December 17, 2008

At Ojude Oba fiesta, Glo paints Ijebu green

From right, The Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona, Gov. Gbenga Daniel and his wife, Yeye Olufunke Daniel at the Ojude Oba festival

Again, December 9 this year would remain a day to remember for the Ijebu all over the world. It was the day millions of Ijebu sons and daughters as well as fun seekers from all over the world trooped to Ijebu Ode for this year’s Ojude Oba festival.

For the fourth year running, Globacom, Africa’s fastest-growing telecommunications giants, added glamour and colour to the event which it has been sponsoring since 2004.

The whole of Ijebu Ode, the capital of the Ijebu nation, was aglow in celebration of an event that has become a unifying factor for all Ijebu sons and daughters at home and in the Diaspora.

This year, like other times, the town was excitingly attired in the company’s trademark lemon green colour as branded parasols, kiosks, and event-specific banners dotted all the nooks and crannies of the ancient town. Even a first time visitor to the town needed little explanation to understand that this was one festival which had become synonymous with Globacom. The company’s sponsorship of the event has, in the minds of many, raised it to an enviable tourists’ delight which attracts people from all walks of life and from other parts of the country.

Since 2004, Globacom has been picking Ojude Oba bills as the festival’s main sponsor.
It has also become an avenue for the company to empower indigent indigenes of Ijebuland by establishing well-equipped commercial telephone call centres for them as well as bringing the products and services of the company closer to the grassroots.

For over a century, Ojude Oba has been celebrated annually on the third day of Eid el Kabir. Now, it is celebrated by Muslims and Christians of Ijebu origin. The festival’s inception dates back to the early 1900s when the first set of Muslim converts thought it fit to visit the then Awujale to express gratitude to him for giving them a free rein in the practice of their new found faith. They also took the opportunity to pray for the monarch’s long life as well as the prosperity of the town.

This year, the tradition remains unchanged. The monarch played host to indigenes of the town who prayed for continued peace in Ijebuland as well the kingdom’s development. After the prayers came the parade of the regberegbes, a unique and age-old institution established to unite the society into age groups, male and female for the purpose of bringing development and progress to the community. There are about 36 groups with an average of, at least, 50 members per group.

Each group wore the latest in parading and dancing in unison to the tunes of traditional music at the background, to pay homage to the king. The entire palace was enveloped in glitz and glamour of phenomenal beauty. There was also a parade of the descendants of the war heroes who gained notable victories for the Ijebu nation during the intra-ethnic Yoruba wars in the pre-colonial days. Each year, the festival avails these classes of people the opportunity to simulate their battle strength and displays.

For Globacom, Ojude Oba allows customers to purchase starter packs comprising Nokia handset and Classic SIM at heavily discounte prices. Products and services were also made available to encourage purchase by intending subscribers.

Officials of the network equally attended to network-related queries, while devices such as handsets and laptops were provided for value-added services to enable access to its wide variety of value-added services. In order to satisfy one of its visions of empowering Nigerians, business centre packages were given to indigent citizens of Ijebuland in the bid to ensure they became self-reliant.

At the fun-filled fiesta, Globacom staged a rendezvous where Fuji crooner, Wasiu Alabi Pasuma, dazzled the crowd with his brand of fuji music. He was supported by a renowned radio presenter cum-comedian, Baba Gboin. DJ Top was on the turntable. There were many gift items and several subscribers who thronged the rendezvous went home with gifts of branded items. The prizes were won by subscribers who competed in dance and mime of popular tunes among other competitions.

The rendezvous, according to Globacom’s Head of Business Solutions, Mr. Folu Aderibigbe, was to further identify with the people, using Ojude Oba as a platform. “The entertainment provided at the rendezvous gave vent to the company’s drive towards ensuring that everyone on the network enjoys tremendously on and off the network,” he stated.

Oba Awujale lauded Globacom’s sponsorship of the festival, saying “the company’s sponsorship of the event has raised it to an enviable tourists’ delight which attracts people from all walks of life and from other parts of the country.”

Globacom’s chairman, Otunba Mike Adenuga, in a speech at the festival, said his company had shown interest in the festival because its socio-cultural value complements
Globacom’s vision to celebrate the unique accomplishments of Nigeria as a nation. “We are confident that our collaboration will add colour to the festival,” said the highly intelligent industrialist.

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