By JAPHET ALAKAM
IRESI, a serene town in Boluwaduro local government Area of Osun State literally erupted in frenzy of cultural performances recently when they celebrated Iresi Socio-Cultural Festival.
Acrobatic displays, sports activities, mountaineering, hilarious age group reunion held in the historical town for three days in commemoration of the yearly Oyeladeniran Foundation for Community Development (OFCOD) which came to a grand closure at the palace of traditional ruler of the town, Oba Sikiru Adeseun Ibiloye, was a remarkable spectacle.
The festival which began with the unveiling of the festival programme in Lagos had a lot of festivity. As in the previous years, there were contests in football match displays, inter-lineal cultural competition, mountaineering, art exhibition among others.
Activities for the last day of the festival however began around 2pm at the palace of His Royal Majesty, Oba Sikiru Adeseun Ibiloye the Oluresi of Iresiland, with several age groups cultural procession and other thrills. It was also a day for arts and local cuisines exhibition activities. Later in the evening, guest and visitors were treated to the various cultural rite and display of the popular Orebe traditional dance. Apart from the various cultural displays, the event had earlier featured a football match where the young men of the town slugged it out, marathon race contest which saw the emergence of one of the most distance runner in the town as the winner.
The festival activities came to a climax with in an evening tagged Night out. It was a night of dance performances marked by a verity of thrilling dance performances, colourful and intricate costumes as well as acrobatic displays.
The royal ruler of Iresi, Oba Sikiru Adeseun in his speech underscored the significance of the yearly festival which is now in its third season. He informed that Iresi Socio-Cultural Festival is celebrated yearly in the land as a memorial of Pa Adeniran and Madam Oyeladun, who lived a worthy life during their lifetimes. According to the royal father, the festival is also aimed at helping youths imbibe the virtues of the departed couples which are hard work and honesty. The monarch therefore used the occasion to call on the Governor of the State of Osun, Rauf Aregbesola, to help the town develop its tourism potential which abounds in the town.
During the event, the mountaineering race was a huge success without hitches as young athletes from the town moved from Orita Igbajo to Oke OdoIresi. Mr Akinrinade Micheal, won the first prize and the female champion was Miss Bolarinwa Kafayat. There were also winners in other events.
A lecture titled Reawakening Traditional Industry in the context of Community Development was delivered by an erudite scholar of Anthropology and Sociology, Prof. Tunde Olawuyi, who lectured the entire gathering on how to develop meaningful trade within the available resource of a typical traditional society.
He said, “Iresi is a Yoruba community of antiquated memory and one that has benefited, thanks to century of migratory movements, from the presence of several sub-ethnic yoruba groupings that have brought in their own subcultures, now within a totalistic frame of the town.
Meanwhile, promoter of the festival Debo Adeniran expressed his joy for the festival. According to Adeniran, “ The event is all about celebrating aspect of rich Yoruba culture. Adeniran blamed some of the ills in the society as a result of youths not being brought in line with culture. He said the reason why the foundation was set is to fill that vacuum by instilling good morals to the youths. He challenged those propagating Western religion as against African culture to have a rethink as according to him, the foundation of every people is dependent on their cultural heritage.
Adeniran further disclosed that the foundation organised the event every year to enable indigenes celebrate the lives of late Pa Adeniran and Madam Oyeladun for living good lives.