The Oke’badan festival is one of the many colourful and glamorous festivals celebrated in the city of Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State and the third largest city in Africa. Oke’badan festival is held annually to celebrate the founding of Ibadan and show gratitude to its founders as well; and also to unite the sons and daughters of Ibadan at home and in the diaspora.
The festival is called Oke’badan (Oke Ibadan) which means ‘hill of Ibadan’ to immortalize the history of how Ibadan was founded on a hill by settlers led by Lagelu during the 18th century. The settlers later descended the hill and found Ibadan near its base. The historical significance of the hill cannot be forgotten thus Oke’badan festival was brought to life to uphold it. The Oke’badan festival, also known as Ibadan Cultural Festival, is organised annually by the Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes (CCII), a body which oversees the activities of all socio-cultural societies or clubs in Ibadan which are over 187.
Oke’badan cultural festival which is celebrated every third Thursday of March is graced with several exhilarating activities and events such as Ibadan beauty pageant, different cultural displays, stage plays, competitions, operation make Ibadan clean, conferences and so on. The people of Ibadan believe that Oke’badan (Oke Ibadan) festival protects them from evil and also deliver their men and women from impotency and barrenness.
Oke’badan festival in Ibadan land remains one of the most colourful festivals in Nigeria and West Africa.
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