Meet the First Female Balogun Woro Of Oke Ona Egba Who Stole the Show At 37th Lisabi Day Festival - The People's Voice


Saturday, March 23, 2024

Meet the First Female Balogun Woro Of Oke Ona Egba Who Stole the Show At 37th Lisabi Day Festival

By Bukola Badmus, Abeokuta

Borokini Helen with the most decorated horse at the 2024 Lisabi celebration.
History will never forget those who chose their time to be a hero, and they will continue to be celebrated among the greatest of all time, so be the case of Chief Mrs. Helen Gbemisola Ogundimu, the first Borokini of Oke Ona Egbaland as she became the reference point among all Balogun woros, and Obas in Egbaland, at the 37th Lisabi Day Festival.

In Abeokuta, the Egba people annually honour Lisabi Agbongbo-Akala, their legendary warrior and liberator, during a week-long celebration known as Lisabi Day.

This festival commemorates Lisabi’s role in freeing the Egba people from servitude under the Oloyo.

In an exclusive interview with Borokini of Oke Ona Egbaland, Chief Mrs. Helen Gbemisola Ogundimu, disclosed that the secret to the victory of Oke Ona Egbaland at the Woro show is unity.

Chief Helen Gbemisola Ogundimu a Mental Health Nurse in the United Kingdom had come from the United Kingdom to ride the horse and also grace the 37th edition of the Lisabi festival, calling out others to come home and embrace the culture and tradition of the Egbas.

She expressed pleasure in representing the women folk in Oke Ona Egbaland, revealing that she nearly neglected the call to ride the horse at first, “but having considered it worthy, I’m proud to bring the honor to Oke Ona Egbaland and ready to do more”, she said.

Ogundimu, is the first female Borokini of Ago Oko, the first Borokini of Oke Ona EgbaLand, and also the first female Balogun Woro in Oke Ona Egbaland.

Borokini Helen Ogundimu during the Lisabi 2024 festival
She advised people in the diaspora to come home and give back to their communities, disclosing that part of her plans is to hold health workshops for her people before going back to the UK, which is scheduled to be held at Olu Ilawo Palace, in Abeokuta.

According to her, “I have been appointed the Borokini of Ago Oko, then Borokini of Oke Ona Egba, today I’m the first female representing the Oke Ona Egba Balogun work, I’m so delighted”

” When I was called that they wanted me to ride the horse this year, I was like let me go and think about it, I thought it was going to be a ritual thing, but it wasn’t, my partners supported me, I was told to look for the design by myself which I did, I came from the UK, I’m a mental health nurse in the UK. They said we want you to win as we always win, so I won, and today when I came out I was proud of myself. Even though the horse, was well-designed, I always liked my things to stand out, and when the result came out we won again, Oke Ona people I’m proud of you.

“I will advise people in the diaspora to come home and meet their people, come home join them, and mix with their people, even though many of the people at home are richer than many in the diaspora”.

“I grew up as Ogundimu in Lagos, my father told me before he died that we hailed from Abeokuta in Ago oko, and I came home to locate my family, after I even when I came to attain the title of Borokini, and Kabiesi embraced me he is even my grandfather cousin we were able to trace the root and everything went well.

“For people in diaspora, I will urge you to come home and give back to your communities, I like to do things for the community, but I love a low-key life. Before I go back I will hold a health workshop at the Palace of Olu Ilawo”.

“The 2024 Lisabi celebration is outstanding for even being the first female to ride the horse”.

Corroborating, the Ekerin of Oke Ona Egbaland and Jaguna Ikereku, Chief MA Kazeem noted that Oke Ona Egba is known for greatness due to unity without diversity of its people.

Kazeem posited that the celebration of the 37th Lisabi festival marked unity in Egbaland and unites the whole Egba kingdom.

He maintained that Oke Ona has always come first, recalling memories of when he sponsored the Balogun Woro about eight years ago, revealing that the secret is Oke Ona unity.

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