On Friday the 10th of May 2013, VRH crew arrived at the airport 30 minutes before the arrival of the Olu of Ilaro looking smart, chic but Afro-centric. Contemporary African Afro-centric, clad in coral beads, traditional shekere, Irukere made out of horsetail and a raffia mat to serve as a red carpet for the Olu of Ilaro. While the VRH crew were waiting with posters of the olu of Ilaro at the arrival lounge, the contingent of Ogun state Indigenes residing in Ireland Joined the VRH crew.
There was so much excitement in the air as everyone was taking pictures and anticipating the arrival of the Oba. The Irish were not left out as well, they kept on asking questions about what was going on, who we were expecting, the horse tail, traditional shekere, coral beads and raffia mat, they requested to walk on the raffia mat and get their photographs taken, which we obliged with so much pride.. The atmosphere at the airport was already heightened by this display of tradition. While the C.E.O Vickie was busy laying the raffia mat/Red carpet at the entrance of the arrival lounge, the Olu of Ilaro was seen walking majestically out of the passport control area into the arrival lounge, dressed in his full Royal Regalia : Ade ori (crown), Ileke (coral beads on his neck and wrist), irukere (horsetail) and opa (walking stick) Immediately, everyone went down on their knees with the traditional praises of “KABIYESI OOOOOOOO!”
The VRH team then went forward to pay homage to the Kabiyesi by doing the “OSUBA” that is cladding the palms together, twisting it inwards and bringing outwards to the Kabiyesi and the Kabiyesi stretched out his Irukere shaking it and saying “ori ADE agbe yin o” and we all in unison chorused ASE!!!!!!!!
The team now raised the Ogun state anthem “omo Ogun ise ya” everyone sang robustly.
The irish spectators were fascinated by all that was going on, they tookpictures of the Olu of Ilaro and joined in for an impromptu photo session. The airport was agog for close to 30 mins! The airport security, immigration and police officers gave honour to tradition, they did not stop us or disrupt us from displaying our culture and tradition, they knew something special was going on…..
After the meet and greet at the airport, we departed from the airport in a convoy to where the Oba was lodged. The VRH crew swung into action after the oba had rested. The Oba’s vital observations were checked by Vickie Okere a registered Nurse to ascertain that the Olu of Ilaro was not adversely affected by the long haul journey from Nigeria to Dublin. After checking his BP and pulse, The kabiyesi was certified fit to continue with his state visit. All these were done with a touch of cultural sensitivity, paying homage and obeisance as well as seeking consent.
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