In a bid to continually sustain the ideals of Olokun Festival Foundation (OFF), the platform has redeemed the many pledges it made to 18 winners of its pageants.
Speaking during a formal presentation of cash prizes to the queens at Olokun Festival Foundation’s office in Ikeja, Lagos, Director of Communication, Ambassador Muyiwa Oshinaike said the leadership of OFF decided to redeem its pledge in cash, because the winners deserved to be celebrated.
He added that the gesture of kindness extended to past winners of the annual fiesta serves as rewards for their painstaking efforts and steadfastness, which goes a long way in fulfilling the promise made over the years.
“Until now that the situation in the country has affected all facets of our national lives, OFF had been fulfilling its promises. In the past, we have honoured the winners with various gifts, including cars and other valuable items. Many of them had, through the Foundation, won international recognitions. But unfortunately, we are unable to fulfill our promises to them since the last three years. Besides, let me clarify the fact that even during those ‘trying periods’, we have maintained our standard. The beauty pageant, rather than losing its original value and contents, has grown tremendously because we strictly adhered to the ideals and structure of the Foundation and past winners can attest to this fact.
“For instance, as a group that is determined to sustain its ideals and legacies, we need to address issues that have to do with the future of our winners and heroines, that is why we did it this way to rededicate them to the cause of the Foundation and bring back the glowing memories of the past, in order to set the pace for a brighter future both for them and for the Foundation,” he stated.
Oshinaike also advised the queens not to lose focus in maintaining the core values of the Foundation, saying that OFF, as an institution will continue to build future leaders through its various festivals and pageants.
Meanwhile, the beauty pageant’s manager, Dr. Sunday Ogunshola, said the programme offers a rare opportunity for the Foundation to identify hidden talents among the girls, and it has also built future leaders among past winners. “All the winners of our pageants are our ambassadors and they have been doing wonderfully well in their various endeavours. And as the manager of the pageants, I am most humbled by the leadership qualities of our leader, Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Abiodun Ige Adams, who is also the chief promoter of the Foundation for sustaining the standard, culture and tradition of the annual festival.”
The 2019 Miss Olokun, Adeosun Abidemi, spoke on behalf of her colleagues. She said OFF has, through the beauty pageants, shot them into the limelight, stressing that many of the past winners of the pageants have been nominated as models for other international events.
“Let me express my appreciation to Olokun Festival Foundation, organisers of the pageants, they have helped us in shaping the course of our lives, because it was this platform that provided the opportunity that eventually catapulted us to fame. So, as OFF’s beauty pageant ambassadors, we will continue to keep faith with the ideology and tradition of the Foundation,” she declared.