Both Baqinisile and Smangele admit they were against polygamy when they were growing up but have now changed their minds.

“When I saw what a loving man he is and how he much he values all of us, I knew that I would be able to share my life with him and everyone else,” says Smangele.

Although Mr Mbele says he minimised costs by having a mass wedding, he is still paying for it, so there will be no honeymoon for a couple of years.

But the entire Mbele family will not be going away together – he will take each wife separately in order of their hierarchy.

COME BACK TO AFRICA FOR THE BLACK HERITAGE FESTIVAL,APRIL 4-11,2010-LAGOS/BADAGARY,NIGERIA!

March 20, 2010

from

from ladybrillanigeria.com

thenationonlineng.net

Lagos prepares for ‘Black Heritage Festival’
By Emmanuel Oladesu Published 3/02/2010 Life Midweek Magazine Rat

For seven days, Lagos State will host the world in April for the historic ‘Black Heritage Festival. The hosts are the people of Badagry Division, the haven of tourism Fin the state. The communities are full of eagerness. The three councils in the area are cooperating with the state government to ensure a hitch-free festival.

Visitors from across the globe will comb the history of horror that made the town memorable. The lamentation of slaves, who passed the town on their way to plantations in distant Europe and America, would be recalled. The return of their descendants to their roots in April will rekindle their attachment to Africa, the most populous African country and largest supplier of the unwilling slaves, and the beauty of the titanic liberation war that shook the universe.

The visitors are expected to pick works of arts and artifacts that gave content to the culture of their forebears before they went into captivity. Many of them will locate the under-development of the Dark Continent in the centuries of disruptions, cultural dislocations, neo-colonialism and lack of reparations.

Governor Babatunde Fashola(SAN) has enumerated the conditions for the success of the third Lagos Black Heritage Festival, urging the royal fathers and people to tap its abundant tourism and economic opportunities.

His Deputy, Princess Sarah Sosan, who is from the division, asked the towns and villages in the three local government area to prepare for the inflow of tourists and visitors from across the federation and abroad into the area.

The commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon. Rotimi Agunsoye, who represented the number one and two citizens at a stakeholders meeting in the ancient town, said the visitors who will live, eat and interact with local folks expect a “To have a meaningful festival, our environment should be clean. Many people will come from far and near. Not long ago, we came here to clear the gutters. The governor and deputy governor who I am representing here asked me to tell our royal fathers, chiefs and community leaders to mobilise people and ensure a clean environment,” he told the people at Badagry Town Hall.

The Special Adviser to Governor Fashola on General Matters, Prince Sunny Ajose, who highlighted the elements of the festival, said the division would savour the economic boom and project the cultural heritage of the towns and villages.

He expressed concern for the disposition of the communities to the notion of hygiene.

“In the past, Badagry was neat, from Seme to Ajegunle. Population explosion has led to an unclean environment. Refuse dumping is a challenge. Instead of dumping refuse at Ilewo, we want LAWMA to create another dumping site near the Badagry area,” he said.

Ajose warned that, if the atmosphere is not conducive for the visitors, they would relocate to Ikoyi and Eko Hotel where they will buy souvenirs, thereby making the people to lose their patronage.

Programmes slated for the festival include symposium, painting competitions, cultural performance, traditional dances, and ‘fitila’ procession.

Ajose said no township festival would be allowed to coincide with the Black Heritage Festival. He enjoined townspeople to preoccupy themselves with the removal of shanties in the neighbourhood so that the towns could wear a new look.

“We want to showcase what we have, including our masquerades. We have tools for slave trade in the Heritage Festival Museum. Black writers have works on slave trade. They will also come to talk about the trade and its implications for us. They will like to visit Iyana Gberesu, the terminal exit route for the slave trade. We have Oduduwa shrine in Ilogbo. We should improve on what we have to be able to get what we want. We want to prepare for all these and record success so that there will be an improvement next year,” added Ajose.

The traditional ruler, Aholu Menu Toyi of Badagry, Oba Babatunde Akran, said the festival is the responsibility of all, urging his subjects to cooperate with the government to ensure its success.

He enjoined the authorities to conduct training sessions for the school pupils who may be useful as tour guides to the visitors during the programme.

‘The visitors will be in our markets. They want to see how we are living .They want to take photographs with us. We should be good hosts’, he added.

The Alabarin of Ikaare, Oba Kayode Akinyemi, said the onus is on the council chairmen in the division to rise to the occasion and embrace their roles towards making the festival a success.

Another royal father alerted the government to the danger of inadequate medical facilities in the local governments. He said the hospitals in the area lack ambulance facilities. He also said, since April falls within the raining season, flooding may mar the festival because the drainages are bad.

Agunsoye said the government has taken note of these challenges and all these facilities would be in place before the commencement of the festival.

The festival which brings to memory the historic pains of forceful separation of kindred holds in Lagos State at a time of intense campaign for greater exploration of tourism, one of the most neglected sectors of the economy. In the days of yore, the ancient town which served as a route for ferrying the black slaves to Europe and America was thrown into monumental panic .It took the earlier generations a long time to erase the terrible experience from their memory. However, the incident has also become a blessing to the town.

Nobel Laureate Prof Wole Soyinka visited Badagry early last month for a meeting with the community leaders and elders on the importance of the carnival and modalities for a successful outcome.

At the weekend meeting presided over by Agunsoye, prominent leaders of Badagry Division took their seats with eagerness. They include Oba Moshood Asafa, Onijanikin of Ijanikin; Oba Oyekan Adekanbi, Alapa of Apa; Oba Olanrewaju Aina, Oloto of Oto; Oba Abedeen Durosinmi, Prince Dele Kosoko, Moses Dosu, Amuda Abidu and Joseph Bamgbose.

Agunsoye congratulated the people for hosting the world for the important event, saying that the division is being immortalised by the focus on it.

“Many years ago, many people suffered for our freedom. Some black men died for us to have today. Badagry is one of the famous routes where our forefathers passed to Europe. It was sad. Now, we are happy. History cannot forget Badagry. That is why we want to discuss how to immortalise the ancient times,” the commissioner said.

He said the governor and deputy governor attach much value to the festival because of its implication for the black community in the world.

The commissioner said they acknowledged the fact that an unclean environment would breed disease, adding that sanitary inspectors would be in the towns to ensure compliance with sanitary rules.

“Our black brothers abroad want to come home to mix with us. But they need a clean environment,” he emphasized.

A LAWMA official told the meeting that: “All households must have dustbins. The PSP will do its work, LAWMA will evacuate the refuse. LAWMA sweepers recruited from Badagry will be on the roads. The ‘street captains’ will distribute refuse nylon to households.”

Spread The Word
del.icio.us it Digg this Furl Reddit Yahoo! this! StumbleUpon Google Bookmarks Live Favorites Facebook

2 Responses to “Lagos prepares for ‘Black Heritage Festival’”
kazeem balogun at 18 Feb 2010 2:41:58 PM WAT kazeem balogun Rating: Unrated ( Author/Admin)

said this on 18 Feb 2010 2:41:58 PM WAT
its a welcome development,we shall participate
(Reply to this comment)(Cancel this reply)(Comment Replies Disabled)

EKO1CITY at 19 Mar 2010 8:48:40 PM WAT EKO1CITY Rating: Unr

said this on 19 Mar 2010 8:48:40 PM WAT
Ola Jones Lagos Black Heritage…… nice 1,but, so far i cant connect the vision of the group their objectivity pursuit, pro grammes and strategy I a son of the soil by interest in badagry thus am in total cooperation with any social articulate school of mission that set to project badagry historical value.meanwhile here is an overwhelming challenge, so much is been orchestrated in the median while all the node featuresthat makes the history are not preserve,e.g slave route,harboure,artenuation well and the gbelefu point- of- no- return. etc

5555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555

from ladybrillenigeria.com

Home » Events
3rd Annual Lagos Black Heritage Festival 2010
by Ladybrille®Nigeria on March 1, 2010No Comment
3rd Annual Lagos Black Heritage Festival

Place: Badagry Township, Lagos, Badagry

Date: April 4th, 2010

“For over a millennium, African indigenes South of the Sahara have been hunted, bartered, and sold into slavery by European and Arab slavers, often, alas, with the active connivance and participation of Africans themselves. Millions perished even before destination along the Trans-Atlantic route, the Trans-Saharan route, and the Indian Ocean route to Iraq and Persia, now known as Iran.

For centuries, and even till today, many could neither recall nor manifest the slightest interest in their antecedents. By contrast, especially since the latter half of the twentieth century, hundreds of thousands of descendants of the victims of this execrable commerce have embarked on the return journey home – some in search of their true origins, others in the spirit of a symbolic pilgrimage, and yet others to re-claim and re-settle in their ancestral space. Whichever way, for many, this has proved an emotional but fulfilling experience.

It was in fulfillment of this yearning for the healing of dislocated sense of identity that the Lagos State government instituted, with the support of UNESCO, the Black Heritage Festival in the symbolic town of Badagry, one of the more infamous departure points, with surviving landmarks, a Festival that seeks to enshrine the place of Memory in the history of peoples, and to celebrate survival and the resilience of the human will.

The third, 2010 edition of this Festival, appropriately billed as MEMORY AND PERFORMANCE IN THE RETURN TO SOURCE, is planned to raise this awareness to new heights, broaden and deepen the linkage between the African continent and its Diaspora. . .”

Visit Lagos Black Heritage Festival.org for more info.

You might also like:

Abuja Food Festival 2009
Lagos Carnival 2010 – April 3rd-5th, 2010

777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777

from ladybrillenigeria.com

CELEBRATING BLACK HISTORY WITH THE LAGOS BLACK HERITAGE FESTIVAL
Feb 22nd, 2010 | By Ayo Peters | Category: LOCAL GOVERNMENT NEWS, TOURISM DEVELOPMENT
The 17th century will forever remain in the hearts of Africans. This was when its history was taken backwards through a trade that was inimical to its growth – Slave Trade.

