Once again life was spared and the friends ,well wishers and members of Ile Osun / Obatala successfully hosted and celebrated KWAANZA.
The past few years have seen a greater appreciation of the celebration of KWAANZA in the Republic Trinidad & Tobago.
For several years EGBE ILOSIWAJU ILE ALKEBU – LAN celebrated KWAANZA as imported from the format established by Agba Maulana Karenga of US.
Then Olakela Massetungi and Agba Akolejo Olufemi ( now in the land of the Ancestors ) sought the help of Asoju Eko Ile Nigeria – Honourable Ayorinde Ajakaiye in translating and interpreting the Ki – Swahili principles into Yoruba. Olakela Massetungi then Oludari Agbaiye EGBE OONISIN ELEDUMARE then went on to transform the celebration to traditional Yoruba New Yam Festival maintaing the principles of NGUZO SABA and have the cultural interpretation of the principles injected into the Festival which was either termed Odun Ikore or ODUN IJESU., which latter name EGBE ONISIN ELEDUMARE promoted.
The Festival is now catching on after many years and is being celebrated in North, South, East, West , Central Trinidad and in Tobago.
Ile Osun / Obatala has been one of the shrines in the country that have opted to follow the Yoruba mode, still respecting Agba Maulana Karenga as founder developer of the concept. But as Agba Maulana himself and those who followed KWAIDA know that Africans continue to exercise their right to reclaim, create and re – create rituals of significance and spiritual liberation so that we may arrive at total and unconditional liberation.
The Festival got off to an early start. There was a good and sizable turnout. Members of the Council of Afrikan Traditional Chiefs were present.
At 6.13 p.m. Iyanifa Yeye Iyewa Ifayemi Omotinuwe called the Festival to order. Arabinrin Eguntola was then called to making the opening libations.
The Chairperson for the afternoons event Iyalorisa Olaosun then took charge of the proceeding and worked in harmony in co – presenting with Yeye Omotinuwe.
There was a power point presentation that augmented the verbal presentations made by the several speakers.
First to present was Omo Awo Ifagbemi who presented on Isokan. The presentation was sharp ,clean,all inclusive and universal in it’s approach and perspective. It was well received.
Omo Awo Ifagbemi was followed by Awise Awo Olusino – Agba Fred Mitchell – Mighty Composer., whose presentation was on :Iba ara eni pinnu. Again the presentation was well received, Agba Olusino drawing on his own life’s experience to demonstrate the depths of this principle. Abit longer than the first presentation, this too was well received.In his presentation Agba Olusino also pointed out the limitations and distractions of modern technological ” tools ” including the mobile phone. Awise Olusino thought that there was a need to return to such communication techniques as telepathy.
Awise Agba Olusino was followed by Oloye Ogunrinola of Ife – Chief Ogunbowale Alupaida – Spiritual Leader of Ile Isokan and member of Council of African Traditional Chiefs.
Oloye Ogunrinola topic and presentation was on : Ajosepo pelu Igbekele. Oloye Ogunrinola was again crisp and methodological in his presentation and utilised his experience as a tutor in the sporting arena to better demonstrate the meanings of collective effort and team work and the synergy achieved as a result of collective effort. Oloye Ogunrinola was well received.
Iyalorisa then informed participants that we were about to have a special presentation and intoduced eight year old Omo Awo Odunmbaku Adeosoga to speak on : Owo Ajosepo Wa. Though young Omoo Awo Odunmbaku held his audience captive right from the beginning of his delivery , He commanded his space and though having a few falters here and there his presentation was excellent. Among examples of collective work and responsibility he dealt with were Owe and Esusu. His presentation was well received.
Next followed Omo Awo Iremiidi who utilised her peculiar style and personality to deliver her message on the topic : Ohun Ti A Lepa . Awo Iremiidi was well prepared with a handout to facilitate ease of her presentation. There was welcome laughter as she made her presentation. Her presentation was well received.
Omo Awo Iremiidi wasnext followed by Omo Awo Ifadamilola who was responsible for the decor of the compound for the Festival and who is the designer of the Childrens’ Carnival band promoted by Ile Osun / Obatala.
His presentation was again sharp and fresh and utilised ideas and quotations from the PowerPoint presentation.His presentation too was well accepted.
” The big Masquerade comes out last . ” so proclaims an old Yoruba adage.
Come to bring up the rear and close the presentations was Oluwo Awo Ifakorede who brought greetings fom two Shrines with wich he is associated.
Oluwo Awo Ifakorede began with Iba and made his presentation quoting throughout his presentations from verses of Odu Ifa.. He also was prepared with his presentation/ reminder cards that he flipped as he presented. Again those present showed their heartfelt presentation as he brought his presentation to a close.
The floor was now opened to questions and comments and these were engaged by presenters and members of the gathering.Next Oloye Orawale Oranfe Jakuta Sango of Ife – Chief Olakela Massetungi Head of the Council of Afrikan Traditional Chiefs was introduced by Yeye Omotinuwe to string all the concepts and principles presented together in a manner that would be utilitarian to all present. Oloye Orawale himself began with an Iba and paid respects to some of the founders and introducers of KWAANZA Celebrations to Ile – Iere – Republic Trinidad & Tobago. Among those he paid respect to were Awon Agba Akolejo Olufemi ati Shaka Agaja, both resident in the land of the Ancestors. Oloye then praised Agba Maulana Karenga for his courage and determination for providing us with a platform and medium for self reflection and return to our African self. Oloye then recounted how some one was earlier engaging him in debate about whether orisa devotees should celebrate KWAANZA. Oloye Orawale Oranfe then went on to put in perspective the historical emergence of KWAANZA in the United States of America and the pivotal role played by Africans of Caribbean origin in the African self awareness movement that resulted in such cultural manifestations as KWAANZA. Oloye Orawale Oranfe addressed several issues raised and spoken on by earlier presenters and those asking questions and concluded by suggesting that we have our right to place our own unique stamp on these rituals and celebrations of our selves and liberation. Again Oloye Orawale Oranfe was well received.
Babalawo Somorin got an opportunity to further clarify some points made by his biological child – Omo Awo Odunmbaku Adeosoga.
Omo Awo Esudamilare then gave the vote of thank which was done in a very pleasant style and this was followed by the sharing of food, drink and playing of appropriate music for the occasion.
Among Elders present from the Pan African community and stalwarts of the African conscious campaigns launched here in Ile – Iere – Republic Trinidad & Tobago were Ige Ogunsanwo ati Agba Owusu Kojo, Agba Cazamba Kefentse.
All had an enjoyable time.