January 11, 2020

Pomp, pageantry as Akran of Badagry graces ‘Ajido Zangbeto festival’

Pomp, pageantry as Akran of Badagry graces ‘Ajido Zangbeto festival’

By Chris Onuoha

It was a colourful event as Ajido kingdom in Olorunda LCDA, Badagry, Lagos State welcomed guests and from seekers to their annual ‘Zangbeto Festival” on December 30th, 2019 at the Aholu Ajido palace ground.

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The festival tagged; “Zagbeto Ajido Festival 2019,” was declared open by the paramount ruler of Ajido Kingdom, His Royal Majesty, Aholu Saheed Sedonu Adamson, Topon of Toyiaga, Badagry and graced by the Akran of Badagry, HRM, De Wheno Aholu Memu-Toyi 1 alongside other royal fathers, dignitaries, Lagos State government officials and some international tourists.

‘Zangbeto institution’, a formation of masquerade group, is a socio-cultural event held by the Ogu speaking people of Ajido, Badagry. This event serves is a sort of traditional peace keeping force, mediators between the ancestors and the people to solidify the future of the land, but however, it has been modernized as a part of Lagos State cultural heritage by the State’s Ministry of Tourisms, Arts and Culture.

The two-day festival was declared open on December 29 by the monarch, who prayed and sent the ‘Zangans’ to the sea for rituals to appease the gods. The second day witnessed the main activities comprising the acrobatic performance by the Zangbeto masquerades from various groups led by the ‘Kregbetos. Others were ‘Zangan Yonnusi’, a group of women praise singers in the Zangbeto family; and also command performance by the Athogbo and Gota cultural troupes among others.

Speaking with journalists on the significance of the festival, the Aholu of Ajido Kingdom, Saheed Sedonnu Adamson said; “Zangbeto institution is a rich cultural heritage of the Ogu People in Badagry, inherited from our fore-fathers and celebrated in high esteem.

I am excited that today we can hold the Zangbeto festival which has been adopted by the Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture as part of State’s cultural heritage. However, I will appeal to the State government to harness the advantage of waterway transportation in Ajido creek as a way relieving transportation stress for tourists who would want to visit Ajido land.”  He also stressed that Ajido is the home of peace, culture and tradition while calling on tourists, investors and general public to come and experience the peace in the land.

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The festival chairman, Sehude Adeyinka Amosu,  in his message expressed appreciation to the Lagos State government for recognizing the Ajido Zangbeto festival. He also mentioned the importance of the Zangbeto institution as one of such instruments of administration that worked well in olden days in checkmating crime and controlling peace in the land which can still be used for such purposes.