Friday 1 December 2023


What today is known simply as IWUDE FESTIVAL, is actually known and called by the name Iwude Ogun in the past. It is now known in modern times as the REBRANDED IWUDE FESTIVAL of UNITY, a new name given to IWUDE OGUN FESTIVAL to reflect the mood of the modern times which seeks to bring all ljesa People of all religions together to celebrate and felicitate at this all-important festival an ANNUAL GENERAL ASSEMBLY of all ljesa people in the diaspora and the six Local Governments Areas of ljesaland together.

IWUDE FESTIVAL started several centuries ago in ljesaland. It can even be claimed that the festival is thẹ oldest of all festivals of ljesa People.

History has it that IWUDE FESTIVAL was started by OWA OBOKUN OWARI, Who was celebrating it on 3-monthly interval. It was OWA OBOKUN ATAKUNMOSA who expanded the scope of Iwude to a very elaborate festival.


Iwude began when chiefs, in the past, conspired against ‘Owaluse,’ and the Oba left the throne for Oyo kingdom, because of the king’s relationship with the Oyo empire, as one of the children of Oduduwa.

In Owaluse’s absence, another king, Oba Owari, was crowned. When Alaafin heard all that happened to Owaluse, he got angry and decided to wage war against Oba Owari. On hearing this, Oba Owari abdicated the throne and fled on exile to ‘Epo-Ile,’ a town near Ilesa, that is now known as Ipole in Atakunmosa East Local Government Area of the state.

When Owaluse returned back and met the throne empty, he took over the throne and in order to consolidate his power back on his throne, while OWARI stayed and ruled in Ipole-Ijesa until he decided to descend to the downbelow ancestral abode using chain that can still be traced to the ancient OWARI palace at Ipole-Ijesa. Ipole-Ijesa people claim that his disappearance was not death but merely the occasion of his transformation into an orisha representing a deified ancestor and a natural force that is still worshipped.

For the commencement of the statutory part of the Iwude Ijesa festival as it is done in the ancient time, Ijesa way of saying that charity begins at home rightly comes to mind..."Ogun Ile naa koko be, kan to be t'ode". Hence before the commencement of Iwude month-long festival in Ilesa, the appeasement of the Ogun and Owari gods in Ipole-Ijesa must first be accomplished.

KAKAKIOODUA witnessed the Ibegun at Ipole-Ijesa on Thursday 30th of November, 2023 one of the major festivals done to herald in the commencement of Iwude Ijesa not just in Ilesa as Owa Obokun can now choose a day to move round his domain to appreciate his loyalists and supporters.

Ogun Ipole-Ijesa a close associate.of Owari, according to tradition is the demiurge of iron and creativity.

    VIDEO: Click on the image to watch 

The festival started at the Ogboni of Ipole-Ijesa's palace where Oba Oyebade Samson Kehinde Oyeleye with his chiefs, invited guests, Owari priests, Ogun priests, hunters, and emissaries from Owa Obokun in Council that included his High Priests, the Ogboni of Ilesa and the Odole of Ilesa in attendant where retinue of dancers and attendants with drums displayed colourfully before moving to Oke-Imogun shrine which was already decorated with fresh palm leaves, all paraphernalia of Ogun including dane-guns, cutlasses and his favorite menus including roasted, palm-wine, yam, cock, dog, etc

The "lwude'", ljesa Festival of Unity, is therefore a climax and convergence of history, culture, tradition and communion of pomp and ceremonies.

The grande finale is the present day Rebranded Iwude Ijesa Festival of Unity coming up on Saturday, December 23, 2023 coinciding with the annual end-of-year home-coming and regular "pilgrimage" into ljesa communities by professionals and Osomalos, who are mostly big-time traders and businessmen in Nigeria and the disapora. "Osomalos", who have dominated industries, trade and commerce in Nigeria and abroad

will witness presentation of various socio-cultural programmes for both the youth and adults including array of artistes to thrill and entertain the audience in an open air concert.

The carnival will also be enriched with incisive reflections and prayers from all faiths in order r to chart a new era of peace, prosperity and strong bond of unity. 

More Photos: (All photos/video clip/coverage/script by Oladimeji Lasore +2347035105413 [email protected] )


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