The Slave Trade (known as the trans-Atlantic slave trade) started with the exportation of blacks to Europe by Portugal in the 15th century. Other European countries like Spain, Netherlands, Britain, Denmark etc soon followed suit. It was not until the 17th century however that the trade got to North America. It was there that it gained real currency.

Thus, in 1619, a Dutch warship brought the first cargo of twenty blacks to Virginia in the then British colony called New World.
Consequent upon the traffic in blacks, scores of black men and women were separated from their African homes and carried into the New World before the Slave Trade was ended. Although a lot of black men like Olaudah Equiano, Candido da Rocha, Samuel Johnson, Mojola Agbebi and others regained their freedom and found their way back to Nigeria, millions were totally separated from their families.

These Africans were not slaves but were made to work in an environment where they were referred to as slaves. Back in Africa, these men were free and respected farmers and herdsmen, craftsmen skilled in pottery and weaving, wood-carving, and blacksmiths. Some of these Africans brought out of the continent against their will were traders and hunters, musicians and dancers, poets and sculptors. Many were princes and warriors, feudal chiefs, rulers of kingdoms and empires.

These important men of African descent were taken to Europe and the New World through ports marshaled by these European masters. A lot of these slave ports existed in West Africa but some stood out. These were: Goree Island (Senegal), Whydah (Benin Republic), Elmina (Ghana) and Badagry (Nigeria).

The slave port in Badagry was notorious because hordes of Africans were taken through it. Little wonder, this port was dubbed: “Point of no Return.”

One Nigerian who suffered greatly as a result of the slave trade was Gustavus Vassa (Olaudah Equiano). Gustavus Vassa was born in the ancient Benin Kingdom in 1745. He was kidnapped from his family and sold into slavery. He was later sold again to traders and chained on a slave ship bound for America. He passed on to a Virginia planter, and then, to a British naval officer, and finally to a Philadelphia merchant who gave him the chance to buy his freedom. In his autobiography, ‘The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa the African,’ he narrated some of the ordeals he and his fellow African brothers went through on shore to the New World. For instance, a black man was flogged while on deck so unmercifully with a large rope that he died in consequence of it. Olaudah wrote that some of his countrymen were chained together and when they were weary, preferred death to such a life of misery and somehow, “made through the nettings and jumped into sea.”

The narrative by Gustavus Vassa was a fraction of the hardships blacks were made to undergo in the New World and in Europe. Many blacks died as a result of this hardship. Slaves like Nat Turner and John Brown who revolted were murdered in cold blood while one of the most brilliant Americans of the nineteenth century who started his life as a slave on a Maryland plantation, Frederick Douglas, in his autobiography asked: “Why am I a slave? Why are some people slaves and others masters? How did the relation commence? He wrote that he didn’t know he was a slave until he found out he couldn’t do the things he wanted.

Indeed, not having anything to say about the use of your own time and labour is probably what makes you feel bad. This is the absence of freedom. As providence would have it, that is all gone; total history.

Slavery and slave trade have been abolished after series of protests here and there and the great grandsons of former slaves have now become free men in Europe, Caribbean, and North America. These men after careful study, based on the ‘reign of terror’ of the slave port in Badagry, have decided to remember their roots, history, culture, and land of their forebears by celebrating the Lagos Black Heritage Festival.

Logically, Badagry is the preferred host as it is poised to hoist the Third Lagos Black Heritage Festival starting from the 3rd of April, this year.

Badagry, it will be recalled, was the departure route of these ‘slaves’. Once they got to Badagry, they were certain they would not return to their homes.

Today, Badagry still retains a lot of slavery artifacts. This includes one of the largest slave markets – Vlekete slave market – in West Africa. Here, slaves were sold at competitive prices. Hence, most countries that traded in slaves had their forts in Badagry. This included Portugal, Britain, Spain, Brazil, France and the Netherlands.

The Mobee slave relic is another of the artifacts that survived the infamous trade. It is housed by the Mobee family. We also have the Seriki Abbas compound, the Egbado-born businessman, who settled in Badagry and partook greatly of the obnoxious business.

In truth, the Lagos Black Heritage Festival has come to stay. This feat was achieved by the Lagos state government and the United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). According to Emeritus Professor, Wole Soyinka, the third edition of the Black Heritage Festival “seeks to enshrine the place of memory in the history of peoples, and to celebrate survival and the resilience of the human will.”

The third edition, which starts on April 3rd, this year, is tagged: Memory and Performance in the Return to Source, has been planned to broaden and deepen the linkage between the African continent and its Diaspora. In the words of Soyinka, “this will be effected through a focus on the lives and works of three eminent representatives of, and close collaborators in this racial mission… pan-Africanist and cultural activist, Aime Cesaire; prime mover of the Journal Presence Africaine, and the publishing house of that name, Alioune Diop; and statesman, Leopold Sedar Senghor.”

Badagry local government is leaving no stone unturned towards ensuring that Badagry had a hitch-free festival. Accordingly, the local government has ensured its cleaning every day.

Most residents of Badagry are eager to see the D-day. Hon. Husitode Moses Dosu, the executive chairman of Badagry local government says the “Lagos Black Heritage Festival connotes a return to the source.”

Activities lined up for the festival includes a symposium, feature films, documentaries, a book exhibition, contemporary art, theatre, concerts, traditional and modern dances, a boat regatta, a Children’s Heritage Village and African tradition games.
We await this reconnection, revaluation, and revindication.

Other Related Stories
December 29, 2009 — Badagry Local Government Celebrates One Year in Office as Hon. Husitode Moses Dosu Renders Stewardship (0)
December 29, 2009 — CHAIRMAN DOLES OUT BURSARY AWARD TO BADAGRY STUDENTS (0)
November 19, 2009 — Group Gives Free Medical Services to Patients in Badagry (0)
September 18, 2009 — Woman Delivers Triplets at Badagry General Hospital (1)
September 16, 2009 — Unite in Badagry – Chairman Tells Badagry (0)
September 11, 2009 — PDP GROUP DEFECTS TO ACTION CONGRESS IN BADAGRY (1)
September 9, 2009 — Hon. Husitode Moses Dosu Reconstructs Badagry Roads (1)
September 3, 2009 — Chairman Donates Wheel Chair to Physically-Challenged (0)
September 3, 2009 — Hon. Husitode Connects Badagry To Digital World (0)
September 3, 2009 — Badagry Chairman Honoured As Best Performing Local Government Chairman In Lagos State (4)
Tags: a boat regatta, a Children’s Heritage Village, African tradition games, Alioune Diop prime mover of the Journal Presence Africaine, Badagry Local Government, Badagry Nigeria, book exhibition, Brazil, Britain, Candido da Rocha, concerts, contemporary art, documentaries, Elmina Ghana, Emeritus Professor Wole Soyinka, feature films, France, Frederick Douglas autobiography, Goree Island Senegal, Hon. Husitode Moses Dosu, John Brown, Lagos Black Heritage Festival, Lagos state government, Leopold Sedar Senghor, Memory and Performance in the Return to Source, Mobee slave relic, Mojola Agbebi, Nat Turner, Netherlands, Olaudah Equiano Gustavus Vassa autobiography, pan-Africanist and cultural activist Aime Cesaire, Point of no Return, Portugal, Samuel Johnson, Seriki Abbas, Spain, symposium, theatre, traditional and modern dances, United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Vlekete slave market, Whydah Benin Republic
One comment
Leave a comment »
uzoh hilary March 5th, 2010 9:21 pm :

as a fashion designer and loving arts i like to participate in the black heritage festival. so please can you detail me on the event. thank you.

7777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777
from travelintelligence .com

The Badagry Route by Pelu Awofeso
Anyone can understand why callers to the slave ports at Elmina (Ghana), Goree (Senegal) and Ouidah (Benin) weep and wail after they have walked round the remains of the transatlantic slave trade in those regions. To even see images on the screen is enough to affect the senses sorely. The Black Heritage Museum—just opened to tourists in palm-and-coconut-rich Badagry, western Lagos—is another of the kind. Maybe the place won’t stir you to tears, but after going in and out, then up and down its nine galleries, it is certain to make any visitor sober.

The National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM) in Nigeria, which helped with the research and installation, displays sketches, sculptures, photos, documents and dated shackles to tell the touching tale of over 300 years of ‘trading’ of which the African people were the ‘goods’.

We are now inside the building and this ad published in 1784 in the U.S. stares me in the face: “NEGROS FOR SALE: a cargo of very fine stout men and women, in good order and fit for immediate service, just imported from the windward coast of Africa…” Another in New Orleans, this time in 1835 described its ‘ware’ in detail: Chole…aged 36 years. She is without exception, one of the most competent servants in the country, a first-rate washer and ironer, does up lace, a good cook, and for a bachelor who wishes a housekeeper she would be invaluable. She is also a good ladies maid, having travelled to the north in that capacity.”

One learns a typical slave’s safari goes something like this: A freeborn is kidnapped, captured at war or despatched to a creditor to offset a debt. He is kept in custody and made to do simple menial duties at first. A time comes when a white businessman, sailing across from the west, seeks out the community’s head and demands for people to serve him and his wealthy colleagues back on their own soil. He proffers gins, guns and some other processed goods in exchange.

The deal sounds sensible enough and both parties come to an agreement. So starts the tortuous trip of an unfortunate African, the fall guy of unfeeling men (much later, markets were established to service the rising need for cheap human labour). He never travels alone; there are thousands of them at any occasion, group-chained, flogged to submission and silence, and ‘arranged’ in ships in patterns that guarantee little breathing space and more anguish. Not all of them survived. The dead were tossed overboard.

