The grand finale of the 2016 Osun Osogbo festival attracted a multicultural crowd from 5 continents around the globe who trooped to the Sacred Grove, Isale Osun, Osogbo, on August 19th, 2016, to witness the heralding of a new year of the state of Osun through the 600 year old tradition of the people, as Goldberg, the official Beer sponsor, receives commendation from visitors present.
The visitors received the prayers of Iya Osun, accompanied by Adi Olori Isa with other priestesses who went about offering prayers to the people in the sacred grove. It has been decreed to all as a year of prosperity, abundance and unity for the state of Osun and the world in general.
Speaking with a female Chinese visitor, Wang Xiu Ying, on why she has travelled thousands of miles to grace the festival, said ‘We give culture top priority in China, and we as humans in general are cultural beings, so we must do everything possible to preserve age long traditions of people around the world.’ Ms. Ying further stated that to preserve cultures and traditional institutions, it takes commitment from culturally responsible people and corporate entities, and she gave kudos to the corporate bodies behind the Osun Osogbo festival, particularly to Goldberg Lager Beer, as she revealed that she is a beer lover. ‘I cool off at the beer village since my arrival two days ago before the festival and I think the brand is very visionary with its approach to supporting traditional institutions. We see their placards everywhere around town and they are very visible. I think the makers of the beer are really wonderful; it is similar to what we have in China during our cultural celebrations.’
Emmanuel Agu, Portfolio Manager, Regional Mainstream and Stout Brands, Nigerian Breweries Plc, in an interview at the sacred grove during the festival said that it is the brand’s position to make people have a feel of who they really are in times of celebration like this. ‘Simply put, Goldberg represents culture and traditional institutions; when we think of who we are as a people, what become vital are our enduring legacies which we must celebrate and sustain and that is why Goldberg is here to create that affinity.’ He also thanked His Royal Majesty, Ataoja of Osogbo, Oba Jimoh Oyetunji Olanipekun Larooye II, the custodian of the age long festival for commending Goldberg as worthy partners in the preservation of the tradition of the people.
‘I am more pleased with the fact that the city is busy with all sorts of activities going on to promote business, social and cultural activities, just like the Goldberg beer village,’ says Aisha Wilberforce, a member of an international body representing the Yoruba community in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Mrs Wilberforce hinted the fact that sustaining age long traditional legacies like the Osun Osogbo festival could be a big challenge if activities that would add splendor and interesting interactions between people are not present. He gave kudos to Goldberg for bringing new and fresh outlook to boost economic and social activities during the festival lauding the Goldberg as truly ‘a culturally inclined brand,’ she said.
Akeem Jamiu, an indigene of the state of Osun said that the Osun Osogbo Festival is getting bigger and better every year. He attributed the growth and success of the festival to brands like Goldberg who make conscious effort to light up the city and create ambience for the cultural celebration. ‘I am very happy that we are having more people who truly place emphasis on our culture and promote our tradition.’ He lauded Goldberg for being supportive in the course of the festival.
Members of the international body representing the Yoruba community in Europe, Asia and America also came to witness this year’s festival, as well as representatives of Government Ministries and parastatals like Information, culture and tourism, thereby giving it a more befitting outlook.
The festival which ended in a very happy note had the indigenes and visitors trooping to the Goldberg Beer Village, which afforded the indigenes the opportunity to interact and network with expatriates who came to cool off at the village. It was another place to be as the legendary Fuji Icon, Saheed Osupa, thrilled the audience to Fuji music which both expatriate visitors and indigenes enjoyed. Prizes of rice, electronics and other consumables were won by those who visited.