The annual Osun-Osogbo Cultural Festival has been described as an event every African in the United States must experience, at least once in a lifetime.
Speaking to Sunday Punch during the grand finale of the 2019 edition of the festival, a US-based tourist, Jackie Lage, identified the “good energy and spirituality involved in the festival” as what would make her return for the event next year.
Lage, who was witnessing the festival for the first time, said upon her return to the US, she would encourage more African Americans to come for the grand finale of Osun-Osogbo.
“I love it (the festival). I love the energy, how the people have been moving. It connects me back to my ancestral root as an African American. It is a festival every African American must witness, at least once in a lifetime,” she said.
Another tourist based in Benin, Delta State, Tade Olapade, said the festival over the years had been part of his itinerary, but expressed concerns over the obvious reduction in the attendants at this year’s grand finale.
He blamed the development on the poor purchasing power caused by the economic downtown, but urged the organisers of the festival to do more in promoting the annual event beyond the South-West region of the country.
Olapade said, “Osun-Osogbo as a festival should be given more publicity to attract more tourists. I observe the drop in the number of people that attended the grand finale this year. But the economic downtown, I believe, caused that. Even with the harsh economy, people should show more interest in the festival.
“Osun Osogbo should be promoted beyond the South-West. We should all do more to promote the festival. It has been part of my itinerary for years and I will continue to come for the event.”
On why they would continue to be part of the annual celebrations, two other adherents of Osun, Olanrewaju Osungbemi and Olaifa Tayo, said during the festival, they usually got reinvigorated.
Osungbemi and Olaifa, who came from Badagry, Lagos State for the festival, said coming for Osun-Osogbo was less expensive compared to such festivals that they used to attend elsewhere because of affordable accommodation and cost of feeding in Osogbo, the state capital.
Culled from Punch online