The Epe Community of Lagos State has partnered telecommunications giant, MTN to promote its local economy as it holds the 2018 edition of its annual KayoKayo Festival.
Chairman of Festival Planning Committee, Alade Saliu- Okulu explained that the community was looking at exploring the commercial values of festival activities to enhance its economic lifestyle away from fishery, which was its major preoccupation.
According to the chairman, in addition to the arrangements made for market women to display their wares on the water for maximum exposure and patronage, the community has also liased with MTN to empower its members on telecommunications businesses.
As part of the partnership deal, he said: “MTN has resolved to train and equip some members of the community with items such as mobile stalls to sell products , airtime and data virtually through the use of digital gadgets.
“Empowerment items such as phones, POS devices, chairs, tables, umbrellas and digital tablets would also be distributed to traders which we believe, will to a great extent lift the lives of our people financially.”
Speaking further, Okulu said that the seven days festival which culminates today is one way in which the community showcases its cultural tradition and rich potential. The activities of the festival, he added, has been expanded to feature social functions like fashion parade, health awareness and screening, cultural displays, youth parade and other displays.
Furthermore, he said that this year’s programme that promises to be colourful will give the youth segment more opportunity to connect with the purpose of the epoch event other than only the elders of the land.
The Olu-Epe of Epe Kingdom, Oba Shefiu Olatunji Adewale informed the gathering that the over 150 years festival was an annual religious and cultural festival cum carnival observed by the descendants of Oba Kosoko, who inhabited the area notably referred to as Eko-Epe in Epe.
“King Kosoko in 1851 laid the foundation of Eko-Epe when he came with 1,500 people. We have always commemorated this; we will be at the marine side, in boats, to mimic how Kosoko came to Epe.
“This is the display of our culture at its best.
“We will also seize the occasion to showcase our tourism potential to over 50,000 tourists that will be in attendance,” he said.