In a few days from now, the ancient town of Ijebu-Jesa with her adjoining villages and communities will be agog as the people are getting set to herald the New Yam season with funfair.
A largely agrarian community, Egboro land has an age-long tradition of welcoming the yam season in special ways which include offering prayers for farmers, yam sellers and indeed, every citizens of the town.
Traditionally, there are lots of activities lined up culminating in the grand finale when the Elegboro, in procession with his council of chiefs get to offer prayers at the market square with the enthusiastic populace accompanied by the local drums and hunters.
According to the Chairman of the Egboro New Yarm Festival 2021 Committee, Mr Adedeji Fasosin, this year’s edition will be lot different from what it used to be. Lots of entertainment and cultural exhibitions by different ethnic groups such as the Igbo, Igede, Hausa and Fulani will be added to the package in a bid to putting the festival on the global map.
Further information obtained from the planning committee shows that series of processes leading to the festival has already begun as at Monday 12 July, 2021. The Looguns, headed by the Lomode’Jebu will come out with the ‘Agada’ drums and ‘staffs’, perform some traditional rites for days. Thereafter, the Obalorisa who is the traditional priest saddled with the new yam activities will then break the new yam, marking the beginning of yam season on 20th July. Afterwards, the Sajiku, as head of the Ijiku clan will have his taste of the new yam on 22nd July, 2021 as tradition demands. Thereafter, the Elegboro will declare the new yam good for consumption after series of heartfelt prayers for the community on 26th of July.
The plan for this year’s festival include cooking of yams in about five different routes that leads into Ijebu-Jesa. The grand finale will see the Elegboro procession dance to the IK Dairo Park at the Ijebu-Jesa Market Square where pots of yams will be available for all and sundry.
There will be lots of fun, cultural exhibitions and other forms of entertainment. It sure promises to be funfilled.
Worthy of note is the traditional fact that new yams cannot be sold in the Ijebu-Jesa Market until these rites have been fully carried out and the Kabiyesi offered the iwure at the market square. This practice has been in existence for ages, and had been passed down to generations.