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OLOKUN 2017 FESTIVAL: Olori Wuraola Ogunwusi Charges Africans To Embrace Cultural Heritage






By Sodiq Lawal

The Queen of Ife Kingdom, Her Majesty Olori Wuraola Ogunwusi has charged the African people to proudly embrace and showcase their tradition and cultural heritage to the world, as this will serve as tourist centre that would boost Nigeria economy.

Olori Ogunwusi who is the Yeyeluwa of Ife said this at the weekend during the annual Olokun traditional festival held at the Olokun shrine located at Oke-Atan area of Ile-Ife.

The Olokun festival attracted devotees from abroad and across Nigeria especially the Niger Delta areas​ of Benin in Edo state, Ijaw in Bayesa state, Itsekiri in Delta state and Ilaje in Ondo state who came in their hundreds to celebrate Olokun who they called the real god of unity.

Olori Wuraola Ogunwusi said that the annual celebration of Olokun festival is a way of resuscitating tradition and sustaining culture so as to boost Nigeria economy.

"What we are doing is to create awareness, it is not barbaric, we are showcasing the tourist aspect of the country and to let our people understand that we must embrace our cultural heritage".

"Everyone is entitled​ to be a devotee of Olokun as the practice of Olokun is not  prevalent to a particular set  of people, if you drink water or use water, you must understand the importance​ of Olokun, because all other waters flow from the sea and Olokun is the goddess of the sea" She said.

The Queen described
Olokun as a deity of wealth, commerce and life, calling on all Africans to appreciate Olokun and always celebrate her as whosoever takes.

A tourist that came from Benin in Edo state, Hon. Mike Eholor, appealed to all and sundry to upkeep the traditional growth.

Eholor urged Nigerians to respect their culture and tradition for persistent celebration, saying that this will sustain the culture especially on the interest of unborn generations.

In the same vein, the custodian of Olokun shrine who is also the Walode of Ife Kingdom, Chief Kolawole Omotayo called on the Yoruba in the diaspora and the entire Africans to come back home to jointly celebrate their tradition.

Omotayo urged people to cherish their traditional festival and celebrate them as at when due rather than capitalise on foreign religions such as Christianity and Islamic religion.

An Olokun devotee from South Africa, Dr Mbele Maparatutu described​
Olokun as a deity of absolute beauty, wealth and commerce being one deity that deserves to be so celebrated.

"I have done series of research into the African deities and have come to realize Olokun as not only the goddess of  beauty, but also the goddess of wealth and commerce.

Another tourist from Angola, Antonio Bandiki said his findings have shown that Olokun was a beautiful woman sent by God to come and take care of the mankind with her water which is why no one irrespective of his or her religion can function without water.

However, the highpoint of the Cultural event came when the Queen was later joined by the Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi who offered some prayers to Almighty God who he referred to as the only King of Kings and God of gods for the total liberation of the Africans from the abject poverty caused by economic stagnancy.

"Olokun is one of the Yoruba's 401 deities God sent to Ile-Ife to start the mankind. While Oduduwa ,Ogun, Sango, Alafere are the deities of prayer, iron, thunder and wind respectively, Olokun is in charge of the oceans" Ooni said.








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