Sons and daughters, too, no matter how underaged, were hauled across the Atlantic from the African coast to the New World. The survivors were later put on kegs and boxes and auctioned like articles at Sotheby’s. Once sold, they toiled on the cotton, sugarcane or rice fields of their white masters—and it was almost round the clock—with the cruellest of punishments administered to those who attempted to bail (one exhibit shows a dog, purposely trained, biting at the throat of one). Others worked as domestic hands. There is more inside what used to be the District Officer’s administrative block in the colonial years and is a three-minute stroll from the white structure earmarked as the first storey building in Nigeria.

The opening of the museum in August 2002 put the inhabitants in the mood for the second Black Heritage Festival, said to be styled after Ghana’s decade-old Pan-African Historical Theatre Festival (PANAFEST) and organised to conform to UNESCO’s ‘Slave Routes Project’. Lagos State Waterfront and Tourism Development Corporation, the planners, intends for the festival with time to pep up the tourism receipts of Nigeria’s most commercialised city; for the time being, though, it is finding a sure footing and winning more participants from the Diaspora each year that are the goals.

Day four of the festival was all traditional stuff: The dozen delegates, all of them living in the U.S., had to go through a ceremony of ‘ethnic adoption and traditional robbing’ to choose the local names they wished to bear henceforth. Two home priests in the full glare of the town’s royal head, the Akran of Badagry, conducted that. The idea is not for the new names to replace the initial, but for the recipient to either add them on or to “keep it close to my heart”. The naming was performed with honey, sugarcane, salt, kola, and the other regulars in day-to-day Yoruba naming rites.

The Yoruba in Nigeria look to the Ifa for the same reasons Christians and Moslems search through the Holy Books. No move is made without consulting it. It gave its consent to the names the home comers preferred. At different times during the festival, the kola nut and bitter kola were tossed in another form of customary inquest. Each result turned out a pleasant omen: The land of Badagry agreed with the coming of Mayor Hawkins and co.

Badagry today is a smiling and struggling population of close to two hundred thousand. The Atlantic Ocean, its bane for centuries, flows subtly and quietly; the breeze still blows over it-and onto the mainland, and one can still sight natives paddling away in their canoes in the distance. The one thing it needs now is a rise in stature. The New Nigerians may well make that happen, because already, the group has promised to revisit its scholarship promise to the community’s bright minds; the other project will be to erect another impressive monument to the slave trade a la the ‘Point of no Return’.

The Akran, on behalf of the people, has promised pieces of land to the new natives, because they need, he says, to have their own homes—one they can come to whenever they please.
See all travel writing by Pelu Awofeso.

666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666

from 234next.com
http://234next.com/csp/cms/sites/Next/Home/5527680-146/story.csp

Council mobilises for Lagos Black Heritage Festival

February 16, 2010 10:38PM
print email

The Oto/Awori Local Council Development Area says it will mobilise the people to showcase their rich culture at the forthcoming 3rd Lagos Black Heritage Cultural Festival scheduled for April 3- 9.

The festival themed, “Lagos/Badagry 2010”, is aimed at celebrating the creativity of Lagos State in dance, music and theatre regatta.

The Council Chairman, Bolaji Kayode, told News Agency of Nigeria in Badagry on Tuesday that the Council’s contingent had been fully prepared for the festival.

“Our participation in the festival is part of Oto/Awori LCDA’s commitment to promoting arts and culture. We will mobilise our people to feature in the festival particularly in Gelede and Ajegbo events,” he said.

Mr. Kayode expressed the hope that the council’s contingent would lift the laurels in the two events.

The organisers said the festival would be a forum for showcasing Africa’s diverse cultural heritage. The maiden edition of the festival was held in 2001 and was declared open by the former governor of the state, Bola Tinubu.

4444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444

from punchng.com

http://www.punchng.com/Articl.aspx?theartic=Art20100319035970

Lagos Black Heritage: A festival of reconnection, revaluation
By Mudiaga Affe, Published: Friday, 19 Mar 2010

Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka

Inspired by the spirit of convergence for which the most populous state in Nigeria remains pre-eminent, Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, has said that the forthcoming Lagos Black Heritage Festival would be an event of reconnection, revaluation and re-vindication.

Speaking on the festival tagged, Memory and Performance in the return to Source, Soyinka said, in a statement obtained by our correspondent in Lagos, that the event would celebrate the creativity of Lagos within a ”Carnivalesque of tradition and contemporary dance.”

The LBHF, which holds between April 3 and 9, 2010, is an initiative of the Lagos State Government.

According to Soyinka, the LBHF is a seven-day cultural manifestation during which hundreds of performers will animate the ancient city of Badagry and cosmopolitan Lagos in a blend of the traditional and the modern.

On the theme of the festival, Soyinka, who is the Festival Coordinator, explained that for over a millennium, African indigenes South of the Sahara were hunted, bartered, and sold into slavery by European and Arab slavers often with the active connivance of Africans themselves.

”Millions perish even before their destination along the Trans-Atlantic route and the Indian Ocean route to Iraq and Persia, now known as Iran. For centuries, and even till date, many could neither recall nor manifest the slightest interest in their antecedents.

”By contrast, especially since the latter half of the twentieth century, hundreds of thousands of descendants of victims of this execrable commerce have embarked on the return journey home – some in search of their true origins, others in the spirit of symbolic pilgrimage, and yet others to reclaim and resettle in their ancestral space. Whichever way, for many, this has proved emotional, but with fulfilling experience,” he said.

He said that it was in fulfillment of this yearning for the healing of dislocated sense of identity that the Lagos State Government instituted, with the support of the United Nations‘ Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, the Black Heritage Festival in the symbolic town of Badagry.

The playwright said the Lagos State Government plans to serve the discerning palates from within the country, the continent and the Diaspora of the Caribbean and Americas.

One of the highlights of the Lagos-Badagry 2010 is a painting competition featuring artists drawn from Nigeria and the rest of the world.

An international jury will decide which of the 25 finalists will be rewarded in the Gold, Silver and Bronze categories which go with the award of $20,000, $15,000 and $10,000 respectively.

Comments :

Lagos Black Heritage…… nice 1, but, so far i cant connect the vision of the group their objectivity pursuit, pro grammes and strategy I a son of the soil by interest in badagry thus am in total cooperation with any social articulate school of mission that set to project badagry historical value. meanwhile here is overwhelming challenge, so much is been orchestrated in the median meanwhile all the node features that makes the history are not preserve,e.g slave route,harboure,artenuation

Posted by: eko1city , on Friday, March 19, 2010

Report this comment

The slogan makes no sense to me. What is Lagos black heritage? I’ll rather call it ’Lagos reborn of African Heritage’. It makes more sense and gives me something to look forward to. I do not want to use the slogan of racisim, because that is the way they will call it in a land where there are other colours.

Posted by: Enitan Onikoyi , on Friday, March 19, 2010

55555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555

from
http://lagosblackheritagefestival.org/

HISTORY
THE LOGO
THE TEAM

Welcome to the Official Website of the 3rd Lagos Black Heritage Festival!
For over a millennium, African indigenes South of the Sahara have been hunted, bartered, and sold into slavery by European and Arab slavers, often, alas, with the active connivance and participation of Africans themselves. Millions perished even before destination along the Trans-Atlantic route, the Trans-Saharan route, and the Indian Ocean route to Iraq and Persia, now known as Iran…
More >>

The First Edition of Caterina de’ Medici Painting Award took place in Florence in year 2002. Three Nigerian Artists participated. One of these artists, Olubunmi Ogundare emerged as one of the best ten of the world-wide competitors!
More >>

Présence Africaine

Présence africaine is a panafrican quarterly cultural, political, and literary revue, published in Paris and founded by Alioune Diop in 1947. In 1949, Présence africaine expanded to include a publishing house and a bookstore on the rue des Écoles in the Latin Quarter of Paris. As a journal, it was highly influential in the Panafricanist movement, the decolonisation struggle of former French colonies, and the birth of the Négritude movement.
More >>

**********************************************
The Black Orpheus

HISTORY
THE LOGO
THE TEAM

For over a millennium, African indigenes South of the Sahara have been hunted, bartered, and sold into slavery by European and Arab slavers, often, alas, with the active connivance and participation of Africans themselves. Millions perished even before destination along the Trans-Atlantic route, the Trans-Saharan route, and the Indian Ocean route to Iraq and Persia, now known as Iran.

For centuries, and even till today, many could neither recall nor manifest the slightest interest in their antecedents. By contrast, especially since the latter half of the twentieth century, hundreds of thousands of descendants of the victims of this execrable commerce have embarked on the return journey home – some in search of their true origins, others in the spirit of a symbolic pilgrimage, and yet others to re-claim and re-settle in their ancestral space. Whichever way, for many, this has proved an emotional but fulfilling experience.

It was in fulfillment of this yearning for the healing of dislocated sense of identity that the Lagos State government instituted, with the support of UNESCO, the Black Heritage Festival in the symbolic town of Badagry, one of the more infamous departure points, with surviving landmarks, a Festival that seeks to enshrine the place of Memory in the history of peoples, and to celebrate survival and the resilience of the human will.

The third, 2010 edition of this Festival, appropriately billed as MEMORY AND PERFORMANCE IN THE RETURN TO SOURCE, is planned to raise this awareness to new heights, broaden and deepen the linkage between the African continent and its Diaspora.

This will be effected through a focus on the lives and works of three eminent representatives of, and close collaborators in this racial mission, all three now ancestral figures: the Martiniquan poet, dramatist, pan-Africanist and cultural activist, Aime Cesaire; prime mover of the journal Presence Africaine, and the publishing house of that name, Alioune Diop (whose centennial anniversary comes up in the year 2010, and the poet, essayist, and statesman Leopold Sedar Senghor. With this emphasis, a further step is taken to diminish the fragmentations in a common race heritage that were created through colonization under competing European cultures on African soil.

