Ooni Picks Toyin Kolade as Iyalaje Oodua

The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II, has announced his decision to confer the prestigious title of Iyalaje Oodua on prominent business tycoon cum philanthropist, Princess Toyin Kolade.

The announcement was made in a statement by Comrade Moses Olafare, Director of Media & Public Affairs, Ooni’s Palace which he made available to journalists on Wednesday.

Princess Kolade, a successful player in the Nigerian private business sector, started as a petty trader over 35 years ago, in Ilesha, Odunsi State. 

Her involvement in the promotion of the rich Yoruba cultural values, her countless humanitarian services, her virtuous character as a disciplined family woman and her respect for the royal institution, are said to have qualified her for the prestigious title of Iyalaje Oodua.

“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 Toyin Kolade’s superlative coordinating capacity driven by dedication and patriotism as a proud descendant of Oduduwa.” Olafare said.

In fulfillment of his cultural/tourism revolution agenda for Yoruba people and the lager Oodua race worldwide, Ooni Ogunwusi who is regarded as the Traditional Head of the Oduduwa Race worldwide in 2017 appointed Princess Toyin 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 who had populated the first dynasty of mankind known as Ife Oodaye thousands of years ago.

Advancing the cause of Aje festival as assigned, Toyin Kolade has so far successfully coordinated 5 editions of the annual celebrations in Ile-Ife hugely participated 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 received awards of excellence for herself and for the Ooni from the Government of Rio De Janeiro.

A date in July will soon be announced by the palace for the traditional rites and other activities for the installation ceremony in Ile-Ife. 

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