By Lolade Maja
Ojude Oba, a Yoruba festival which holds yearly in Ijebu Ode, a town in Ogun State, southwestern Nigeria, could well be on way to becoming Nigeria’s version of the popular Nottin Hill or the Rio carnival as celebrated in the UK and Brazil respectively.
The festival which started out in 1890 with a small band of Islamic adherents and their friends paying homage to the paramount ruler, continues to grow in size and getting more colourful with each passing year. The different age grades known as Regberegbes add style and affluence to the festivities, resplendent in their dazzling, beautiful traditional uniforms as they parade. This is a competitive stance and the different age grades contest to win.
The Ojude Oba festival, now primarily aimed at uniting all indigenes of Ijebu Ode at home and the Diaspora, is held on the third day of the Muslim’s Eid-El- Kabir. The 2017 edition held on 3rd September, was hosted by the reigning monarch, His Royal Majesty, Oba (Dr.) Sikiru Adetona CFR JP, Ogbagba the Second of Ijebuland.
Each year, the festival is celebrated with panache and opulence, with increasingly more visitors attending than was previously recorded. Festival visitors, numbering in excess of over 300,000 have been known to attend from across the world.
Below: Men’s group on parade
**Lolade Maja is publishing editor, Lola’s Reality, a journal of lifestyle and realism for Africans in the Diaspora (www.lolasreality.com)