As part of their commitment to promote indigenous arts and culture, corporate organisations including, Dangote Flour, Dufil Prima Foods, MTN and Intercontinental Distillers Limited have rallied round the Epe community in Lagos State to celebrate its 2018 Kayo-Kayo festival.
Their presence at the occasion did not only enrich lives and economy of the local community, but also offered life and glamour to the annual event that brought together prominent sons and daughters of the soil, politicians and business moguls.
This year’s event was graced by over 50,000 tourists both within and outside the country who were treated to a live and rich display of cultural activities including royal procession, cultural performance, display of historic Kosoko boat and the brandishing of local traditional light.
The week long programme provided for an avenue to promote the tourism potential of the community as well as created a business environment for petty traders, local business men and women and corporate organisations.
Speaking on the occasion, Chairman, Festival Planning Committee, Alade Saliu- Okulu reiterated the three symbolic purpose of the over 150 year -old festival.
The festival has historical, religious and cultural facets. The religious aspect is as weighty as its history. The solemnity of religion and history in its social manifestation is absolute ‘KayoKayo’ unchained. In recent years, the socio-cultural ramification of the festival has been expanded to showcase Epe cuisine and fashion, health awareness and screening, youth parade and carnival has also been incorporated.
He added that plans were underway to rebrand and relaunch the festival into a global phenomenon such that it could rival the popular Rio carnival.
The Olu-Epe of Epe Kingdom, Oba Shefiu Olatunji Adewale, also informed that the festival was one of the many ways the community remembers and celebrates the coming of King Kosoko to Epe land in 1851.
He emphasised that the religious aspect symbolises the herald of the new Islamic year while its social impact celebrates communal bonding by making and sharing abundant food to all.