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Published on May 4, 2013

Ojude Oba is one festival that many anticipate every year in Yoruba land, especially the Ijebu people. The festival, this year, was filled with pomp, glitz and glamour.
IJEBU Ode has remained remarkable over decades as an ancient city with rich cultural heritage, like Ile-Ife, which has provided traditional values that serve as symbol of unity for the Yoruba people of Ijebu kindred. One if its rich cultural symbol of unity is the Ojude Oba festival. The Ojude Oba Festival brings the sons and daughters of the ancient city from wherever they reside in the world back to their ancestral land annually to re-unite with their families and friends amidst divers fanfares.

The festival is usually held in two days after the Ileya festival. The Ojude Oba festival shifts from Ijebu Ode to Ijebu-Isiwo for another three days celebration after the Ileya. The main purpose of the festival is for the people of Ijebu to come together as one to honor their king and the festival is regarded as one of the biggest in West Africa.

The annual Ojude Oba festival started some 100 years ago when Imam Tunwatoba led his friends and family members to pay homage to his friend, Oba Fidipote, the then Awujale of Ijebu land during the Ileya festival for his assistance to the peace Islam enjoyed in his domain which has grown in leaps and bounds to assume the status of a flagship cultural festival.

The festival has now grown to a great extent of being a rallying point that brings together sons and daughters of Ijebu-Ode from across the globe and re-uniting them. It was suppose to be just a festival, celebration to appreciate the King but the Ojude Oba Festival has grown beyond that to become a symbolic arm of the people of Ijebu, a rallying point that strengthens social relations among the people. The Ojude Oba Festival is seemingly become a pilgrimage for the people of Ijebu.

The yearly cultural festival is so colourful, full of glamour and entertainment with display of masquerade dances, cultural attires and other cultural dances. It is usually a day that indigenes and visitors enjoy the best of cultural values and hospitality in Ijebu Ode.

The festival started about a century ago as a purely religious event when the Ijebus imbibed Islam as a way of life.

All Ijebu people are expected to come home for the festival, kill a ram, even if they are no longer Moslems, and attend the Ojude Oba to dance with their ages grade before the Awujale. Ijebu people are noted for their love of displaying what they have and this festival allows the various groups to show off their wealth and prosperity.

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