Saturday 21 September 2013

Zangbeto masquerades, others add colour to Badagry Festival 2013


Zangbeto masquerades performance  at Badagry Festival.   Photograph by  Oguntimehin Ariyo
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.

Sato dancers. Photograph by  Oguntimehin Ariyo

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.

Performance  at Badagry Festival. Photograph by  Oguntimehin Ariyo

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