Osun Festival to Award Cultural Champions, Emancipates Women

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Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi

Rebecca Ejifoma

The Osun State Governor, Gboyega Oyetola; the Aare Onakankanfo of Yoruba land, Iba Gani Adams; the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi; Oba Moses Oyediran, Ajonbadi III, and Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III are among dignitaries to be awarded at the maiden edition of the Osun Festival in Modakeke, Osun State for their ethnocentrism over the years.

The festival, which will run from March 28 to 30 at the Yeye Asa Centre, Modakeke, Osun State, is on the theme ‘African Spirituality and its Values’. It is geared towards women emancipation and empowerment through culture.

According to the Yeye Osun of Modakeke, Florence Trautman, at a media parley, although the Osun Festival aims to equip the women, it is also an avenue to recognise some figures for their undiluted contributions to the development of culture and tradition in Yoruba land.

“The significance of celebrating the Osun Festival is perception of what the deity represents to the people of Osun State which includes special blessings to the women folk, healing and providing children to the barren women facing challenges in their husbands’ homes”, she added.

Trautman expressed that in Yoruba religion, the deity called Orisa is associated with water purity, fertility, love, myths and sensuality that speak against the ills in the society concerning women.

“Osun is a powerful deity. That is why at the festival, we will do prayers and offerings to the deity for women believing God for children among other activities.”

As a trained musical artiste and caterer, Trautman highlighted that women would be trained in diverse skills: bead-making and catering; exhibitions and special workshops for women and men on self-reliance; language competition among women, drama, film show, innovation, and music.

“Some of the deities in Yoruba land like Sango, Ogun, Obatala, Obaluaye and Eshu will be showcased as well as here some of our cultural costume of the deity”, she said.

She beckoned on individuals, corporate organisations and the governments to support the festival, adding, “brand owners should use the opportunity of the celebration to display their products and services that reflects the value of the African tradition”.