Not too long ago, Ondos celebrated 500 years —-.It was a further confirmation of the love and respect the Ekimoguns have for tradition and culture. Ondo’s believe in the proper blend of the past with the future, as any progressive group or individual cannot jettison their past for the future or settling for the future while doing away with the past.
In furtherance of such efforts to sustain and preserve their tradition and culture for posterity, the Ondos have commenced preparations for the celebration of one of the most revered festivals in the kingdom, “Odun Oba”. This is the festival that reverberates round the paramount ruler of the kingdom, the Osemawe.
An Ondo female High Chief, Victoria Oluwole, Jomu Lobun of ondo kingdom, who spoke glowingly of the festival and invited Nigerians at home and abroad, to the kingdom to join them in celebrating their rich culture and their Oba, the Osemawe of Kingdom, Oba Victor Kiladejo, in July, in addition to experiencing the raw beauty of Ondo Kingdom and its spectacular culture and tradition.
The High Chief said, “the festival is the only festival or medium whereby the people of Ondo Kingdom, pay homage to their kabiyesi (king). All the traditional chiefs, prominent personalities and indigenes, at home and abroad, come and pay homage to their revered monarch. The kabiyesi on his part, will entertain children, including the children of the past kings, dance round the town and perform series of rites. It’s a week long celebration”.
On those expected to participate in the festival? Jomu Lobun, said , “ every indigene of Ondo, old and young, from far and near , are expected to be part of this festival, including his Excellency, the Executive Governor of Ondo State. I mean every son and daughter of the soil are eligible to participate”.
Is she paying any specific role? She answers in the affirmative. “I’m one of the six female chiefs and we are also known as “Ogoji”. The third day that kabiyesi will welcome children, we the Ogoji , will also be there with our royal people and loved ones in the community , to present life chicken, kola nuts and dress beautifully, while we pay our traditional homage to kabiyesi”.
High Chief Victoria Oluwole, while speaking on the significance of the festival, said,” It’s very important, being the major festival that concerns the king and the chiefs. It’s an annual event that makes everybody feel important and be part of the palace system. It promises to be full celebrations galore”.
Any exceptional activities slated for this year’s celebration? Jomu Lobun stated that, “the only exceptional activity that I know, started happening since last year. That is inviting neighbouring towns and villages, their Obas, Chiefs, Iyalojas and others, to join in the celebration and they are pleased with the kabiyesi’s gestures”.