Ipe Akoko community in Akoko South-West Local Government Area of Ondo State on Wednesday celebrated the Chegba festival in commemoration of women who had their first birth without complications.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the festival dates back to the 13th Century when aborigines of the community were said to have migrated from Ile- Ife in Osun.
Highlights of the event included the presentation of unique beancakes considered the largest in the world by the women being celebrated.
Speaking to newsmen on the sidelines of the event, Oba Francis Apata, the traditional ruler of the community, said that the festival was meant to celebrate women who had given birth for the first time without hitch.
Apata explained that this was the community’s way of discouraging women from indulging in promiscuous activities that could lead to unwanted pregnancy and abortion.
“This Chegba festival, which started from time immemorial, has been in practice since the origin of this community and it has always been done primarily by those women who had successful first birth.
“These are those who did not have stillbirth and abortion and the people would rejoice while their relations would celebrate with them.
“This year, they have produced a traditional bean cake which is the largest and widest you can think of in the whole universe, and it can stay for nine days without getting spoilt.
“The festival is a celebration of joy with our people and we are expanding its scope this year with the introduction of the unique bean cakes,” he said.
The monarch added that the cake’s ingredients were sourced locally.
Apata urged indigenes of the community to support the festival, say it would remain a rallying point for bringing them together.
Mr Adeniran-Ayodele Balogun, the Convener of 2018 Chegba Festival, said the event was historic for the people of Ipe Akoko.
“Today, we are showcasing real, unique and the widest bean cakes in the world and it are the maiden edition of such.
“The cakes, which are fried by women who had successful first birth, was borne out of the desire of contributing my own little quota toward uplifting our cultural heritage,” he stated.
He called on government and private organisations to sponsor and support the festival, saying it would attract foreigners and as well improve the economy.
Mrs Victoria Adeola, an 80 years-old indigene of the community, disclosed that no ‘unclean’ woman was allowed to go near where the bean cakes were being fried.
The octogenarian said that another high point of the festival was the ‘Uge’ virgin dance.
NAN reports that the fried bean cakes were in three categories, with the first measuring 22 inches in length, 22 inches in breadth and 66 inches in circumference.
The second one measured 18 and a half inches in length, 17 inches in breadth and 59 inches in circumference.
The third was 18 inches in length,17 inches in breadth and 56 inches in circumference. (NAN)
– Sept. 19, 2018 @ 14:35 GMT |