Culture, Glitz and Glamour at Ajia family’s reunion in Ilorin


Members of Ajia Ogbonde converged on their family quarters in Ilorin on Wednesday for a get together, featuring mini durbar, local music and other cultural activities. AHMED ‘LATEEF was there.

In the wake of modernity and western ideology, Africa has not ceased to be at the receiving end. It is a continent on the global map that is replete with communal living.

To exhibit communal essence, people in this part of the world come together to share moment of happiness and sorrow together. For instance, when a member of family gives birth to a new baby, the joy that follows such is collective, particularly during the naming ceremony.

Similarly, in the event that tragedy strikes, the attendant grief, empathy and sympathy are also expressed together, thus strengthening the bond that exists among them. This type of living that has subsisted over the years is what has apparently distinguished Africa from other continents.

However, the existence of life style in the western world also needs to be acknowledged. It is a distinct through which identity is carved for the westerners. But the incursion of western orientation into Africa has proven to be both positive and negative.

While western ideas and thoughts have and still helping with the advent of science and technology, the infiltration of other aspects of living on Africa has left much to be desired. One of the victims of western orientation on Africa is culture.

Though culture is dynamic, the intermingling of Africa culture with alien cultural practices has remained a subject of discussion at all time owing to their adverse effects on the local culture that people hitherto cherished and held in high esteem.

In a typical African setting, it is not impossible to see old people organizing festivals, tales by moonlight among children frequently during which history, oral tradition and pristine values of such community are inculcated and further affirmed for protection and preservation.

The raging flood of modernity that has snaked into different parts of the world is therefore a big blow to African settings in particular due to the seeming abandonment of local culture with concomitant insatiable quest for whatever foreign.

So pronounced was gradual obliteration of spirit of brotherhood, good neighbourliness and as well as segregated lifestyle that has become a common phenomenon in the modern day Africa.

It was in a bid to reawaken the spirit of communal living that members of Ajia Ogbonde converged on their family quarters in Ilorin on Wednesday to retell the story about their ethnic stock and dynasty that unites them as an entity.

Tagged “Shugaban Fulani Get Together”, the event was a reunion of some sort for members of the family of Ajia Ogbonde of Ilorin as part of cultural renaissance of 2021 Durbar in Ilorin Emirate.

Although the event provided an avenue for cultural display with members of the family clad in native attire with turban to match, the get together was primarily to commemorate this year’s Eid-el-Kabir festivity, which was marked last Tuesday across the world.

Featuring Kengbe, one of the highpoints of cultural practice of a typical setting in Ilorin Emirate, parade of horses and general entertainment, some natives of the compound decked in Fulani attire to recount the past in the face of modernity.

They brandished placards with various inscriptions to welcome prominent figures of the family, who painstakingly traveled from far and near to the venue of the event.

According to an old man of the family, the horse riders, who clad in native attire, were accentuating the oral tradition when Fulani gladiators used to prepare for war to conquer and subjugate enemies and as well as for territorial expansion.

It would be recalled that Ajia Ogbonde family has been bestowed with the covetous title of Shugaban Fulani of Kwara State decades ago.

One of the horse riders, Ahmed Ajia, who spoke on the significance of the get together, said the essence was to bring every son and daughter of the compound under one canopy.

He added that the ceremony was a testimony that mode of living could be likened to that of communal, expressing the hope that it would be sustained.

Another respondent, Hawau Ibrahim, observed that the family get together would promote unity among the natives of the community and solidify their root as members of Fulani ethnic group.

Toyibah Ajia, a member of the Kengbe troupe at the event, said the coming together of members of the family from far and near would ensure fraternity and atmosphere of conviviality among the people.

She added that with the event, the family was also preserving and projecting its most cherished cultural value to the outside world.

Speaking to Journalists on the sideline of the event, a former governorship aspirant in the state, Alhaji Mohammed Ibrahim Ajia, said the event was organized to preserve, protect and project the rich cultural heritage of Ajia Ogbonde family of Ilorin.

Ajia, a renowned security expert, noted that the mini-durbar was also conceived to bring members of the family from far and near together for a reunion.

He added that the family was proud of its culture and would explore available opportunity to protect and safeguard it from going extinct.

“This is an historic event. The main Ilorin Emirate Grand Durbar could not hold because of the security situation that the government alluded to. But here in Ajia Ogbonde family compound, the Shugaban Fulani of Kwara State, we have resolved to be at peace with ourselves and to come together and celebrate ourselves through our cultural heritage.

“We are in a moment of happiness and we have a lot of reason to give glory to God. We have good health. We are moving around with no accident. That is why we are all here today.

“Additionally, we are also using this occasion to promote, preserve and project our culture against infiltration. In Ajia Ogbonde Compound, we are Shugaban Fulani of Kwara State. It therefore means that we have to protect our culture and guard it jealously”, Ajia said.

The former governorship aspirant commended the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari for his charismatic leadership that has ensured peace and tranquility in the ancient city of Ilorin and prayed to the Almighty Allah to enable him with quality health to further serve the people of Ilorin and humanity in general.

Other participants, who spoke to journalists at the event, expressed delight that Ajia Ogbonde family was laying a good foundation for the young generation to be cognizant of their common heritage as one united family.


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