Odogbolu Day 2014


Oro lle Wa “The Tradition of Our Heritage”


Every year for the past 38 years on the first Saturday of December, the Odogbolu Community gathers its sons and daughters to celebrate a year of good works by individuals, clubs and societies.  The citizens of Odogbolu take an active role to access and support security of the community, health programs and sponsor education.  No matter how far an Odogbolu son or daughter roams, home is home and one must respond to the needs of their hometown and return ‘home’ from time to time.

To celebrate this dedication to Odogbolu, a week of traditional games, traditional masquerades, football and spelling quiz competitions, and marathon races are organized by the Odogbolu Community Development Council. To culminate the festivities, a Woro Carnival Parade winds through the dusty streets that leads to the Community Town Hall. Here, the traditional ruler, town elders, local government officials, age-groups, members of clubs and societies, and guests gather to raise funds for next year’s town improvements.

It is a high honor that the Alaya of Odogbolu, Chief Oludemi, President of Odogbolu Community Development Council, and the town elders invite me to preside on this day as ‘Mother of the Day’. Thirty-eight years ago, my first son was born so it is a two-fold joy to celebrate!


In this increasingly globalized world, there is a tendency to look to corporations or government for economic solutions and support. The Odogbolu aspiration is to preserve its local character and have an economic advantage by supporting its local industry such as cassava and palm nut agricultural production. The citizens of Odogbolu recognize the need to build a strong community by sustaining an active town center and contributing to local causes. This ensures that important decisions are made locally by people who live in the community and who will benefit from the impacts of those decisions. Furthermore, Odogbolu is proud of its Yoruba heritage and on Odogbolu Day, we enjoy a variety of traditional drummers and dancers:

Music by : Orin Orisa. Yoruba Traditional Songs of Praises for OrisaAdedayo Ologundudu 2009, Oro lle Wa “The Tradition of Our Heritage”

Masqueraders on Odogbulu Day


Eyo Masquerade -(particular to Lagos a Yoruba masquerade, sometimes seen in masquerades outside of Lagos.


Agbo Traditional Dance



Egun Olotun masquerade. Egun means masquerade; the name of the masquerades Olotun. (Incredible, intricately designed traditional masquerade apparel. I am so far unable to find out the history and meaning.)


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In throne: HRM Oba Olusegun Adedeji Onagoruwa (Elesi 1) The Alaye of Odogbolu, Oba of Odogbolu




Two hours north-east of Lagos traveling on the Ibadan Expressway into Ogun State is Odogbolu town. Here is the hometown of the Oludemi family, particularly the home of longtime friend and President of Odogbolu Community Development Council, Chief G. A. Oludemi, who extended the invitation to attend this chieftancy ceremony.

Oba of Odogbolu HRM Oba Olusegun Adedeji Onagoruwa (Elesi 1) The Alaye of Odogbolu, Ka bi ye si (meaning: you are not accountable to anyone), presides over the ceremony to install Dame Caroline Oladunne Adebutu as Yeye Oba of Odogbolu. Yeye in Yoruba means “Mother” thus the title conferred carries the honor of ‘Mother of the Oba of Odogbolu’. On this day, the Oba calls the community together to honor mothers and their role in traditional society and culture.

Peh-Peh-Peh”, the guests prayer is for long and healthy relationship(s).

The following video is important for two aspects: 1.)  the traditional Yoruba beaded crown, (Also go to Nigeria Magazine in menu for article on Royal Crowns)  2.) the royal dance of the Oba.

The crown sewn with thousands of glass beads depicts Yoruba symbols denoting power and can only be worn by the Oba. The crown is a symbol of the Oba’s power and the dangling beads that encircle the Oba’s face not only conceal the Oba from onlookers.

The Oba dances a royal dance with his entourage. Traditional Yoruba drummers play the largest Yoruba drum, the Gbedu drum, at the royal ceremony. The Gbedu drum is  only for the king during ceremonies.  In recognition of the Gbedu drum and drummers, the Oba subtly taps of his left foot three times; every step and turn has significance in this royal dance.