Yekini Jimoh in Lokoja
As part of efforts to promote traditional culture in Yoruba land, the Okun people in Kogi State are getting set for this year’s Apapo Okun Cultural festival expected to kick off in November.
The Curator of the Apapo Okun cultural festival, Prince Philip Orebiyi of Gold Tourism and Sail Limited disclosed this to THISDAY yesterday.
Orebiyi, an international tourism promoter and a former member of the state House of Assembly, said Apapo Okun cultural festival started as a concept which seeks to encourage the practice of cultural entertainment to attract tourists to Okun land.
He described Okun people as Africa’s most celebrated, civilised, educated, and most culturally exposed people.
“We can boast that we have a unique traditional lineage that is second to none in the North-central and some South-west states. It is this large untapped reservoir of culture/traditional talents, artistic expressions, arts and craft, tourism sites that the Apapo Okun Cultural Festival brings to the fore during the events,” he said.
Speaking further, he noted that the event will bring Okun back to its original national recognition, and it will put jobs in the hands of many and also boost the economic sector and help in the revival of the Okun cultural industry.
“Our children have lost the record of our cultural status; with this activity, we can begin to educate our children and relatives about their origin,” he promised.
The five-day event which will hold in Kabba, will start as from November 1 and end on November 5 with activities such as quiz competition among selected secondary schools in Okunland, food fair with the display of Okun rich delicacies and climbing of Obagongo Hill at Kabba with tourist and visitors who arrives for the festival.
Other events are the unveiling of the Yeye Oge of Okunland at Lisa Palm Hotel, Kabba and the Okun culture and tourism fair /festival which will takes place at Kabba Mini Stadium.
“This year’s cultural festival will witness a global personality of Okun extraction from Ogidi, Mrs. Nike Okundaye of the Nike Art Galleries. She is the face of the very important festival. International and local visitors are expected,” he stated.
Orebiyi disclosed that the former Minister of Police Affairs, Major-General David Jemibewon (rtd), will server as the chairman of the event.