The three ancestors led a closely intertwined career. Cesaire, it will be recalled, was a principal midwife, in company of Leopold Sedar Senghor and others, of the philosophy of Negritude, the Beingness of Black. In addition to the performance of Cesaire’s plays and readings from his poetry, rare archival material from Alioune Diop’s pioneering journal, Presence Africaine, of which Aime Cesaire was also past president, will be placed on exhibition for the first time in this country. At the same time, Lagos State pays tribute also to the late President Leopold Sedar Senghor who was the inspiration and spearhead of the first ever international Negro Arts Festival (1966), the second edition of which the late Alioune Diop, served as Secretary-General and principal organizer. That second edition was called the Black and African Arts Festival, 1977, better known as FESTAC.

Buffered by a symposium, films, documentaries, a book exhibition, a gallery of contemporary art, music, theatre, concerts, traditional and contemporary dances, a boat regatta, a Children’s Heritage Village and African traditional games, not omitting from the Nigerian Film industry, this promises to be THE cultural event to round off the first decade of the millennium. The City of a Thousand Masks – Lagos – will herself be a player in the events, since the Festival programme will feature a unique competition – in association with the Caterina de’ Medici Foundation – where artists of African descent will vie for the ultimate laurel with their painterly impression on the theme CITY OF A THOUSAND MASKS, a contest that will be held before a live audience.

To sum up, a Festival of RECONNECTION, REVALUATION, REVINDICATION – this is the feast that Lagos State plans to serve up to discerning palates from within the country, the continent, and the Diaspora of the Caribbean and the Americas.

HISTORY
THE LOGO
THE TEAM

The Activities for the 3rd Lagos Black Heritage Festival include:

PAINTING COMPETITION

(Collaboration with Catarina de Medici).

DRAMA / THEATRE

This segment will feature 3 plays:

– King Christophe
– A Season in the Congo
– Ireke Onibudo

Children’s play

DRAMA

CULTURAL PERFORMANCES

MUSIC

The Musical segment of the LBHF celebrates the indigenous Music and Culture of Lagos, Nigeria and the Black World. The segment encompasses every style associated with the city of Lagos. A wide scope indeed as Lagos State represents Nigeria and essentially the Black World.

From Traditional music to Contemporary – Juju to Afro Caribbean.
Ayo Bankole

Steve Rhodes Voices

Lagbaja

Seun Kuti

Fatai Rolling Dollar (Guest Appearance).

Tunji Oyelana – Guest Artist.

Fuji
(Kwam1 / Obesere/ Pasuma )
Apala
(Musiliu Isola / Apala-Porto-Novo)
Hip-Hop
(D Banj, 9ice)
Agidigbo (Eko)

Gbedu Oba (Eko)

CHILDRENS’ HERITAGE VILLAGE

(to be directed by Jimi Solanke).

DANCE & MASQUERADES

– Contemporary Dance

– ATUNDA Dance

Traditional

Ajogan (Badagry King’s Procession).

Vodun (Badagry)

Sato (Badagry)

Bolojo (Badagry/Ijio/Eko)

Obitun (Ile-Oluji/Ondo)

Bata (Lagos/Oyo)

Dundun (Lagos/Oyo)

Ijo Apeja (Epe)

Nyok (Calabar)

Ekombi (Calabar)

Sokorowo (Owo-all female troupe)

Fitila Procession
The sombre Remembrance procession.
Nasarawa Contingent

Masquerades
Zangbeto (Badagry)

Gelede (Badagry)

Eyo (Eko)

Ekpe (Akwa-Ibom)

Igunnuko (Eko)

GALA NIGHT

FILM SHOWS

-> Roots

-> Amazing Grace

CHILDREN’S THEATRE

FITILA PROCESSION

OLOKUN FESTIVAL

OPENING CEREMONY

CLOSING CEREMONY

CLOSING CONCERT

FOOD FAIR

AFRICAN TRADITIONAL GAMES

AFRICAN FASHION /LAGOS HAIR SHOW

ART & CRAFT ZONE

Crafts Artisans from the Lagos region of Nigeria and from around the world converge at Festival Crafts zone to demonstrate and sell their works. It is held at various locations around Badagry, Lagos and other selected locations around Lagos State.

Display Hours are 10am to 9pm.

SYMPOSIUM

The Lagos Black Heritage Festival Symposium creates a forum of Intellectual discourse of themes related to black history, heritage and the relevance of memory to contemporary concerns.

EXHIBITIONS

(a). Presence Africaine – Books Exhibition.

(b). Slavery Objects

HISTORY
THE LOGO
THE TEAM

Wole Soyinka

For over a millennium, African indigenes South of the Sahara have been hunted, bartered, and sold into slavery by European and Arab slavers, often, alas, with the active connivance and participation of Africans themselves. Millions perished even before destination along the Trans-Atlantic route, the Trans-Saharan route, and the Indian Ocean route to Iraq and Persia, now known as Iran. For centuries, and even till today, many could neither recall nor manifest the slightest interest in their antecedents. By contrast, especially since the latter half of the twentieth century, hundreds of thousands of descendants of the victims of this execrable commerce have embarked on the return journey home – some in search of their true origins, others in the spirit of a symbolic pilgrimage, and yet others to re-claim and re-settle in their ancestral space. Whichever way, for many, this has proved an emotional but fulfilling experience.

It was in fulfillment of this yearning for the healing of dislocated sense of identity that the Lagos State government instituted, with the support of UNESCO, the Black Heritage Festival in the symbolic town of Badagry, one of the more infamous departure points, with surviving landmarks, a Festival that seeks to enshrine the place of Memory in the history of peoples, and to celebrate survival and the resilience of the human will. The third, 2010 edition of this Festival, appropriately billed as MEMORY AND PERFORMANCE IN THE RETURN TO SOURCE, is planned to raise this awareness to new heights, broaden and deepen the linkage between the African continent and its Diaspora. This will be effected through a focus on the lives and works of three eminent representatives of, and close collaborators in this racial mission, all three now ancestral figures: the Martiniquan poet, dramatist, pan-Africanist and cultural activist, Aime Cesaire; prime mover of the journal Presence Africaine, and the publishing house of that name, Alioune Diop (whose centennial anniversary comes up in the year 2010, and the poet, essayist, and statesman Leopold Sedar Senghor. With this emphasis, a further step is taken to diminish the fragmentations in a common race heritage that were created through colonization under competing European cultures on African soil.

The three ancestors led a closely intertwined career. Cesaire, it will be recalled, was a principal midwife, in company of Leopold Sedar Senghor and others, of the philosophy of Negritude, the Beingness of Black. In addition to the performance of Cesaire’s plays and readings from his poetry, rare archival material from Alioune Diop’s pioneering journal, Presence Africaine, of which Aime Cesaire was also past president, will be placed on exhibition for the first time in this country. At the same time, Lagos State pays tribute also to the late President Leopold Sedar Senghor who was the inspiration and spearhead of the first ever internastional Negro Arts Festival (1966), the second edition of which the late Alioune Diop, served as Secretary-General and principal organizer. That second edition was called the Black and African Arts Festival, 1977, better known as FESTAC.

Buffered by a symposium, films, documentaries, a book exhibition, a gallery of contemporary art, music, theatre, concerts, traditional and contemporary dances, a boat regatta, a Children’s Heritage Village and African traditional games, not omitting from the Nigerian Film industry, this promises to be THE cultural event to round off the first decade of the millennium. The City of a Thousand Masks – Lagos – will herself be a player in the events, since the Festival programme will feature a unique competition – in association with the Caterina de Medici Foundation – where artists of African descent will vie for the ultimate laurel with their painterly impression on the theme CITY OF A THOUSAND MASKS, a contest that will be held before a live audience.

To sum up, a Festival of RECONNECTION, REVALUATION, REVINDICATION – this is the feast that Lagos State plans to serve up to discerning palates from within the country, the continent, and the Diaspora of the Caribbean and the Americas.

Wole Soyinka
Emeritus Professor in Literature
Obafemi Awolowo University
Nobel Laurette in Literature 1986

66666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666

MARLON JACKSON’S VISIT MAKES CONNECTION OF THE JACKSON’S TO THEIR ROOTS IN NIGERIA!-FROM THE GUARDIAN NEWSPAPERS AND THEBJOSHUAFANCLUB.FILES.WORPRESS.COM-with UPDATES ON THE JACKSON’S PLANS FOR NIGERIA

August 27, 2009

fromngrguardiannews.com

Slave Route project reunites Jacksons with their Badagry root
By Anote Ajeluorou

ACTIVITIES will commence tomorrow, Saturday, August 22, 2009 for the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the ‘International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition’ in the ancient slave port of Badagry. This year’s celebration will assume a distinct dimension as the famous Jackson’s family has identified the ancient town, famous for slave trade in the 18th century as their place of ancestral origin.

To this end also, an oracular pronouncement has identified Alaga, a sub-tribe from Egun in Badagry as the home of the Jackson’s from the Ajanemusan family (shortened ‘Ajanesan’). This was revealed in a world press conference, which the organising committee for the Badagry Folk Festival addressed on Tuesday at the Badagry Local Government Council Secretariat, Ajara, Badagry.

As a result, the late music superstar is now called Michael Jackson Ajanesan in Badagry. According to a traditional priest from the Egun community, the fame that Michael Ajanesan attained in the US had long been foretold by the deity to which the family belonged as Michael Ajanesan was a deity himself. He claimed that it was only a god that could perform the feat that Jackson Ajanesan attained in life, and that he deserved to be given proper traditional rite of passage to join his ancestors peacefully.

And to properly accord their late superstar kinsman the burial rites befitting of a god, his yoko or spirit will be ritually invoked in the form of sand particles taken from his graveside and brought to a shrine or yoho for ritual internment. It is from this yoho that the necessary rites of passage will be performed to lay his spirit to rest among his ancestors from which the Ajanesans, taken into slavery these several years will again be reconnected to their kin.

Giving an account of how this bit of history was reconstructed to trace the Jacksons family back to Badagry, Special Adviser on Tourism at the Badagry Council, Hon. Prince Yomi Ajose gave account of his meeting with Marlon Jackson in Michigan, US, back in 1996. He stated that then it appeared as a haunch to the superstar’s elder brother, who said he strongly felt that his ancestry was from Badagry. He was to match his belief with action when he made a dramatic visit to Badagry in 2008.

