Ojude Oba: History of Rich Ijebu Cultural Festival Which Started in 1890 and Still Relevant in 2024

Ojude Oba: History of Rich Ijebu Cultural Festival Which Started in 1890 and Still Relevant in 2024

Perhaps the word 'steeze' has come to stay in Nigeria's social lexicon as it now connotes composure, poise, class, and elegance. There is arguably no event that put the word into use in recent times more than the 2024 Ojude Oba festival in Ogun state.

On the third day of Eid each year, the historical city of Ijebu Ode stands still as residents and other people from far and near throng the place to pay homage to the king, Awujale.

Photos from Ojude Oba festival.
Simfolak and Farouk Oregba noted for their Steeze. Photo credit: TikTok@simfolak and X/Pooja Media.
Source: UGC

King of Steeze, Queen of Steeze at Ojude Oba 2024

The 2024 edition will go down in history as the best, as the glamour and colour that came with it went viral and thrilled social media users.

Many people emerged as the faces of the event due to their aura and performance during the festivity.

Read also

Ojude Oba: Lady and her age group born between 1986 and 1988 attend festival in colourful attire

One of them, Farooq Oreagba, has since become a celebrity after he was crowned the 'King of Steeze' by netizens who admired his composure and class.

Another Ojude Oba attendee who caught social media attention is Simfolak, a lady who also shone like a thousand stars and was nicknamed the Queen of Steeze.

Meaning and Significance of Ojude Oba

Ojude Oba means “The King’s Court” or “The King’s Gathering", and it has come to symbolise one of the most talked about cultural events in Nigeria.

The Ojude Oba did not start today as it has an ancient history associated with Ijebuland and its people.

During this event, families and social groups unite in love to pay homage to the Awujale of Ijebuland.

What makes it special is how it is able to bring people together under one umbrella led by one king.

Read also

Ojude Oba 2024: Drama as families clash over popular Balogun Kuku’s 8-year winning streak

When did Ojude Oba start?

Historically, the Ojude Oba began during the reign of Oba Adesumbo Tunwase, who ruled Ijebuland between 1886 and 1895, The Guardian writes.

During his reign, he was said to have treated the Muslims in his domain fairly, allowing them to practice their faith.

In appreciation, Balogun Kuku, a prominent Ijebu Muslim at the time, alongside others, established the Ojude Oba and led people to pay homage to the Awujale. This was said to be in 1890.

A research paper published in 2015 by AbdulGafar Olawale Fahm of the Department of Religions, University of Ilorin, mentioned Balogun Kuku as the arrowhead at the beginning of Ojude Oba.

The paper says:

"The festival began when Balogun Kuku, one of the leading personalities in the community, accepted Islam. He decided to gather his friends, families, and well-wishers to pay homage to the king for giving them the opportunity to practice their religion peacefully."

Read also

Ojude Oba 2024: Young girl maintains her composure, controls aggressive horse at cultural festival

People who take part in Ojude Oba

From what was seen during the 2024 Ojude Oba festival, the event has become what many people look forward to.

Even if they are not attending physically, many Nigerians long to see visuals and videos from the rich cultural event.

However, the major participants in Ojude Oba are primarily the 'regberegbes' (age grades) and the family compounds (Ituns) within the Ijebu community.

Each of the groups dresses in colourful attires and pays homage to the Awujale of Ijebuland.

Horse riding, costumes and entertainment at Ojude Oba

Each group appearing at the Ojude Oba arena does so in style. From the visuals that usually emerge from the event, it could be seen that there is a friend competition to outdo each other in dressing and class.

According to Fahm in the research earlier cited, the Ojude Oba is noted for its glamour and community spirit.

Read also

Stunning photos from Ilorin 2024 Durbar Festival trend, Reactions: "Keeping the culture alive"

The researcher wrote:

"The native age groups (regberegbe), indigenes, their friends, and associates from far and near throng the palace of the Awujale of Ijebuland for the carnival-like celebration. The festival is celebrated on the third day after Id-El-Kabir. Ojude Oba is one of the most glamorous cultural and spiritual festivals in Ijebuland and in Ogun State in general."

An article published by Egbe Bobakaye notes the glamour associated with Ojude Oba. The article also states that Ojude Oba engenders great community spirit.

"Ojude Oba festival is no doubt seemingly the most glamorous cultural and spiritual festival in Ijebuland and, in fact, in Ogun State in general. The glitz and colours associated with the festival made it rank among the most celebrated cultural festivals in the country.
"The Ijebu sons and daughters, Muslims and non-Muslims always look forward to this event. It comes up on the third day of the Eid-el-kabir celebration to celebrate the age-long tradition. This is the time the people at home are joined by those in diaspora together with their friends and well-wishers, irrespective of their religion and political affiliation come together to enjoy themselves."

Read also

Ojude Oba 2024: Elegant woman with unmatched steeze and comportment continues to trend online

The 2024 Ojude Oba has proven that man Nigerians who are not from Ijebu now admire the event and also look forward to the next.

Family wins money at Ojude Oba

Meanwhile, a Nigerian family went home with N500,000 after winning a contest at the 2024 Ojude Oba Festival in Ijebu Ode, Ogun state.

The Balogun Kuku family won the cash prize for colourfulness of attires, composure, horse displays and unmatched energy.

A member of the family shared a photo of the cheque presented to them after the hotly contested displays.

Source: Legit.ng

Israel Usulor avatar

Israel Usulor (Human-Interest editor) Israel Usulor is a journalist who has 9 years of experience. He worked at The Prime Newspaper and has published articles in TheCable Newspaper. Israel graduated with distinction from Fidei Polytechnic (Mass Commun, 2016). Israel has interviewed Zannah Mustapha, the man who helped negotiate the release of Chibok Girls, and Kunle Adeyanju, who rode a bike from London to Lagos. He covered exclusive stories on Chef Dami during her Guinness World Records cookathon. Email: israel.usulor@corp.legit.ng.