By: Tunde Ogunmola
Olojo Festival is celebrated once in a year at Ile-ife in Osun State, south-west Nigeria. History, science and empirical knowledge ascribed the ancient town of Ile-Ife, with its symbol of authority, as the source of mankind. Interestingly, Ile-ife is the only place on earth where the day of creation is celebrated as the Olojo Festival.
At the well attended festival which took place over the weekend, the Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty, Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja I I, the Oonirisa of Ile-Ife spoke extensively on the significaance of the Olojo Festival to the Yoruba race.
In his words, “Olojo Festival is a celebration of the Almighty God, and all the divinity angels. It is a transition between the life of divinity and humanity. There is a link between the two, and the celebration of the first dawn and day. And who is the owner of the day and dawn? It is God Almighty. It is very important for us to know that it has been proven that we, the Yoruba, are the oldest human in the entire world by virtue of our MD DNA test done globally now. Everything started from us, cradle of humanity and civilization. So, the link between divinity and humanity is what we use to celebrate several thousands of years before Jesus Christ and Prophet Muhammed (SAW) came to this world, and other religions. It is a very ancient way of celebrating the new year and new harvests.
The Ooni, further said that the pathfinder deity is Ogun and it was Ogun who paved ways for all the divinity spirits, “so we’re not idol worshippers but we’re celebrating God. It’s a celebration of God. “Olojo Owun Lanfi Ojo Fun”. It usually happens the 8th, 9th and 10th month of very year. That’s when we usually get the new product of foods that make human beings to survive – products like Yam, we have our new Yam Festival during this period. New Kolanut, new bitter Kola and that’s why Yoruba will usually say “Ododun Lanri Orogbo, Ododun Lanri Awusa, Ododun Lanri Omo Obi Lori Ate”. It’s was a new year Festival for the whole world at some point. That’s why we are trying to bring back our heritage”.
The annual Olojo festival is usually another cultural festival through which the richness and beauty of the Yoruba race is celebrated.