-IREP’s ‘Ere Osupa’ to hold few days to main festival
The preparations are gathering momentum as the November 2 date for the second edition of the state-recognised Asa Arokolo (Man on delicate stilt sticks) festival in Ikorodu is fast approaching.
In a bid to achieve massive participation across various communities, especially from the eight areas in Ikorodu Division where Asa has been part of their culture for centuries, IREP – Ikorodu Division Rebirth Foundation, the orgainiser of the festival, in conjunction with the Ikorodu Division Eleku-in-Council, has commenced the staging of ‘Ere Osupa’ (moonlight Asa display), to kick start the much awaited festival.
Communities where the ‘Ere Osupa’ has been held are Aga, Mowo and Agura in Ikorodu Local Government, Igbogbo in Igbogbo/Bayeku Local Council Development Area (LCDAs), Oke-Eletu in Ijede LCDA and Imota in Imota LCDA.
According to the Asa custodians, ‘Ere Osupa’ is usually staged to gather community people in a festival-like atmosphere and entertain them with Asa display as well as drumming and singing.
Meanwhile, it was a massive turnout and eyes-catching outing at popular Orita Famous in Aga, a leading Asa community in the division, when the ‘Ere Osupa’ was staged on Saturday, October 19, 2019.
The most spectacular feature of the event was the performance by young Asa climbers. Their exciting display was a further proof that the revival of Asa festival by IREP is gathering momentum.
The performances by the young climbers also show that the succession process for the older climbers is in progress and that more people are now more than ever before willing to support the organiser’s objectives in placing Lagos Sate, and Ikorodu Division in particular, on the global tourism map through Asa Arokolo.
Similar performances and massive turnouts at the pre-festival display were also recorded at the Adeboruwa palace in Igbogbo on October 2 which was witnessed by His Royal Majesty, Oba Semiudeen Orimadegun Kasali, the Adeboruwa of Igbogbo and his chiefs, Oke-Eletu on October 5 and at the Ajina market square in Imota on October 16.
The last two displays are scheduled to hold at 2pm in Isele on Tuesday, October 22 and Ijomu on Saturday, October 26.
Speaking with Hon. Azeez Jimoh Olosugbo, the leader of the IREP’s ‘Ere Osupa’ team, he said that:
“The ‘Ere Osupa’ display was one of our findings while researching into Asa tradition in Ikorodu. We are trying to re-enact the communal spirit in the olden days which promoted peace, friendliness and unity among the people within a particular community at that period. That is why we are re-introducing the pre-festival display”, he stated.
“It is meant to raise the consciousness of the people in various communities towards the upcoming festival. It is our way of telling them that the festival is their own and there is need for them to fully support it.
“Sincerely, the turnout has been very massive and encouraging in various communities that we have been to for the display. People are now looking forward to the main festival on November 2″.
He added that the cultural group has also been mobilizing other stakeholders within the division, state and beyond.
”This year’s edition is targeted at projecting the cultural values and tourism nature of Ikorodu and setting the pace for other festivals in the division and Lagos as a whole.
“To achieve this, we have been reaching out to various groups and individuals across the division. We are getting there”, he assured.
For this year’s festival, the Ayangbure of Ikorodu, Adeboruwa of Imota, Ranodu of Imota, Olubeshe of Ibeshe, Obateru of Egbin and Sekumade of Ipakodo are expected to lead other royal fathers across Remo and Ijebuland to the festival.
Asa groups from Shagamu in Ogun State and Lalante in Oyo State are also expected to perform at the festival.
Meanwhile, the popular fuji music act, Alhaji Alabi Pasuma, Ikorodu-born hiphop artiste, Qudus Alagbe, popularly called ‘Qdot’ , are among the top musicians that have been confirmed to perform and entertain about 10,000 guests that are expected to grace this year’s event slated to hold at the Ikorodu Ferry Terminal at Ebute, Ikorodu.
Others are Princess Adeola, YK 2 Ajao, D-Dollar and Godchoice among many others.
According to the organisers, the Ankara fabric, which is the official dress for the festival, is available for sales at N1,800, at the Hon. SOB Agunbiade’s Constituency office, Grammar School, Ikorodu.
It was also gathered that IREP would stage its own ‘Ere Osupa’ few days to the main festival to draw curtain on the pre-festival display.