Interesting Facts About Ijebu’s Iconic Festival ‘Ojude Oba’

June 19, 2024

‘Ojude Oba’ is a renowned festival celebrated by the Ijebu people of Nigeria, particularly in Ijebu-Ode.

Although the festival started as a Muslim affair, it has grown to accommodate people from all walks of life, who wish to join in the celebration.

Here are some fascinating aspects of this iconic event:


Ojude Oba translates to “The King’s forecourt or frontage.” Initially, it was a ceremony for subjects to pay homage to the reigning monarch. During the festival, prominent individuals of the land dress in their finest attire to honour the Awujale of Ijebuland.

Historical root
The festival, which is over a century old, originated from a tradition where the Ijebu people paid homage to their king, the Awujale, after the Muslim festival of Eid-el-Kabir.

Eid Connection
Ojude Oba is celebrated on the third day after Eid-el-Kabir, also known as Eid al-Adha. This timing highlights its significance in both the cultural and religious lives of the Ijebu people.

Location of Celebration
The festival is held at the palace of the Awujale of Ijebuland.

Cultural Showcases
Ojude Oba festival

Credit: Poojamedia
Ojude Oba features traditional regalia, equestrian parades, and cultural performances. Various age groups, known as “Regberegbe,” display their traditional attire and perform cultural presentations.

Dress Code
dress code at Ojude oba festival
Each age group wears expensive clothes of the same color or fabric, aiming to outshine the others. They never repeat the previous year’s outfit. While attendees can wear anything, traditional outfits are the norm.

Equestrian Procession
The Eleshi family

The Eleshi family Credit: Poojamedia
A highlight of the festival is the equestrian parade. Horse riders, often from prominent families and warriors, wear elaborate costumes and perform stunts, adding a spectacular visual element to the celebration.

Economic Impact
The festival draws visitors and tourists from far and wide, who come to experience the rich cultural heritage of the Ijebu people. Vendors, artisans, and businesses benefit from the influx of visitors, making it a significant economic event for Ijebu Ode.

Royal Involvement
The Ajuwale of Ijebuland

Credit: Poojamedia
The Awujale of Ijebuland plays a central role in the festivities, receiving homage from various groups, blessing the people, and participating in cultural events, symbolizing the unity and continuity of the Ijebu tradition.

Modern Elements
While rooted in tradition, Ojude Oba has also embraced modern aspects. Contemporary music performances, fashion shows, and other modern entertainments are now part of the festivities, attracting younger generations.