C-Baby Written by C-Baby · 1 min read >

Ovia Osese festival is a yearly festival of the people of Ogori and Magongo. The festival basically is a creation of Ogori and it remains incontrovertibly her cultural identity and the heritage of the self – same people.

It is a very significant aspect of Ogori culture. It involves girls who have attained marriageable age. In actual fact, it is an initiation of girls into womanhood. This festival presents an opportunity for prospective suitors to choose their life partners.

Ovia Osese is quite different and distinct from Awon festival (mass wedding) held in Shao town, in Ifelodun Local Government area of Kwara State. In the case of Ovia Osese, maidens do not go to their husbands’ house on the day of the festival as it is in Awon festival. They are free to get wedded after the festival, if they so wish while some continue with their education before thinking of marriage. Similar festival could be found in Zimbabwe but with some slight differences.

In Ogori land, the society detest maidens who were disvirgined or become pregnant before the festival. At the festival, the initiates are thus declared mature, qualified for adults’ responsibilities and old enough howbeit, fit and proper to marry. Ovia Osese is the height of numerous activities ranging from fattening, as it’s done in other climes such as in Kalabari land in Rivers State, traditional education to wit.

A formal education of the candidates into adult life covering the span of private and public life as full well – bred member of the society; emphasis on moral order of the community and what the initiates must do to develop and sustain the moral order.

Training in endurance, self – discipline, patriotism or commitment to both family and communal good, and getting well grounded in history, arts, philosophy on areas of profession peculiar to the society. The men who are married to Ogori women will testify to these facts.

It is a season where sensational musicians are invited for live performance; people eat and merry. The Ivia is provided with beautiful apparel and beads with which she changes into different attires for the number of days of the celebration.

The festival has no ritual whatsoever attached to it nor does it have any religious connotation. It is a festival for the chaste, their family and the whole community irrespective of religious beliefs. The ivia usually express joy for making it and being part of the festival. They feel they are the happiest women on Earth.

Ovia Osese is a rite of passage from childhood into adulthood not a display of our maidens, who are ripe for suitors to woo and or marry.

Ovia Osese had in the time past attracted many visitors and sponsorship from far and near to Ogori and will continue to attract them in times to come.

It is usually celebrated two weeks after the Easter celebration.

Ogori is a border town between Kogi State and Edo State. She is in Ogori/Magongo local Government area of Kogi State.

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