At that visit, Jackson undertook to visit the infamous slave trade route. On getting to the Point of No Return, Prince Ajose recalled, “Marlon became hysterical beyond words. And at the spot where slaves were buried alive, where no grass or tree has grown ever since, Marlon completely broke down”. These manifestations became the first intimations that the Jacksons had their roots from Badagry. But beyond a possible DNA test to finally confirm this assertion, Prince Ajose also stated that with the consent of His Majesty De-Wheno Aholu Menu-Toyi, the Akran of Badagry, the oracle was consulted to resolve the Jacksons ancestral link.

It did; hence the Ajanemusan connection to Alaga at Egun.

The theme for this year’s celebration is ‘Family Reunion’. For the people of Badagry, this year’s remembrance day is significant as it will reunite them with their long lost kinsmen, particularly Michael Jackson Ajanesan, whom Prince Ajose said had personally pledged to visit Badagry after the proposed London show, which did not materialise before he passed away in a heart-attack that is still shrouded in suspicious circumstances.

Now instead of receiving Michael Ajanesan in person to perhaps give further historical significance to the ancient sleepy town, it is only his yoko that will be received. But to Badagry people, such is life. Whether in death or alive, they are treating the event with so much emotional attachment, particularly the reunification with a part of the Diaspora.

The Badagry people are also thrilled that at last the Lagos State Government has finally recognised the historical and tourism significance of the town and was deploying resources to developing them. The long neglected ‘Slave Route’ will now receive attention and plans are underway towards developing it into an international resort and tourism centre. Work has started at the Marina Beach line. Lekki Beach Resort Limited, a sports and recreation developer has started work to transform it into a world class golf course.

The Jackson Ajanesan family is not left out either in this quest to turn international attention to this otherwise sleepy town with a lot of history behind it. With their Motherland Group Inc, USA, the Jackson Ajanesan family, according to Prince Ajose and Sunday Balogun, who represented the Badagry Local Council chairman, Hon. Husitode Moses Dosu, are partnering with the Lagos State Government to build the Badagry Historical Resort that will also include the Michael Ajanesan Museum, where memorabilia from the late superstar will be kept.

The Badagry Folk Festival will add colour to the commemorative event that is a collaborative work of Badagry Local Government, African Renaissance Foundation and Ijinla Tours. The Badagry Folk Festival will include activities such as Zangbeto festival in Ajido, Vothun festival in Ajara, Water Sports in Gbaji and Royal Carnival procession in Badagry will mark highlights of the celebration.

However, the traditional funeral rites for the late Michael Ajanesan will start on Saturday 22, 2009 starting from 6am. A candle light procession will commence at 9pm of the same day in memory of the slaves, who were forcibly taken away from their homelands to unknown destinations. The following day Sunday 23, a drama presentation Wailing from Badagry will be performed at the Badagry Town Hall from 3pm to end with a lecture on slave trade. The drama is the initiative of African Renaissance Foundation. The celebration will finally climax on Saturday 29, 2009 at the Badagry Grammar School playground with a cultural exhibition, musical performance and book presentation.

A statement from the council chairman read, “This year’s celebration christened ‘Family Reunuion’ is the 10th celebration since 1999 of this programme and it is dedicated to the repose of the spirit and soul of one of Africa’s legends Michael Joseph Jackson (Ajanesan), whose ancestors have their roots in Badagry and are spiritually attached to us. A mega tourist resort known as the Badagry Historical Resort will be constructed in Badagry by members of the Jackson’s family and some prominent African Americans. We are once again joining countries of the world in celebrating the UNESCO declared International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition (every August 23) with a series of activities including the Badagry Folk Festival”.

Prince Ajose lamented the long awaited development of the Slave Route in Badagry into a world heritage site. He stressed that while those in other parts of West African coastlines such as Ghana and Senegal had been developed and were contributing meaningfully to the economies of those countries, the one in Badagry, perhaps the most famous, was yet to enjoy similar status. The result being that the town is as impoverished as was possibly during the slave era. He maintained that the late realisation of the potentials of the Badagry Slave Route, and consequent action being taken to redress it were due to the nation’s reliance on oil as the sole foreign exchange earner for the country. He expressed happiness at the late attention the ancient town was enjoying from the international arena, saying that though long overdue, it would finally put Badagry at her rightful historical place.

Tools
Send to a friend
Printer-friendly version

© 2003 – 2009 @ Guardian Newspapers Limited (All Rights Reserved).

MARLON IS TOP LEFT

MARLON IS TOP LEFT

JULY 28,2009   Marlon Jackson In Nigeria, Visits TB Joshua

JULY 28,2009 Marlon Jackson In Nigeria, Visits TB Joshua

MARLON JACKSON 2ND TIME IN NIGERIA

MARLON JACKSON 2ND TIME IN NIGERIA

7777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777

FROM mjjnews.worpress.com
July 24, 2009
Marlon Jackson is in Nigeria (talks about Michael)
Filed under: Uncategorized — bhullarg24 @ 5:44 pm

Michael Jackson’s older brother Marlon was in Lagos, Nigeria, on Wednesday, July 22 and had an interactive session with journalists at the press centre of the International Airport. He was received by former Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN) presidents, Tee Mac Omatshola and Bolaji Rosiji.
The event began with a short musical performance by Debina Abraham, a Michael Jackson impersonator and up-and-coming artiste who performed a song he had specially composed for the late pop icon.
Jackson, who was visibly still mourning, dressed in a yellow track suit and black shades, briefly expressed gratitude for the kind words and condolences shown his family. While speaking on the Badagry Historical Project, which he was working on, he revealed that his late brother had a special interest in it.
“Michael was interested in the Badagry project because he had never been to Nigeria and looked forward to the completion of the project because he wanted to come and see things for himself”.
He also added that it was imperative that the historical artefacts such as those in Badagry be preserved, so that the generation yet unborn will get an opportunity to appreciate the sufferings of our forefathers who were part of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.
The Niger-Delta issue also came to the fore at the event and Jackson said he looked forward to a peaceful resolution of the crisis and was willing to meet with the Nigerian government and representatives of the Niger Delta militants, in order to reach an amicable understanding between both parties.
Tee Mac also intimated journalists of plans to stage a major charity concert which will be held on Michael Jackson’s birthday, August 29.
“It is going to be one of a kind African affair; a gathering of major African and Nigerian artists. It is basically to celebrate the life and achievements of one of the world’s greatest entertainers. Proceeds form the event will be channelled to major charities around the world as advised by Marlon.”
Tee Mac also added that the celebration will be an annual event.
When asked if his late brother had converted to Islam before his death during the Q&A session, Marlon said he wasn’t aware of that as all he knew was that his brother was a Christian until he died. He also hinted that the Jackson 5 had considered touring together once more before Michael’s untimely death. He said that what was primary to the Jackson family was to provide a secure future for his late brother’s children.
On circumstances surrounding Michael’s death, he said the family was not going to comment on that since the case was still being investigated.

The lingering PMAN crisis seems to be far from over as not only was the body absent at the event but all attempts by this reporter to get either Bolaji Rosiji or Tee Mac’s comment on why the body was not present at the gathering proved abortive.
Rosiji however said, “these are the kind of things PMAN should be doing but they are not here. When I was the PMAN president I used to organized a legends night, where we celebrated some of our late music icons like sunny okosuns and Oliver de Coque.”
Marlon left after about 20 minutes saying he had another appointment to catch up with. However Tee Mac hinted that Marlon will brief the press one more time before he leaves Nigeria.

http://www.234next.com/csp/cms/sites/Next/Home/5438456-146/story.csp

“As you know my family is still mourning and hurting over the death of my brother and it is something that I will learn to live with. I want to tell a little story. I was here in May, 2009 and went back to the United States of America (USA) on May 14 and that same day, my family had a function for my mother and father and the entire family, including Michael Jackson, was there. That was the last time I saw my brother alive,” Marlon said.
Marlon added that Michael had promised him that he would come to Nigeria to see the project he is undertaking in Badagry.

His words: “He knew I had just come back from Nigeria and he asked what I went to do in Nigeria because he had never visited Nigeria and I told him about the historical Badagry project that we are doing in Nigeria and he felt the same way I felt; he felt that the project must be done because it is imperative that we understand what our forefathers and fore mothers went through.
“He looked forward to the finishing of the project because he wanted to come and see it and I assured him that we would get the project done. The only thing is that when we do finish this project he will not be there physically, but he will be there in spirit.”
Marlon also revealed that his organistaion, Study Peace Foundation, has resolved to wade into the Niger Delta crisis and negotiate peace between the militants and the Federal Government
According to him, the group, and managers of the Study Peace Foundation would work towards reaching a peaceful resolution on the Niger Delta crisis.

http://allafrica.com/stories/200907230149.html

Another sibling of Michael Jackson has come forward to speak about the singer’s sudden death. Marlon Jackson recently told Jet magazine that he believes his brother is finally resting in peace. He admits it has been extremely tough to accept Michael’s passing, but credits prayer and his strong faith for helping him to understand it.
“That’s where I find my comfort because I really do feel that he’s at peace now,” said Marlon. “I feel in my heart that the Lord had to call Michael to come home because he had finished what he wanted him to do on planet Earth.”
He said the entire Jackson family is “still in a state of shock” because “none of us saw this coming.” But they are working though the pain to accept the loss of Michael.

http://www.eurweb.com/story/eur54901.cfm

“BLACKS ARE IN FACT THE TRUE JEWS OF THE BIBLE PART I “-YOUTUBE VIDEO

June 17, 2009

Blacks are in fact the true jews of the bible watch ! part 1

The Yorubas are playing it up in their band!

May 15, 2009

These are my black people’s from yoruba. They got their instruments out ready
to give you a soulful tune. They are ready to get you in the mood for….
whatever! These people are looking
all fly!
They transmit their special
atmosphere through the computer
screen. They belong more than on
youtube, but also on tv. Ladies
and gentleman clap your hands
wherever you are for this bunch.

