Preparations for the celebration of the annual Ile-Ife Olojo Festival, the first under Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi, aimed at boosting the nation’s tourism income may have begun.
Oba Ogunwusi is expected to preside over the three-day Olojo Festival 2016 tagged ‘Community Festivals: A veritable avenue for boosting domestic tourism’. It will hold in conjunction with the Osun State Government.
The festival will come with a command drama performance from foremost Yoruba dramatic artistes under the aegis of Association of Nigeria Theatre Arts Practitioners (ANTP) at the festival.
Oba Ogunwusi said theatre artistes are moral teachers, saddled with the responsibility of moulding characters, shaping lives and bringing lasting peace to the society through their lesson-filled drama stories.
More than 50 countries are expected at the festival.
Freedom Online reports that while addressing the artistes in his palace where they have gone to introduce the association’s newly elected officers as directed by him, the Ooni said the artistes should always be focused on unity and selflessness towards harnessing their rich potentials without leaving room for pirates to take undue advantage of their collective and individual works.
The ancient belief of the Ifa oral tradition is that the Aare crown is very heavy and it is believed that the Ooni of Ife is spiritually empowered to wear it during the Olojo Festival, as the crown is too heavy for him to bear on any other day.
National President of the Association, Chief Jimoh Aliu (MFR), said ANTP would always partner with local and foreign counterparts to contribute its quota to the upliftment of Nigeria’s tourism industry.
He added that ANTP is ready for cultural exchange programmes with other countries to create awareness on “our rich culture and tradition via stage performance and film exhibitions.”
Besides the National President, the new officers as introduced to the Ooni are: Deputy President, Rasak Oyadiran, Vice President (North) Mariam Aponbepore Bakare, Vice President (South) Biodun Adekanbi, General Secretary, Alhaji Yahaya Adetunji, Treasurer, Bola Obot, Financial Secretary, Adewale Elesho, Internal Auditor, Bolanle Adeniran, Organising Secretary, Olanrewaju Ayodele, Publicity Secretary, Benjamin Adekunle, Welfare Officer, Fatimah Afunku, Chief Whip, Tajudeen Gbadamosi, Ex-Officio, Salaudeen Azeez.
Other officers are Chief Special Adviser, Alhaji Kareem Adepoju (Baba Wande), Special Adviser (Special Duties), Chief Oyewole Olowomojuore (Baba Gebu), Special Adviser (Screen Craft), Chief Eddie Ugbomah, Special Adviser, (Stage Craft), Prof. Kola Oyewo, Special Adviser (Inter Association Matters), Prince Saheed Balogun, Special Adviser (Media), Chief (Mrs) Dupe Olaoye-Osinkolu, Patron & Chief Legal Adviser, Chief Afe Babalola, Special Adviser, (Legal Matters),Barr. Femi Falana, ANTP Lawyers, Barrs. Olawale Omoloye, Abdul-Hameed Gambari,Ag. Chairman, Elders Council, Chief Oluseyi Adelesi, National Director, ANTP Troupe, Prince Jare Adeniregun and National Choreographer, Akeem Ogunde.