5 Interesting Facts To Know About Ojude Oba, One Of Nigeria’s Most Iconic Festivals

All the facts you should know about the Iconic Ojude Oba Festival

Ojude Oba Festival Facts
Facts about the Ojude Oba Festival

  • This article highlights major facts about the Ojude Oba Festival.

The Ojude-Oba festival is a prominent celebration of extravagance, culture, tradition, fashion, and royalty by the Ijebu people. The emergence of social media has also given more popularity and vibrance to the festival. Every year, images and videos from the event flood the internet giving us an insight into a celebration of opulence and this year 2024 is not an exception.

That being said, let’s dive into some facts about the Ojude Oba festival, which has now become one of Nigeria’s most iconic festivals.

1. Meaning of Ojude Oba

Ojude Oba which means ‘The Kings Forecourt’ is one of the biggest festivals in Nigeria celebrated by the Yoruba people of Ijebu-Ode, a major town in Ogun State during Sallah. Every year, the one-day annual celebration attracts thousands of indigenes and visitors and brings together sons and daughters of Ijebuland. The festival always commences with prayers by the Imam of Ijebuland, followed by the National Anthem, then the Ogun State Anthem and the Awujale Anthem, and finally the Lineage praise of the Ijebus.

2. Origin and History of Ojude Oba

The origin of the Ojude Oba festival can be traced to the 19th century which makes it an over century-old tradition. It originally started as a small gathering of the earliest Muslim converts in Ijebu-Ode to pay homage to the king, the Awujale of Ijebu-land, as a way of appreciation for granting them the liberty to practice and observe their religion.

It began as a Muslim celebration but has evolved to include non-Muslims and people from diverse religious backgrounds.

3.  Significance of Ojude Oba

The extravagant festival is usually celebrated on the third day of the Eid-el-Kabir celebration to celebrate the age-long tradition.

Deeply rooted in the traditions and culture of the Ijebu people, it serves as an avenue to showcase their rich cultural heritage. across music, fashion, dance, and food.

Ojude Oba festival is not just a festival, it is a celebration of the Ijebu identity and a platform for the community to come together in unity and pride.

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4. Activities and highlights

One of the many highlights of the Ojude Oba festival include the following:

  • Horse Riding: Here, skilled horsemen clothed in traditional attire and outfits undertake stunts on horseback. Descendants of Ijebu war heroes are regarded as the Balogun while the different horse-riding families are led by the Balogun. The historical significance of horseback riding in Ijebu culture is honored in these displays, which also give the celebration a sense of grandeur and excitement
  • Fashion Parade: Judging by the looks and outfits from the celebration, the Ojude Oba festival is a showcase of style, fashion, and wealth. Attendees don the event in their luxurious outfits adorned with exquisite embroidery and beading that highlights the originality and elegance of the Ijebu fashion. The fashion parade also features a competition for the ‘Best Dressed’ for all age groups. Also, Attires from a previous festival cannot be worn again at a new Ojude Oba festival, they wear entirely different attires year to year which makes a statement on the economic status and wealth of the age group.
  • Dance: Music and dancing are essential components of the Ojude Oba Festival. Traditional drummers and musicians offer a rhythmic backdrop for the festivities, while dancers execute exciting and engaging dances. These performances are not only entertaining but also help to conserve and pass on ancient Ijebu music and dance practices.
Ojude Oba Festival Facts
A photo from the 2023 celebration

5. Tourism and Economic Impact

The Ojude Oba festival is known for attracting a large influx of visitors and tourists from within Nigeria and across the world, thereby boosting local businesses and promoting the state’s rich cultural heritage.

In recent news, The Federal Government on Tuesday, June 18 revealed plans to list the annual Ojude Oba Festival as one of the festivals approved by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Photographer, Niyi Fagbemi renowned for capturing images and scenes from the event, and this year in his usual fashion has released that the 2024 edition has got everyone talking.

Check out the photos below

Ojude Oba Festival Facts

Ojude Oba Festival FactsOjude Oba Festival Facts