The OsunOsogbo festival kicked off with Iwopopo, which is the traditional cleansing of the city. The ceremony which was held at the palace of Ataoja of Osogbo and attended by traditional chiefs and indigenes of Osogbo.
A ranking chief in Osogbo, the Agbaoye of Osogboland, Oba TundeAkanni, said the Iwopopo is a traditional cleansing ceremony that announces the commencement of the festival. According to him, the Iwopopo is a period when residents of the town come to pay homage to the king and pray for peace, protection and prosperity for the land.
Oba Akanni said; “Iwopopo is a ceremony where every indigene of Osogbo comes out to pray for the king; pray for peace and prosperity for the land. It is always done before the commencement of OsunOsogbo festival. In the olden days residents used to clear the road with cutlasses before the commencement of the festival. So, what you are seeing today is the symbolic cleansing of the town with prayers”.
Also speaking, the Atunesa of Osogboland, Oba MoshoodAremu said the Iwopopo ceremony affords indigenes, families and groups to offer prayers for the peaceful and successful reign of the Kabiyesi. Prayers offered at the ceremony are mutual. The people pray for the king and the king prays too for his subjects. The Ataoja of Osogboland, His Royal Majesty Oba JimohOyetunji flanked by his wives and members of the council of chiefs led the cleansing procession.
However, the official beer of the OsunOsogbo festival Goldberg lager , one of the beer brand of Nigerian Breweries Plc, was on the ground to celebrate with the people of Osogbo as they kicked off the 2015 OsunOsogbo festival with the Iwopopo ceremonies. Apart from brightening Osogbo town with communication materials, Goldberg also provided a mobile cart that served cold beer to visitors and residents alike who participated in the ceremonies.
Commenting on Goldberg support for the festival, the Public Affairs Manager West/MidWest, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Mr. TayoAdelaja pledged that the brand will create a memorable beer experience that will excite and reward loyal consumers and indigenes of Osogbo town.
He said Goldberg will stay with Osogbo people throughout the OsunOsogbo festival. Mr. Adelaja assured that Nigerian Breweries Plc, will continue to partner with the OsunOsogbo festival to unlock the cultural potential of the festival and the country at large. He maintained that as a socially responsible organization, Nigerian Breweries remains committed to winning with Nigeria by championing causes that add value to the society.
He also paid tribute to those who have worked hard to ensure the festival remained what it has been in the last 600 years. In his words:“I will like to use this opportunity to pay homage to all those who have struggled, sacrificed and worked hard to ensure the preservation of this institution of culture till this day”.
Meanwhile, the Goldberg beer village located at the city centre has continued to play host to visitors and residents who visit the village. The beer village will remain open for 21 days.For three consecutive years, Goldberg has been the official sponsor of the OsunOsogbo festival in the beer category.