They in the mood for a music
party. They jammin!

The Headwear of Beautiful Black Yoruban/ Nigerian Women!!

May 15, 2009

These ladies do style, they are about class. They are ready to flaunt.
They’ve come prepared to show their
hats off. Brace yourself for the most
beautiful and vibrant, bright set of
colors. Oh, and the styles of the headwraps will make you want to
go purchase scarves for them.

It’s like a festival. It will make you want to dance, just maybe.
It’s a parade of glorious scarf hats.
The hats are so beautiful it will make
you lose gravity, just kidding, but they
are really really gorgeous.

EYO FESTIVAL HOLDS IN LAGOS,NIGERIA WITH AN ORGANIZED DIFFERENCE BY GOV. FASOLA!-GUARDIAN NEWSPAPER,APRIL 28,2009(WITH THE FIRST 7 PHOTOS BY EHIS ERO!)

April 28, 2009

CELEBRATING IN THE COMMUNITY OF EKO ISLAND!

CELEBRATING IN THE COMMUNITY OF EKO ISLAND!

BY ERIS ERO

BY ERIS ERO

BY EHIS ERO

BY EHIS ERO

GOVERNOR BABATUNDE FASOLA,LAGOS STATE WHO MADE IT ALL POSSIBLE! HE IS LEADING IN PRESERVING THE YORUBA CULTURE WHICH IS DYING!

GOVERNOR BABATUNDE FASOLA,LAGOS STATE WHO MADE IT ALL POSSIBLE! HE IS LEADING IN PRESERVING THE YORUBA CULTURE WHICH IS DYING!

BY EHIS ERO

BY EHIS ERO

BY EHIS ERO

BY EHIS ERO

BY BROTHER EHIS ERO

BY BROTHER EHIS ERO

by Brother Ehis Ero

by Brother Ehis Ero

eyo-festival6eyo-festival5eyomasquradeeyo-festivaleyo-festival3eyo-festival2eyo-festival4from ngrguardiannews.com

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Splendour, as Lagos throbs to Eyo Carnival
By Nnamdi Inyama and Seye Olumide

LONG before the day, Lagos and even beyond, had been abuzz about the Orisa play also known as Eyo Festival.

There had been comments that this year’s edition, organized in honour of the late Chief T. O. S. Benson, a prominent Lagosian and the nation’s first Minister of Information, would be special, and indeed, it was.

All roads on Saturday led to the Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS) in Central Lagos, which was the venue of a spectacular display of colour, dance, culture and tradition by various Eyo groups at an event during which the state, Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) declared that “the best of Lagos was yet to come.”

Those living in the Lagos Mainland and outskirts , at one point on Saturday, began to wonder where everybody else had gone to, why there were so few commercial transport vehicles on the road and why the ones available charged such high fares.

The answer was simple: many people from all nooks and crannies of the state were heading to TBS to watch Eyo masquerades perform in a music and dance drama special to Lagosians.

Every available seat, by 9.00a.m., had been taken up at the TBS main bowl by gaily-dressed Lagosians from all walks of life, who had come to witness the Orisa play.

There were diplomats, who for a while, dropped the starchy formalities of their official duties, captains of industry and commerce , foreign tourists, young men and women as well as children, who arrived in very large numbers in the uniquely designed double-decker tourist buses called Eko Oni Baje.

The event began proper after the coordinated march of the various groups belonging to prominent families in Lagos and the adherents of five deities.

An obviously delighted Governor Fashola, who spoke after the march, said the Eyo Festival celebration was aimed at creating a family day for a very rich and proud festival and rich heritage of Lagos as well as develop opportunities to place it in its rightful position as an event deserving of international recognition and acceptance.

This year’s Orisa play, he said, had promoted entrepreneurship through the various fabrics and hats that had been designed as well as the food and drinks provided.

Describing the event as ” twelve hours of funfair and a whole family day,” Fashola said it has also “shown the true colours of Lagos in terms of its dressing and culture as well as the fact that it is the ancestral home of festival and theatre.

Fashola added that the “Eyo masquerade is one of the richest and proudest statements of the colour, flamboyance and elegance of Lagos which must not die.”

The governor explained that the objective of the innovation of a central viewing place was to provide for larger audience and greater number of viewers within a relaxed, safe and entertaining atmosphere without distracting from the delicate intricacies of the craft or elegance of the culture.

According to the governor, ” in this way, families will get involved in what is usually a day of fun and splendor, and the children will connect with their heritage while the guests will understand the indigenes better”.

Reiterating his ultimate vision for the festival, Fashola declared: “With pride tempered with humility, I have come to appreciate the festival and the need for it to be uplifted for the benefit of the state and as an addition to the world map as an international tourist destination”.

He also said the uniqueness of the Eyo festival stems from the fact that it cannot be run by express calendar, saying: “Sometimes we have had five festivals in one year and there are times we have not had any in a number of years. But I think the most important thing is to let the people see what it portends”.

The governor said the Eyo festival was ” a festival of honour to celebrate great men, Lagosians, Obas of Lagos as part of their coronation rights and other Lagosians who have rendered sterling services and deserved to be honoured.”

He declared that he felt good about the occasion and that Tafawa Balewa Square has come to stay as venue for the carnival.

The Eyo festival featured processions of colourfully dressed Eyo groups in their distinctive hats, robes and wrapper with the staff called opabatam.

The groups danced and chanted various songs while greeting people by touching them with the tip of the staff.

Among the Eyo groups that featured in the processions were Asogbon, Suenu, Bashua, Erelu Kuti, Egbe, Shaasi, Asajon, Eletu Odibo, Aromire, Obanikoro, Oshodi- Bukku, Onisiwo, Bajulaiye, Oloto, Onilado, Akogun Olofin, Olorogun Adodo and Onimole

Others were Bajulu, Olumegbon, Eletu Iwashe, Akitoye, Arobadade, Ogunmade, Onikoyi, Jakande, Etti, Oshodi, Ajiwe Forisha, Onisiwo, Salawe, Faji, Kakawa, Sogunro, Taiwo Olowo and Bajulaiye while the five traditional Eyo deity groups are Eyo Agere, Eyo Ologede, Eyo Oniko, Eyo Alakete Pupa and Eyo Adamu Orisha.

Prominent among those present at the occasion were the Deputy Governor, Sarah Adebisi Sosan, wife of the governor , Mrs. Abimbola Fashola , former Ogun State governor, Olusegun Osoba, Speaker of State House of Assembly, Adeyemi Ikuforiji, Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, Ambassador Dehinde Fernandez, foreign diplomats and members of the State Executive Council as well as members of the State House of Assembly among others.
77777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777

FROM thisdayonline.com

Fashola: Why we revived Eyo Festival
By Nseobong Okon-Ekong, 04.26.2009
Saturday, April 25, 2009

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, yesterday described the ‘Adamu Orisa’ Festival, better known as Eyo festival as “one of the richest and proudest statements of colour, flamboyance and elegance of Lagos which must not die.”

Advancing the tourism potential of the Eyo festival, Fashola said his government appreciates the festival and the need for its upliftment for the benefit of the state and as an addition to the world map as an international tourist destination. He expressed fears that unless the festival is re-invigorated, the present generation would not understand its precepts and essence which may be lost in history and distortion.

Justifying the decision to stage the grand parade of the Eyo at the Tafawa Balewa Square instead of Idumota, he said the decision to relocate the festival was reached in consultation with the Oba of Lagos and some elders.

Fashola, who said the “best of Lagos is yet to come” was moved by the spectacle of the play. It was the second time in two weeks that the state made an impressive showing on the national culture and tourism centrestage. The Eyo play 2009 was in memory of the late Otunba Theophilus Owolabi Shobowale (TOS) Benson, an illustrious indigene of the state and Nigeria’s first Minister of Information who passed on last year. Otunba Benson was the ‘Baba Oba’ (Father of the King) of Lagos.

Penultimate weekend, Lagos’ tourism dream was kept alive when it hosted its first ever Beach Carnival at the Tarkwa Bay Beach.

The Eyo festival which was moved outside its traditional home on the streets of Lagos Island to an enclosed venue-the Tafawa Balewa Square-for the first time attracted the cream of Lagos state government officials, the Oba Rilwan Akiolu of Lagos and his chiefs, foreign tourists and the teeming populace was supported by Glo, the telecommunications company, as main sponsor.

By doing this, according to the governor, the “intention was to provide larger viewership within a relaxed, safe and entertaining atmosphere without distracting from the delicate intricacies of the craft or elegance of the culture.”

Fashola said he, Oba Akiolu, noted in his message that each time the Eyo festival is staged, it usually ushers in good tidings. He said, “it is my prayer that this edition will bring peace and prosperity to Nigeria.

This particular edition has exposed the Adamu Orisa play to international stage in the mould of Rio Carnival and the Argungu Fishing Festival in Northern Nigeria. It is my hope that the next edition will be more glamorous and fun filled.”

Giving another reason for relocation of the festival to Tafawa Balewa Square, Oba Akiolu said it was intended to “reduce to the barest minimum, the illegal and criminal acts of some people which are not part of the Eyo tradition.”

The last Eyo festival, according to Chief Taoridi Ibikunle, the Akinshiku of Lagos and head of all Eyos, was staged six years ago, in August, 2003 in honour of the Late Oba Adeyinka Oyekan II.

7777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777

FROM ngrguardiannews.com

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Fashola at Eyo Festival, pledges to uplift Lagos culture and tourism
By Andrew Iro Okungbowa

LAGOS Island, the commercial nerve centre of Lagos State, yesterday wore a colourful outlook, as it played host to the Eyo Festival, in celebration of an age-long cultural heritage of the people of Isale-Eko in Lagos Island.

The Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS), venue of the cultural and communal fest, was all adorned in colours with people filing into the massive ground as early as 6am to witness the re-enactment of one of the richest and rarest cultural displays, which turned out to be a massive carnival of sort, with the whole of Lagos Island taken over by huge human and vehicular traffic.

At the festival was the Lagos State governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola, who was also dressed like one of the Eyo Masquerades in an all-white outfit and spotted brown coloured lace tied round his shoulder but without the mask. He was ushered into the festival ground along with some of his commissioners and state functionaries who were also dressed in the same manner amidst shout of joy and excitement by the people.

In his goodwill message at the occasion, the governor took his audience down memory lane, saying: “I recall with nostalgic pride that as children, we looked forward to Eyo festival days when Asoje (incantations) were memorised and silently recited by Eyo Masquerades.” He described the festival as a showpiece of the richness and flamboyance of the state and something that must not be allowed to die.

“The Eyo Masquerade is one of the richest and proudest statements of the colour, flamboyance and elegance of Lagos, which must not die,” said the governor. He added that the desire by the state government to celebrate the festival at the TBS rather than Idumota, the traditional venue of the festival, was informed by the need to renew and bring back the colourful, entertaining and rich cultural heritage of the people.

Fashola said the intention of the state government is to uplift the festival to become a tourist attraction for the public to enjoy. “Our intention is to provide for larger viewership within a relaxed, safe and entertaining atmosphere without distancing from the delicate intricacies of the craft or elegance of the culture.”

For the governor, “this way, our families will get involved in what is usually a day for fun and splendour; our children will connect with their heritage and our guests will understand us better.”

He enjoined the people to embrace the culture of the country, stressing that culture is dynamic and that Eyo festival has already adapted itself to modern trend, which is something for everyone to take part in.

The festival is traditionally held in honour of a departed Oba of Lagos or the ascension to the throne of a new Oba and as well as in honour of a departed illustrious son of Lagos. This time, the festival was staged in honour of the late Chief Theophilus Owolabi Shobowale (TOS) Benson, who died last year.

In his remark at the festival, the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Babatunde Aremu Akiolu 1, expressed the hope that the celebration of Adamu Orisa would bring peace and prosperity to the country. He also prayed for the people of the country and the leaders, just as he expressed the hope that the festival would rise to the position of a tourist event for the state and enjoy the status that tourism festivals such as Argungu Fishing and Osun-Osogbo enjoy in the country and the international community.

In attendance at the event were a number of the state government functionaries, chiefs from the state, family members of TOS Benson. Others include the former governor of the state, Alhaji Lateef Jakande, the former deputy governor of the state, Senator Kofo Bucknor-Akerele, the former governor of Ogun State, Segun Osoba and Donald Duke of Cross River State.

For the people who thronged to the venue from all parts of the state and even from other states, with a couple of international visitors sighted at the ground, it was an occasion to celebrate and enjoy the feel of the festival as people followed the long procession of the Eyo masquerades, danced and sang in an atmosphere of conviviality.

The Fuji exponent, Wasiu Ayinde, Kwame I, who was the musical artist of the festival, added colour and entertainment to the festival with his rave performance. Another popular music icon, D’ Banj, also put up a scintillating appearance.

The festival also afforded vendors of different items to make brisk business while it lasted.

© 2003 – 2009 @ Guardian Newspapers Limited (All Rights Reserved).
Powered by dnetsystems.netdnet®

77777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777

from sunnewsonline.com

Sunday, April 26, 2009
Large turnout at 2009 Eyo Festival
Saturday, April 25, 2009

Lagos witnessed a large turnout at the 2009 edition of Eyo Festival, the annual masquerade festival of the state, held yesterday at the Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS) on Lagos Island.
At different bus stops, there were long queues of persons eagerly waiting for the free buses released by the state government to convey people to the TBS.

The roads leading to Lagos Island was free of traffic, due to the fact that commercial vehicles had been barred from plying the route on that day.

Sunday Sun reporters who monitored the festival saw beautifully-attired masquerade groups at the Tinubu Square moving in processions into the TBS. There were different groups, ranging from the very young ones to older Eyos.

Observers held their shoes and slippers in their hands, as wearing them is said to be offensive to the masquerades.

At the crowded square, the different masquerade groups danced, gyrated and regaled in processions, amid cheers from the crowd. Each group was distinctly marked by the colour of their wide-brimmed hats, as every one of them was dressed in white covering them to the feet. Each also carried a large stick, with which they flogged people wearing shoes or hats.

Mr Olasede, a carpenter from Iyana-Ipaja who came to witness the event, told Sunday Sun that the hats belonged to the different Eyo societies, which include Eyo Oniko, Orisha, Ologede, Bajulaye, among others.

One of the masquerades, who spoke to Sunday Sun, said they were happy with the Lagos State government and telecommunication giants, Globacom, for their support of the festival, stressing that the people’s confidence has been restored that this aspect of our cultural heritage will survive.

77777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777
from vanguardngr.com

Adamu Orisa: Lagos festival play of history…
Written by Azu Akanwa
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Lagosians most respectable and symbolic festival, Adamu Orisa Play otherwise known as Eyo will troupe out the streets of Lagos Island, popularly called Eko in the hinterland of Lagos on April 25, 2009 to mark the final burial rites of late Chief Theophilus Owolabi Shobowale (TOS) Benson (SAN). This year’s festival will mark the 67th in the history of Eyo festival. About 53 groups (Iga) will participate in this year festival with five groups of the orisas as the head of all. The Adimu, (Orisa baba Nla Mila); Okanlaba Ekun (Alakete pupa), the Olopa Eyo; Eyo Orisa Oniko (Abara Yewu), Eyo Orisa Ologede and Eyo Orisa Angere respectively will lead in the festival.

Eyo Masquerades on display

Otunba Benson made forays into politics quite early in his lifetime and made quite an impact. In 1950, when the mayoral system of local government was in force in Lagos, he contested and won election to the Lagos Town Council and emerged the Deputy mayor under the banner of the defunct National Council of Nigerian Citizen (NCNC), while in 1951 he was elected representative of Lagos in the Western House of Assembly. He moved up the ladder in 1953 to become the leader of the opposition party in the House, when the late Chief Nnamdi Azikiwe, the leader of his party and his political mentor, returned to the East to become the premier of that region.

In 1959, he recorded another electoral victory which made him the representative of Lagos in the Federal Parliament. He became Nigeria’s first Federal Minister of Information, courtesy of the political accord between Northern Peoples Congress (NPC), the leading political party at the centre then and the NCNC, his party. Otunba Benson was one of the very few politicians of note in the south-west who was not part of what could arguably be described as the mainstream of Yoruba politics apart from his membership of the Egbe Omo Oduduwa during his student days in the United State of America.

The Supreme head of all Eyo, Adimu (Orisa Baba Nla Mila), has reiterated its uniqueness among other orisa groups of Eyo. Prince Iyanda Bashua, Bashua of Lagos gave this indication at the Awe Adimu in Lagos penultimate week. According to him, the Eyo festival, Adamu Orisa Play is the traditional play of Lagos that is staged for the commemoration of final burial obsequies of an Oba or a chief and sometimes in memory of a deceased person who had contributed to the progress and development of Lagos.

Bashua, who spoke on behalf of Chief Amao Ibikunle, the Akinsiku of Lagos, the Alaworo Eyo and other members of the Olorogun-Agan and Olorogun Igbesodi, said people do not have to recite aro Eyo to participate in Eyo. “In Awe Adimu, only children of Adamu Cult or somebody that is introduced by eminent personality in the society are registered for Eyo Adimu.”

He reiterated further that majority of Eyo of Adimu are eminent personalties in the society. We have doctors, lawyers and justices etc here. No miscreant here!” Bashua explained.

Eyo festival has made a lot of impact in tourism industry from the time the Portuguese first set foot on Eko and christened it Lagos, the Island has attracted foreigners on account of its many advantages as a seaport. It is also gathered from a number of sources at the Awe Adamu (meeting place of Adamu) that traders from Europe were attracted and were content to transact their businesses and get away before the Coast fever claimed them.

However, apart from the Brazilians and Sierra Leonians (freed slaves) who returned from the America, Lagos attracted other Africans and West Indians. Being a seaport, the Island is cosmopolitan and these groups found conditions so suitable to them that they decided to settle in every sense of the word.

This means that they threw their lot with the indigenes and kept only a token association with their original homes. Indeed, their children knew of no other place than Lagos as their home and it is only fair that having lived in the Island for more than seventy years they should have the right to be called Lagosians. These settlers have really proved their worth as part of the indigenous community and a picture of old Lagos is incomplete without their notable families.

Proof of their acceptance is that some of them have married native Lagosians.

However, at the Awe Adimu, (meeting place for Adamu elders) on, Tuesday, 14th April, 2009 for the staging of this year Adamu Orisa Play in the memory of late Chief Theophilus Owolabi Shobowale (TOS) Benson many dignitaries were present.

Vanguard Arts gathered at the Awe that the Eyo Orisa Oniko was formerly the next to Eyo Orisa Adimu in rank but the elders affirmed that Oba Adele during his reign asked for Okanlaba second position and it has been like that since then. Our source also confirmed that Eyo Okanlaba has no orisa but ’Laba (symbolic Bag), which is the property of reigning Oba. Meanwhile, Vanguard Arts, can now reveal that Okanlaba second position in the orisa groups has remained like that and will be so forever.

Adamu Orisa Play has its history dated back to 155 years ago and the procedure for staging it is that any person or family that can afford the expenses of staging it, or any family that wants “Eyo masquerade” in the name of their house must first consult the families of Olorogun Agan and Olorogun Igbesodi and appraise them of such a desire.

The two families will then direct the person or family to the reigning oba of Lagos. The family or the person will be led to the Awe Adimu with the Oba’s official staff and two white capped chiefs.

