The Palace of the Ooni of Ife, Ile Oodua, in Ile-Ife,Osun State, has announced the decision of the Ooni of Ife, Arole Oduduwa Olofin Adimula, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, to confer the prestigious chieftaincy title othe Iyalaje Oodua, on the Global Coordinator of the Annual Aje Festival and Lagos-based international business tycoon cum philanthropist, Princess Dr. Oluwatoyin Kolade.
This was made known in a statement signed by the Director of Media and Public Affairs, Ooni’s Palace, Comrade Moses Olafare, and made available to journalists on Wednesday.
Olafare averred that the profile of Princess Kolade as a benevolent and successful major player in the Nigerian private business sector, starting as a petty trader in her home town of Ilesa in the State of Osun about 35 years ago, and involvement in the promotion of the rich Yoruba cultural values, countless humanitarian services, virtuous character of a disciplined family woman and unfaulted respect for the royal institutions, qualified her for the prestigious title of Iyalaje Oodua.
The statement added, “Aside from her unquantifiable efforts in the promotion of cultural activities in Ile-Ife and Yorubaland, the colossal contributions of Princess Kolade towards the revival of the ancient Aje festival, which has today gained tremendous global limelight cannot be overemphasized.
“Today, ‘Aje’ festival, which is the celebration of the diety of commerce, markets, wealth and prosperity, is as prominent as any festival one can be proud of in Africa because of Princess Kolade’s superlative coordinating capacity, driven by dedication and patriotism as a proud descendant of Oduduwa.”
Subsequently, in fulfillment of his cultural/tourism revolution agenda for the Yoruba people and the larger Oodua race worldwide, Ooni Ogunwusi, who is regarded as the Traditional Head of the Oduduwa Race worldwide in 2017 appointed Princess Kolade as his Cultural Ambassador in charge of Aje festival, with the responsibility to attract global acceptance for the annual celebrations of Aje deity, one out of the 401 deities, which had populated the first dynasty of mankind known as Ife Oodaye thousands of years ago.
Olafare maintained that advancing the cause of Aje festival as assigned, Princess Kolade has so far successfully coordinated five editions of the annual celebrations in Ile-Ife, hugely participated in by local and foreigners. She also, in September 2019, led a team to launch Aje festival in Brazil, hosted by the City Parliament in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, where she received awards of excellence for herself and for the Ooni from the government of Rio De Janeiro.
The statement revealed that a date in the month of July shall be announced soon by the palace for the traditional rites and other activities for the installation ceremony at the ancient city of Ile Ife, believed to be the source and natural headquarters of the Oduduwa race globally.