THE OLOJO FESTIVAL- ILE- IFE.
A Memorandum of understanding between the Institute of Cultural Studies, Obafemi Awolowo University and the Ooni of Ife’s House of Oduduwa Foundation was established in 2017. It was spearheaded by Mr Akin Adejuwon and was in respect of the rebranding of the renowned Olojo Festival. The Ooni granted Mr. Akin Adejuwon and Dr. Wale Adeniran (co- Directors) the role of consultants to both the Kabiyesi (the Ooni) and the House of Oduduwa Foundation. To achieve effectiveness, Akin Adejuwon leveraged upon the goodwill afforded him by his past relationship with the National Troupe of Nigeria, where he was the Artistic Director and the CEO. in further collaborating with the world renowned Technical Company Zmirage Media Company and it’s Director Alhaji Teju Kareem in presenting contemporary designs for a rebrand of Olojo Festival. This ultimately relaunched Olojo Festival with a new image for the global stage. In other words, from just being an indigenous Ife Festival, Olojo came into its own as a new face of the Yoruba both at home and in the diaspora. It also resonates with all lovers of Yoruba culture globally. The design divided the city of Ile- Ife into festival destinations- being an improvement upon an experiment by Dr. Adeniran and Akin Adejuwon through an earlier festival. This was organized and performed under the name and auspices of “World Yoruba Festival of Oduduwa Descendants” (WOFOD) in 2013. World Yoruba Festival of Oduduwa Descendants (WOFOD).
“World Yoruba Festival of Oduduwa Descendants (WOFOD) was an arrangement designed to develop various parts of Ife into individual tourism destinations, performance stages, performance enclaves and routes where different elements of the grand Ife festival would happen simultaneously and indigenously inspired events deployed. The WOFOD festival was comprised of features and elements that can also be found in festivals all over the world, from the people’s way of life and culture (from the ritualistic to the purely entertaining).
The ritualistic parts of the Olojo festival therefore includes the Gbajure, Ilagun and the Are procession. The purely entertainment parts are the cultural night, musical night and cultural events competition. The cuisine also and the academic part which is the festival colloquium. As the Artistic Director, Akin Adejuwon designed and supervised the publicity of the festival and particularly over-sighted the design of the brochure both for the Festivals and the colloquium in 2018 and 2019 respectively. Akin Adejuwon worked closely with the technical team- ZMirage Multimedia Company Ltd to create the grand stage for the festival at the Enuwa park, the grand stage was designed as a mini stadium which became the main focus for the festival. The technical team successfully created a wonderful ambience through large digital screens projection, camera/ video/ film presentation.
The conclusion of the festival saw a start of something new, that truly places the Olojo festival on a global stage, with glowing reviews from all over the world.