At the Awe Adimu the person or the family will be issued “Ikaro” to Awe Adimu (all the articles and cash for providing certain things for the obsequities) At this stage, no other family/families is/are allowed to be present at the presentation of ‘Ikaro’ to “Awe Adimu” by the family or person willing to stage Adamu Orisa Play, than the two families of Olorogun Agan and Igbesodi. No other orisa family or Eyo Iga family would also be present. Meanwhile, each “Orisa of Eyo” has traditional functions which it must perform and as directed by the Supreme Head of all the Orisas, the “Orisa Adimu”, including the Eyo Onilaba known as the Eyo Oba or Eyo Alakete Pupa. EYO ONILABA (EYO OBA): They function as the “Police” of the Orisa Adimu Administration. They also ensure and maintain maximum discipline among the Eyo groups.

They must ensure that Eyo groups keep to the rules and, regulations of Adamu Orisa Play or Eyo Play. They take directives from Awe-Adimu and maintain regular contact with Awe Adimu throughout the preparation period and Adamu Orisa Play Day.

Other major function of “Eyo Laba” is to construct “AGODO” an enclosure constructed with mats on the eve of Adamu Orisa Play along Enu-Owa Street. Now Iga Iduganran Street, to house the drummers, on the instruction of the Elders of Awe Adimu. They are among the Eyo groups to lead “Opa Processions” for the announcement of Adamu Orisa Play Day.

“ORISA ONIKO” The outing of this Orisa during the midnight/early morning of Adamu Orisa Play Day is to ensure that the devil and other evil spirits are driven away from the town. The Orisa must choose some of his followers, whom is believed would be taking part in the Adamu Orisa Play, to lead “Opa Processions” for the announcement of Adamu Orisa Play Day.

“ORISA OLOGEDE” similarly, the above mentioned functions of “Orisa Oniko” must be performed within different time of the early morning of Adamu Orisa Play Day. The purposes of Orisa Ologede’s outing at this time is to ensure peace, tranquility and safety to the performance of the day. The followers of Orisa Ologede also lead “Opa Processions” for the announcement of Adamu Orisa Play Day.

© 2008 Vanguard Media Limited
Comments made by visitors to this site do not reflect the opinion of Vanguard.
Designed by

77777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777

YORUBA RELIGION FESTIVALS FROM NIGERIAVILLAGE SQUARE1.COM

August 16, 2007

from nigeriavillagesquare1.com

Yoruba Religion: 2005 Schedule* of Festivals

By Remi-Niyi Alaran
————————————————————–
Yoruba religion (Irunmole) is a monotheistic religion with one almighty god. It is based on reverence of African ancestors who are celebrated as a heirarchy of about 401 chief and minor dieties. OLORUN or OLODUMARE, the only Supreme Diety, is not worshipped directly. Irunmole is an instrumental set of rituals by which critical individuals may resolve existential dilemnas in consultation with a distant God. It does not define a specific moralising code or have any sacred texts. Individuals can converse directly with their orisha and can effect changes in their own destiny. Irunmole is not concerned about a compiled and interpreted system of beliefs for group worship of an omnipresent God, as are other world religions such as Islam, Christianity or Buddhism.

February 26 – 27
OLOKUN festival:
Orisha of the deep sea [Nature] and protector of the African soul

March 21
ODUDUWA festival.
Celebrations of the Orisha of the Earth. Onset of the Yoruba NEW YEAR (2005 is the 10,047th year of Yoruba culture?)

March 26 – 27
OSHOSI festival.
Veneration of the Orisha of Adventure, patron of hunters
Also annual rites of passage for men

April 4
OGUN festival.
Veneration of the Orisha of War, patron of metal crafts [Engineering / Military]

Last Saturday of April, for 5 days (April 30 – May 4)
OSHUN festival. Celebrations of the Orisha of love [Biology]. Onset of Spring and the wet season.

Last Saturday of May, for seven days (May 28 – June 4)
EGUNGUN festivals. Celebrations of the Ancestral Spirits (Life forces), including royal sacrifices

June 21
SHOPONA and OSANHIN festivals.
Veneration of the Orishas of Disease and Medicine respecitvely.

June 25 – 26
YEMOJA festival.
Celebrations and fertility paegents of the Matron Orisha of the Yorubas
Also annual rites of passage for woman.

July 2 – 3
ORUNMILA / IFA festival.
Celebrations and recitations of the Orisha of Destiny / Divination [Science]. Also mass gathering of the Yorubas

First weekend in July, for three weeks (July 4 – 24)
OKO and ELEGBA / ESHU festivals.
Celeberations of the Orisha of Farming [Agriculture] and Sex [Power / Communications], respecitvely. Also feasting on new harvests of the Yam tuber crop.

July 24 – 25
SHANGO festival.
Veneration and celebrations of the 8th century Alaafin of ancient Oyo nation, who became diefied as the Orisha of Thunder and Lightening [Energy]

August 27 – 28
OBATALA festival.
Celebrations of the Orisha of Heaven [Creation / Culture]

October 22 – 23
OYA festival.
Celebrations of the Orisha of the Wind. Patron of flooding of the Oya river and guardian of the gateway between life and death. Onset of Autumn and the dry season.

October 31
SHIGIDI festival.
Veneration of the Orisha of Nightmares and the unknown dead of the AFRICAN people. Solemn parade by candlelight for unsettled spirits and ghosts. World Slavery Day?

December 17
OBALUAIYE festival.
Celebrations of the Orisha of Work [Business] and of the winter solstice.
(BROTHER RAPHAEL AKINFALA HAS ADDED TO THIS LIST THE OROSUN FESTIVAL HELD IN IDANRE,ONDO)
Information adapted from various sources including: http://www.sacred-texts.com/afr/yor and http://www.oyotunjivillage.net. A current discourse of Yoruba perspectives on religions may be found at http://lucy.ukc.ac.uk/YorubaT/yt6.html.

*This information is subject to change. Actual dates of celebrations may differ from indicated in accordance with religious practises in location and family.

Remi-Niyi Alaran writes on enterprise and social capital.
Copyright (c) ALARAN DEVELOPMENT ENTERPRISES, 2005
You may copy, transmit, or otherwise use this document provided the copyright notice is attached

posted @ 10:23 PM 0 comments

0 Comments:
Post a Comment

<< Home

Travel Info
Hotels in Nigeria

Lagos Restaurants

Previous Posts
Eyo Festival: A play of the masquerades
Urhobo Names
The Ibibio – Rhythm and Dialects
The Urhobo…Our Names Are…
The Kalabari

——————————————————————————–
2. WE WILL ADD HERE THE ONDO FESTIVALS SINCE BROTHER RAPHAEL AKINFALA HAS BROUGHT THE EXCLUSION OF TO OUR ATTENTION.
TAKEN FROM:ondostate.gov.ng

FESTIVALS
OGUN FESTIVALOgun the god of smithy and lord of Iron is celebrated annually in almost every town and villages in the state. The celebration is an annual remembrance and worship of the god of Iron who was believed to be a hunter who migrated from Ile-lfe to Ire-Ekiti on game search, but he ended up living permanently at Ire-Ekiti and disappeared into the ground when some people of the town deceived him with an empty keg of palm wine. He beheaded all of them with his cutlass according to oral history and disappeared into the ground. In Ire-Ekiti, the main festival in remembrance of the deity comes biennially and usually during the month of August.

Ogun is believed to be the god of all those using Iron in their professional work therefore; the deity must be worshipped in order to receive his favour. Ondo Town equally worships Ogun deity. In fact Ekimogun festival is fast assuming the status of a key festival of national interest. And in many towns and villages in the State, ogun festival is usually accorded with masquerades of different designs. During the festival the people also worship their ancestors and with the believe that the ancestors are on earth again to greet, inspect and bless their siblings. These masquerades are regarded as imitations of the ancestors. Dogs, Palm oil, Roasted yam, Palm wine, Cold water and cola nuts are the materials used by Ogun devotees to worship the deity.

OBITUNObitun is a bridal dance in Ondo Town. This dancing ceremony is supposed to be performed for every maiden in the town before she gets married. The people believe that if the ceremony is not performed for any particular girl, she might end up being childless. However, these days, very few families do perform these ceremonies for their daughters.

OROSUN FESTIVAL, IDANREAccording to oral tradition, Orosun was a woman and that she was one of the wives of Olofin Aremitan. When Olofin left Ife and got to Ipetu Ijesha where he stayed briefly, he met Orosun who was said to be very beautiful. Aremitan married her at Ipetu. After some years Aremitan left for Oke-Idanre which he founded.

Because of the strong tie between Olofin and Orosun she came to Idanre where she was welcomed to the palace. She stayed in the palace for many years but unfortunately, her marriage was not blessed with any issue. Her position in the palace was enviable. She was held in high esteem by the King to the annoyance of other wives. This developed into a domestic intrigue and Orosun fled the palace and entered into a cave near the present Orosun Hill.

The people of Idanre decided thereafter to appease her in exchange for fertility, peace, progress and health. She is worshipped every year. The festival is performed on 15th May of every year.

Picture showing the Olowo of Owo in his traditional regalia.
IGOGO FESTIVAL, OWOThis is an annual festival in Owo which lasts a total of 17 days featuring a number of ceremonies including the blessing and release of new yams. During the period of celebration, drumming is banned in Owo and instead, metal gongs (Agogo) are used. This was where the name ‘IGOGO’ was coined.

The Olowo, who during the festival usually dresses in Coral Beaded Crown, plaits his hair like a woman with Olowo’s dressing. It could be seen here that Owo has some traditional linkage with Benin.

The Olowo leads his people including the Chief Priest and the male youths from Iloro quarters to dance round the whole town it comes up in September annually.

OLOKUN, IGBOKODAThis is an annual worship of the Olokun deity who is the goddess of river and seas. The goddess is held in high esteem among the people of riverine areas of the state. This is because the deity has jurisdiction over nearly every important aspect of power to give children to barren women. She is also believed to be in control of ocean waves and could capsize, at will, boats of riches; she is believed to have the power to enrich her devotees.


%d bloggers like this: