The dwell this time around would be on a certain entity in the guise of a “not so small” town in the South-western part of Nigeria.
Ile-Oluji is a town that passes for a blend of countryside, tranquility, and elegance all in one piece. A small town well-grounded in Ondo State, Nigeria. It’s not remotely an unpopular town, but what remains almost unknown to many is the beauty, rich culture, and eye-catching tradition that abounds in this town.
A town that has thrived tremendously under the rulership of the renowned Oba (Dr) Julius Oluwole Olufaderin Adetimehin, and has swiftly grown from obscurity to prominence since he mounted the throne of his forefathers- A dedicated, hardworking, astute Insurance person and a goal-getter who has risen to the very peak of his profession prior to his enthronement by the Kingmakers of the Ile-Oluji kingdom.
We take a close look at the endearing culture, customs, intriguing sites, and the touristic aspects of this charming little town.
The town fondly transcribed as Ilè tí Olu sùn ti ko ji (The land where a certain man slept never to wake) an interpretation which of course might not be absorbed and digested holistically, as it is connotative translation.
However there are certain myths about this town, climaxed by the fact that they do not eat the large cow known as Buffalo because of some reasons beyond comprehension, or perhaps too deep for comprehensibility. In addition, they also have several festivals celebrated yearly to placate the gods of the land, celebrate the King, and lots more.
In this episode, we take a quick look at two of the major festivals in Ile-Oluji Kingdom that typifies this beautiful place. One of them is the Odún Ajé which means (Festival of wealth), and the Odún Lijebu ( Festival of much wining and dining).
These two aforementioned festivals are some of the festivals that arguably do not come up anywhere else in the whole of Nigeria. And even if other towns celebrate something similar, it would never be as colourful as it’s been showcased in Ile-Oluji. Albeit there are other festivals such as the Ogun festival (done to celebrate the god of iron), Odún Owé, and lots more, but we’ll take a shot at the aforementioned ones.
The Odún Ajé is usually a customary parade of dance, beats, and sonorous songs to appease the gods and thereby hoping for a year of huge bounty. During the procession, a certain white calabash containing valuables such as expensive fabrics (aso ofii), beads and necklaces, horsetail and some other items are carried on the head by a selected young maiden who dances around the center of the town while the locals sing and dance along in ecstasy. It is believed that having done this, the gods of the land would easily grant their financial wishes, making all and sundry buoyant all year long. Amazing you’d say, right?
Well, here’s where we’ll be drawing the curtain for this week’s ProjectAfrica: “Knowing Ile-Oluji” series.
Join the train next Friday as we continue this yo-yo ride of culture, tradition, tourism, and the beauty of African localities.
Oluwakayode Adegunloye is a graduate of English and currently a Master’s Degree student in Tourism Development Studies at the University of Ibadan. He has a huge knack for creative writing, content development, poetry and tourism.