Date: August 20, 2023

Location: Warri Kingdom

The vibrant echoes of tradition and modernity reverberated through the heart of Warri Kingdom on the momentous occasion of the 2nd coronation anniversary of Ogiame Atuwatse III (CFR), the Olu of Warri. Amidst a rich tapestry of cultural displays, ceremonial boat rides, and visionary discussions, the day marked a celebration of both the kingdom’s historical roots and its commitment to a brighter future.

Morning Majesty: A Journey to Ode-Itsekiri

The festivities began with Ogiame Atuwatse III embarking on a symbolic journey to the Ode-Itsekiri community, a journey replete with historical significance. The Olu of Warri’s boat glided gracefully across the waters, carrying him to his people with an air of regal dignity. The route was lined with communities paying homage, with Ugbolokposo community’s boats cloaked in yellow and Orugbo community adorned in a striking combination of white and red.

As Ogiame Atuwatse III arrived at Ode-Itsekiri, the community radiated with the fiery spirit of warriors, dressed head to toe in resplendent red attire. The symbolism was hard to miss – the red attires not only honored their warrior heritage but also testified to their unbreakable unity.

  • Ode-Itsekiri dancers during their dance presentation for Ogiame Atuwatse III at Ode-Itsekiri

Cultural Splendor: Dances of Elegance

In a spectacle of cultural pride and artistic expression, the Ode-Itsekiri community dancers greeted Ogiame Atuwatse III with a mesmerizing dance performance. Dressed in the finest gold wrappers and white kemije and blouses, the dancers embodied the grace and vibrancy of the kingdom’s traditions. Their movements weaved tales of history, courage, and unity, mirroring the very essence of the Warri Kingdom.

Return to Aghofen: A Regal Evening

As the sun dipped below the horizon, Ogiame Atuwatse III returned to the Aghofen, the Olu of Warri Palace. The palace grounds came alive with an air of celebration as honored guests gathered to partake in the coronation anniversary concert. The enchanting melodies of the Royal Iwere Choir filled the night air, paying homage to the rich cultural heritage of the kingdom.

Verses of Love and Heritage: Poetry Recitals Illuminate Ogiame Atuwatse III’s Coronation Anniversary

The celebration of Ogiame Atuwatse III’s 2nd coronation anniversary was not only a spectacle of grandeur and tradition, but it also witnessed the eloquent recitals of poetry that stirred hearts and connected the present to the rich cultural tapestry of the Warri Kingdom. The recitals, “Loving Your Itsekiri Woman” by Dr. Ayeola Mabiaku and “Ita Aghan Oba” by Ulisanmi Edukugho, wove words into stories that encapsulated love, heritage, and the profound history of the Warri Kingdom.

Loving Your Itsekiri Woman: A Tribute to Love and Culture

Dr. Ayeola Mabiaku’s poetic creation, “Loving Your Itsekiri Woman,” brought forth the essence of love, culture, and unity. Recited by the eloquent voice of Weyinmi Ogholaja, the verses painted a vivid picture of the bond shared between individuals and their cherished Itsekiri partners. The poem reverberated with themes of adoration, respect, and the celebration of Itsekiri women who stand as pillars of strength within their families and the broader community.

Through lyrical phrases and heartfelt expressions, the poem beautifully intertwined the threads of love and heritage. As each word resonated, the audience was reminded of the unique beauty of embracing both the personal and cultural aspects of love.

Ita Aghan Oba: Chronicles of Warri Kings

The recital of “Ita Aghan Oba,” masterfully penned by Ulisanmi Edukugho, transported the audience on a journey through time. With every recitation, the tale of Warri Kings unfolded, revealing the lineage and legacy that has shaped the kingdom’s history. The rhythmic verses danced through the ages, recounting the stories of kings who have led with wisdom, courage, and an unbreakable bond with their people.

Day 3 of Coronation Anniversary
Mr Ulisanmi Edukugho reciting Ita Aghan Oba: Chronicles of Warri Kings

The recital, delivered with captivating intensity, highlighted the resilience and indomitable spirit of the Warri Kingdom. It was a tribute to the monarchs who have carried the weight of tradition and responsibility, leaving an indelible mark on the community’s collective memory.

An Enriching Blend of Tradition and Artistry

The inclusion of these two poetic recitals further enriched the coronation anniversary celebration of Ogiame Atuwatse III. Amidst the grandeur of the palace grounds and the rhythm of celebration, the power of words took center stage. Through poetry, the audience was invited to delve deeper into the layers of the Warri Kingdom’s culture, love stories, and historical legacy.

As the verses echoed under the night sky, they reminded everyone present of the beauty of preserving and sharing stories through the art of words. Just as the Warri Kingdom bridges tradition with modernity, these recitals bridged the gap between spoken history and the present moment, leaving a lasting impression on all who had the privilege to witness them.

Charting a Sustainable Path: Partnerships for Progress

The day’s festivities were not only about tradition and celebration but also about engaging in meaningful discussions that impact the community’s future. Following the concert, a special session unfolded with select Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) operating in Warri and United Nations (UN) representatives. The focus of this session was to brainstorm innovative ways for these NGOs to garner support from the UN to further their efforts in delivering the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

This gathering showcased the forward-looking nature of the kingdom’s leadership, marrying tradition with global aspirations for a better world. The conversations were inspiring, reflecting a collective commitment to uplift the community and contribute to the broader global agenda.

A Tapestry Woven in Time

The 2nd coronation anniversary of Ogiame Atuwatse III was not just a celebration; it was a tapestry woven from the threads of history, culture, and progress. The journey from Warri to Ode-Itsekiri was more than a boat ride – it was a voyage connecting the past with the present, reminding everyone of the strength and unity that defines the Warri Kingdom.

The recitals of “Loving Your Itsekiri Woman” and “Ita Aghan Oba” stood as pillars of emotion and history within the coronation anniversary celebrations. Through the magic of poetry, the Itsekiri people and their guests were reminded that their culture, love, and history are intertwined, creating a legacy that continues to be cherished and passed down from one generation to the next. This day was not only about honoring Ogiame Atuwatse III’s reign but also about honoring the heart and soul of the Warri Kingdom itself.

As the festivities drew to a close, one couldn’t help but feel the resonance of tradition and the promise of a brighter future in every beat of the celebration. Ogiame Atuwatse III’s reign continues to blend the old and the new, making history while shaping a destiny that honors the past while looking ahead with hope and purpose.

By Aliwere