After a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19 restrictions, the ancient city of Ijebu-Ode went agog on Monday with spectacular displays, pomp and pageantry as the Ojude-Oba festival returned. The colourful event that was energised, refreshed and serenaded by Nigeria’s beverage giant, Rite Foods’ Limited, the official beverage sponsor of the festival, which provided assorted flavours of refreshment for every moment of the event.
Speaking at the festival, which was tagged The Return of the Ojude-Oba, Managing Director, Rite Foods Limited, Seleem Adegunwa re-affirmed his company’s commitment to arts, cultural promotion and community development, particularly in areas where it operates. He demonstrated that his company holds the festival in high esteem by paying homage to the paramount ruler of the land, the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona, for being the custodian of the traditional institution of his people, which aligns with his company’s values.
“As a company, we are particularly committed to celebrating the rich cultural heritage of peoples and communities, particularly our royal father who bestrides the traditional institution of his people like a colossus. The Awujale has been an undisputed statesman who personifies a courageous, charismatic, and reliable leader which aligns with our values of excellence and integrity at Rite Foods Limited”, Adegunwa further said.
The festival committee, which had earlier commended the company for its commitment to promoting arts and culture through the sponsorship of the festival, also showered encomiums on the brand for flooding the town with its array of refreshing Bigi soft drinks, Fearless energy drinks, Rite and Bigi sausages and the newly launched Sosa fruit drink, which provided undiluted and quality refreshment that invigorated the sons and daughters of the soil, as well as their guests to enjoy the celebration.
Visitors, tourists and guests from across Nigeria and the rest of the world stormed the ancient city to experience a taste of this sponsorship by Rite Foods Limited and to witness an age-long cultural celebration characterised by horse riding, gunshots, folklores and contemporary music, colorful and flamboyant dressings, dances, drumming and competitions, all of which represents the gaiety and artistic style of the festival.
The Ojude-Oba (the King’s forecourt or frontage) is a major festival in Nigeria which began over 100 years ago. It brings together all sons and daughters of Ijebuland in Nigeria and the Diaspora for a carnival-like celebration of the traditional, cultural, spiritual accomplishments and other values of the Ijebu nation.
During the festival, various age-groups (popularly known as the regberege), indigenes, their friends and associates from far and near – all in their colourful costumes and riding on horses, through the palace – throng the palace of the Awujale to pay homage to him amidst prayers and other fun-filled activities. The Ojude-Oba festival is also a platform to showcase the entrepreneurial ingenuity of Nigerians and promote trade as well as the country’s tourism and hospitality.
In essence, with the sponsorship of the festival, the world class and proudly Nigerian company has demonstrated its strong advocacy to the promotion of arts and culture as well as community development in areas where it operates. According to the company, it believes in Nigeria’s diverse culture and seeks to connect with consumers in communities where cultural celebrations like the Ojude-Oba festival create the platform for unity among its people.