In order to exploit fully its cultural endowments, the Odogbolu community in Ogun state has mapped out plans to take its place in the tourism sector as a choice destination beginning with this year’s Odogbolu Heritage Festival. Unlike previous outings, this year’s edition of Odogbolu Heritage Festival will be bigger in content and the full support of Ogun state government through the Ministry of Culture and Tourism adds verve to arrangements by the festival committee to deliver a world-class product to the community and its neighbours. Also signing of INFOGEM, as festival marketing consultant, will bring on the bite needed to take the festival to the next level considering the company’s pedigree and ability to deliver on its mandate. Speaking at the unveiling ceremony the permanent secretary of the State Ministry of Culture and Tourism, represented by Mrs. Funke Ilori, assured the festival committee of the ministry’s full backing and participation at the grand finale, admitting the event has the capacity to turn Odogbolu and its environs into a new tourism frontier.
According to her, “The event is starting small but we should not be discouraged because every successful event we now attach importance, to started small and gradually gets bigger to an enviable stage.
“Today we are making an effort that will tomorrow be a point of reference like other big cultural events in Nigeria. However in its readiness to internationalize the heritage of the Odogbolu people, the Odogbolu Heritage Festival Committee has unveiled a brand new logo to boost the festival promotion beyond its current rating. The unveiling of the festival logo which was held alongside the rolling out of the 2019 programme at the NUJ secretariat, Iwe Irohin in Abeokuta, underscored the seriousness of the planners to translate vision int action and give the festival a boost. Speaking at the event, the chairman of Odogbolu Community Development Committee, Chief Omololu Adgbuyi described Odogbolu as one of the unique places in the history of the Ijebu, not only in having highly placed illustrious sons and daughters in the society but also unique location as the spiritual headquarters of Ijebuland with numerous cultural products on offer. “We are poised to use the festival to promote, celebrate and bring infrastructural development to Odogbolu and its surroundings through the support of the Ogun state government and other well-meaning Nigerians.
Otunba Kunle Adegbite, Vice President Odogbolu Community Development Committee said, “Our main aim of sealing a deal with a marketing consultant, is to fully transform the festival into something bigger and people driven by introducing more engaging activities that do not only celebrate and boost cultural promotion but also activating new features that will stimulate economic activities. “We are now making it more than a day event to an innovative gathering to celebrate the uniqueness of the Odogbolu location, people and heritage to boost tourist traffic to Ogun state. Also speaking on the rebranding of OHF, the chairman of INFOGEM Otunba Ayo Olumoko assured the committee of a brand new festival outlook and innovative trend in terms of organisation, sponsorship and participation from public and private sector in the state and beyond. Also this year’s edition is hosting big wigs in the cultural scene in Nigeria with the founder and Chief Medical Director of Eko Hospital Limited, Dr. Sunny Folorunsho announced as the chairman of the festival. This year’s festival which commenced with pre-event activities in November will get to a climax on Sunday December 1, with the grand finale, starting with the egungun cultural performances, the favour traditional dance on December 2,while the traditional games, ayo olopon, draught, olorisha traditional dance and Odogbolu Community School quiz final holds on December 3. Also on December 4, the traditional musicians and performing artists will thrill the audience. On December 5 and 6, people will be treated to marathon race, free health services, cooking competition, oro night and inter school football match female final. Others include Omidan Odogbolu pageant and Igbekere night. The grand day will feature the woro and age group proceccesion to end with the Odogbolu day on December 7, while the 2019 edition of the festival will come to a close with the children Christmas party, thanksgiving service and royal reception on December8, 2019. The week-long festivities hopes to attract thousands of visitors to the domain for the heritage feasting.