By Oguntimehin Ariyo
The commitment of Omoba Yemisi Adedoyin Shyllon Foundation (OYASAF) in highlighting cultural activities continues as its crew join other enthusiasts in celebrating Badagry Festival.
It was a week long event, which was formerly opened by the Executive chairman of Badargy Local Government, Honourabe Husitode Moses Dosu. Organised by the local government in conjunction with African Renaissance Foundation [ AREFO ], the 13 th celebration of the yearly event was tagged Reintegrating with the Root.
The chairman organizing committee of the festival, Mr Babatunde Olaide Masewaku said the 13 th edition was dedicated to Late DR. MARCUS GARVEY, who championed the back to African movement in the 21st century.
The festival featured Zangebeto Masquerade, Boat Regatta, Vothun, Gbenopo Royal carnival, Sato Royal drummers, Trado – Jazz music, Symposium, Art exhibition and lots of more activities.
According to the natives of Badagry, the coastal town is known for its tourists' attractions as its history is as old as 15th century. Badagry (traditionally is known as Gbagle) is a local government area in modern period Lagos State, Nigeria. It is situated outside metropolitan Lagos, and share border with Benin Republic at Seme.
Ferman Gomez- a Portuguese discovered Badadry coast, He was the first slave merchant in Badagry and was nicknamed Huntokonu by the Badagrians, meaning a smiling captain. When Gomez died, he was buried in Badagry.
Badagry was regarded as the cradle of Christianity in Nigeria and gateway to Education. It was the first city to have a story building in Nigeria. The building was built in 1842 by the missionaries and first to be urbanized as well as a corridor for Human Livestock during the obnoxious slave trade.
Crucial to the slave trade of the period was a farm founded by a farmer, Agbede. The farm was referred to as Agbedegreme, which was later, coined into 'Agbadarigi' by the Yoruba aliens of the south-western part of Nigeria. The name was further corrupted to Badagry by the European slave merchants when the coast of Badagry was discovered and opened to the New world.
It was one of the slave deports in west Africa. It was also one of the slave coasts discovered by the Portuguese along with Whydah (now Benin Republic) where large number of slaves were exported. Slaves were also brought from all nooks and crannies of Nigeria, mostly from raided-villages. These victims or war captives were also brought to Badagry for auctioning.
This year's festival took another dimension when Topo community came first, Dale community as second and Akarakumo community took the third position.
Other participants included Gbaji-yeke,Ganyingbo-topa, Ganho,Awhanjigoh, Ajijo,Ebute Olofin Joforo,Iyaafin also participated in the Boat Regatta competition