Culture feast in Epe as Kayokayo Festival holds
The Olu Epe of Epe Kingdom, Oba Shefiu Olatunji Adewale, has said that the ongoing Kayokayo Festival is a religious and cultural carnival observed by the descendants of Oba Kosoko, who inhabited the area notably referred to as Eko-Epe in Epe.
The festival, which began last week, will be rounded off on Saturday with boat ride symbolic of Prophet Noah’s ark.The festival is celebrated during the first month of the Islamic calendar in commemoration of ‘Yaom-al Ashura’ the 10th day of Muharram in the Islamic calendar. That is about a month after the Muslim festival of Eid-El-Kabir. Speaking with media in his palace, Oba Adewale preached tolerance and unity among Nigerians, stressing that there is strength in diversity.
He added that the festival is dear to the traditional Epe community, which is predominantly Muslim.While stating that the religious aspect tends towards heralding the New Islamic Year with the first Hijra calendar, Muharram, he said the cultural dimension commemorates King Kosoko’s landing in Epe just as the social aspect is about celebrating communal bonding by making and sharing abundant food to all.
The monarch said Kayokayo, which literally means, ‘eating to satisfaction,’ is a New Year celebration, with expanded scope to feature fashion parade, health awareness and screening, cultural displays and youth parade.
“King Kosoko in 1851 laid the foundation of Eko-Epe with his coming with 1500 people. We have always commemorated that. And we will be at the marine side, in boats, to mimic how Kosoko came to Epe. It is the display of culture at its best.”
Among sites to be visited during the festival is the house occupied by Divisional Officers (colonial masters), King Kosoko’s disembarking point and boat in 1851 where a giant Etufu (traditional torch) will be lit and left to last for seven days.Chairman, Kayokayo 2017 Organising Committee, Alade Saliu-Okulu, said Saturday would be the grand finale, with a lot of dignitaries expected from all over the country.He also confirmed the locations to be visited during the event as said by Saliu-Okuku.