THE organisers of the Ijakadi, the annual cultural festival of Offa people in Kwara State, have said this year’s edition was taking into consideration consequences of the rapid erosion of cultural values in the society and planning to give due recognition to the distinguishing cultural traits that have served as the community’s identity.
The festival, which kicks off on December 26 will run through January 1, 2023, with a symbolic wrestling match between Olofa and Eesa, his highest ranking chief at the grand finale.
A statement by Moji Makanjuola, Chairperson, Media and Communications Committee, said the festival would feature a lecture entitled “Sustenance of our Cultural Heritage” to be delivered by Dr. Kajogbola Omoloso, an associate professor at Al Hikmah University and former General Manager, Radio Kwara.
Makanjuola explained that the lecture is intended to provide discourse on why everyone who is attached to any culture should be culturally conscious and alerted to his or her identity and its uniqueness.
She said the secretariat of the Ijakadi festival had been moved to Olofa’s palace to give proper direction and coordination of the community’s arts and artifacts, including safeguarding the culture. “All traditional and honourary chiefs of the community have been saddled with far more responsibilities and would henceforth, look into the planning of the festival,” she said.
Other activities scheduled for the week-long event are traditional beauty pageant, Moremi stage play, cultural display, Ijakadi Economic Fair, courtesy call and homage to Olofa and traditional roadshow by all segments of the community.