Zangbeto: Thrills of Badagry’s Biggest Masquerade Festival

It was an epochal event for the entire community of Ajido and other adjoining communities under Badagry on December 30 2019 as they celebrated Zangbeto Masquerade, considered to be the biggest masquerade festival in the world.
The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, was commended by the people for resuscitating the institution Zangbeto and the masquerade festival because of its economic empowerment and other benefits attached to it.
The Chairman, Central Planning Committee of 2019 Ajido Zangbeto Festival, Mr. Sehude Adeyinka Amosu, said that: “We thanked the governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, in bringing back the lofty useful institution of Zangbeto for its economic empowerment.
“Social-cultural upliftment, crime control and more importantly, re-enacting social being as a people with a unique identity and focused destination.
“It is imperative to borrow from the foundation of glorious past of their ancestors as a bridge to solidify the future for coming generation in view of the current youth restiveness, drug and substance abuse, lawlessness and other challenges.”
While eulogising their forefathers, Amosu said their forefathers have successfully used some formidable institutions, including Zangbeto, to stabilise the society and ensure peaceful living devoid of rancour.
“Zangbeto institution in Ogu land is one of such instruments of administration that worked well in the olden days hence crime was well controlled and peace, love and affection were fostered.
“I grew up to know that in the olden days, the fear of Zangbeto was the beginning of wisdom and progression, we lost all that from the point we allowed the Zangbeto being erroneously associated with fetish practice hence many that embraced foreign religion started disassociating themselves from the Zangbeto plays.”
He said civilised society never jettisoned wholesale all the foundations laid by their own ancestors; hence till date some fine aspects of medieval practices and traditions of the English culture are still sustained and in use.
“Why then were we so rail-road into abandoning all our own which they termed ‘primitive African culture’ but over there in their own land they’ve defined in fine literature as ‘classical.
“A good example of this that readily comes to mind is the way the traditional brewing industry by our forefathers was bastardised and even criminalised.
Some of the key points of the festival included the procession of Zangbeto from all the quarters of Ajido, royal homage by Zangan Yonnusis, the introduction of various Zangbeto and their functions, command performance by Athogbo and Gota cultural troupes from Ajido Sea Beach, Zangbeto rendition/Hugotho message, Zangbeto display and magical exhibition.
The festival was attended by some of the royal fathers within Badagry, with His Royal Majesty De Wheno Aholu Menu-Toyi I, the Akran of Badagry kingdom, leading the roll call, which included: Oba Saheed Sedonu Adamson, Aholu of Ajido Kingdom (the host majesty), Oyekan Adekanmi Ilufemiloye Ajose, Posi III, Alapa of Egun-Awori Kingdom, Aholu of Ajara Agamathen, Agano Toniyon I, and white cap chiefs, as well as bales and the Chairman of Badagry Local Government Council, Olusegun Onilude and other stakeholders.
Also were some tourists from Thailand.
Credits: New Telegraph

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