The Alado of Ado-Awaye in Oyo state, south-west Nigeria, Oba Ademola Olugbile Folakanmi, has announced the dates for this year’s Iyake International Festival.
According to a press statement signed by Oba Folakanmi, the 2022 edition will be held from November 16th to 19th, at the festival arena, at the foot of Ado mountain, Ado-Awaye.
The Alado of Ado-Awaye, noted that the Iyake International Festival, is an annual celebration of Africa’s only Suspended Lake and natural suspended lake in the world.
The festival is endorsed by Oyo State Government, National Tourism Development Agency and Ado-Awaye Tourism Heritage Development Initiative (ATHID)
He said the four-day festival promises to be fun-filled activities which include Interdenominational service, multigames, jogging competition, Royal Banquet, variety night, speeches, prize giving, Bike display, Bicycle race, mountain climbing competition, dancing and performances, African market, Arts and cultural display, festival reception, colours in Ado-Awaye, exploring Ado mountain, mountain activities including camping and lots more.
Oba Folakanmi stated that he initiated the celebration of Iyake International festival, which takes its name from the lake with the following key objectives;
-To strategically place Ado Awaye,Oyo State,as a town with a lot of potential for tourists across the globe.
⁃ To promote the cultural heritage of Oyo State,Nigeria and Africa continent at large.
⁃ To generate employment,tax revenue and facilitate social development
⁃ To introduce and make popular mountain climbing and obstacle race in this part of the world.
⁃ To enhance and bring about a peaceful coexistence among the Oyo State people and Nigerians as a who.
⁃ To serve as engine room to catapult the economic potential of the host community (Ado Awaye) into one homogeneous development and to showcase to the world, God given natural resources that abound in Ado Awaye,Oyo State and by extension, the African continent through the annual celebration of the wonders of Africa only Suspended lake and the only natural Suspended lake in the world.
The Ado Awaye Community in South-west Nigeria is an assemblage of breathtaking and spectacular rocks surrounding the ancient town, particularly the Ado mountain and the initial settlement of Ado people which housed Iyake suspended lake and other natural wonders like Ishage bolder, Ladeebo cave, Elephant tree, feet of Elders, Iya Alaro lake, Obalufon cave, verge of life and death, Agbomofunyake hole, king safe haven, Adventurist forest and opon Ayo local game centre.
IYAKE SUSPENDED LAKE is a mystical, emotional, medicinal and spiritual water body atop the Ado mountain.This marvellous lake took its name from a crying mother, who for being barren, was reported to have drowned inside the lake in the ancient time.
The lake is about 4 meters in diameter. The lake, which was reported bottomless, is the mother of all other attractions on Ado mountain. The temperate climate, breathtaking view, idyllic tranquility, beautiful scenery, its bottomless and the uniqueness of it being the only natural suspended lake in the world with its international value has made this tourist attraction one of the most famous sites in Nigeria and Africa at large.
The predominant nature oriented activities on Ado mountain/Iyake Suspended lake tourism site include; hiking, mountain climbing, nature/ethnic cultural display, nature video and photography, relaxation, tourism entertainment, documentaries, wild animals, educational projects sporting exercise, Art, students excursions and of course spiritual activities among others.
The age long fertility power of Iyake suspended lake, its mystical and mythical marvel, medical nature, spiritual endowment and the fact that it never overflow or drop beneath its bank irrespective of the amount of rain or drought and its natural green colour at sight (not algae in nature) but clear when fetched into container makes the lake and Ado Awaye town amazing and awe striking.
The journey to the site of Iyake Suspended lake usually takes between one and one and half hours with a stair of 369 steps leading through a bushy rocky path to the plains on the mountaintop.
There are however some resting spots along the route and literature of artefacts and earth shards are noticed all round the mountain as evidence of past human existence and habitation.
Thus, for true world experience, Ado-Awaye community is ideal for travellers of all kinds, as the ancient town offers a rich and satisfying tourism experience.
Oba Folakanmi said the 2022 edition will feature Oyo state Governor Seyi Makinde, as Special Guest of Honour.
Other guests expected are: Barrister Bayo Lawal, Deputy Governor; all south-west Governors as Guests of honour and His Royal Oba (Dr Khalid Oyeniyi Olabisi Oyedele 111, The Okere of Saki and vice Chairman, Oyo State Council of Obas and Chiefs as the royal father of the Day.