ABOUT IFE FESTIVAL AND FOOD IDENTITY (IFFI)

In the spirit of The Annual Ife Festival of the Arts, the Institute of Cultural Studies Obafemi Awolowo university presents the 2018 edition. It is inspired by the deep religious convergence, homogeneity and conference which the Ife civilization represents. Themed OAU IFE FESTIVAL OF FOOD AND IDENTITY, it celebrates the Yoruba nurture culture within a medley of traditional and contemporary performances, dances, music, theatre, adult and children’s cooking corner competitions food tasting, symposium, art and photo exhibition and many other events. It blends in this 7 day cultural feast, a wide mix of international and interstate events within a singular celebration. To this end are scores of performance troupes, dancers, theatre artists, musicians, crafts people deployed to the welcome of thousands of visitors.

The Annual Festival was started in the 1960s by Professor Michael Crowder, Director of the University’s Institute of African Studies. By the time he left Ife at the end of the 1970/71 academic session, the Ife Festival of Arts had become a regular feature of the international cultural calendar.

Professor Ulli Beier, the renowned arts and culture aficionado, became Director of the Institute in September, 1971. He transformed the annual Ife Festival by actively involving the Ife royalty and community in it. The then President of Senegal, Leopold Sedar Senghor, the Negritude poet, attended the 3rd edition of Ife festival in 1970.

Unfortunately, as a result of the change of ownership of the university and subsequent economic downturn of 1980s and 1990s, the Ife festival suffered a setback and could not hold for about 20 years. However, in December 2004, a delegation of members of the Association Internationale Groupe Gelede (AIGG) came from the Republic of Benin on a special mission to Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) and formally requested the cooperation of OAU as an institution reputed for the promotion and preservation of African cultural heritage. In response to the delegation’s request and to keep faith with the university’s mission of cultural promotion, the University Management decided to stage a one-week festival of Gelede performance with an exhibition of Gelede masks and a colloquium on Gelede Oral Tradition. Thus was revived the Annual Ife Festival of the Arts under the culturally keen Vice Chancellorship of Professor Roger Makanjuola while Wale Adeniran was Director of the Institute of Cultural Studies.

For full details of the IFFI report, Download Here