Over the weekend the Kingdom of Oyotunji African Village launched the 2017 Festival Season in celebration of the founder and Father of the Cultural Restoration Movement, HRH Oba Efuntola Oseijeman Adefunmi I; and what a grand occasion it was. As we came into the weekend the much needed rain did not detour a host of very special guests or dampen the 401 candles that illuminated the spirit, vision and living legacy of Oba Waja and other cultural leaders, advocates and families.
The Igbega Alade ( Royal Elevation) Festival began with a documentary film series, which is now a standard for all of the festivals in the 2017 season. On Friday, February 11, 2017 the featured film highlighted the journey and development of traditional African leadership from the royal lineage of the Adefunmi and Alladahounu clans. The film transported its viewers to the small village in the bush country of Ophia Ketu where a statue of Oba Efuntola still stands. The basis of the film lent us an in depth look of the first appearance of Oba Waja’s( the king who "went thru the roof") Egungun. Most importantly the film, and its continual series, allowed the participants an opportunity to “talkback” with questions and answers that provided a more in depth understanding of the history and future OAV and its extended community strive to push forward every day.
Over 100 emailed prayers and names from individuals and clans who were unable to travel down, toasts and testimonials at the tomb of Oba Waja was indeed the highlight of the Igbega Alade Festival. Following the Vigil, an African cuisine of Egusi stew and fufu was served to guests in the Aafin (Palace).
Sunday concluded the Igbega Alade Festival with the society of Obatala Priests hosting a traditional Bembe in honor of HRH Oba Adefunmi I. The words provided from HRM Oba Adejuyigbe Adefunmi II acknowledged “all things African”, our culture as our foundation and code of conduct for navigating life.
The experience of Igbega Alade launching the 2013 Oyotunji Afican Village is an ebo that now gives all who were in some way, shape or form connected, the ability to plot a course with focus and resolve; not just for the month of February, but for the 365 days to come.