In the next few weeks, Lagos businesswoman Princess Toyin Kolade would be leading a powerful delegation from the palace of the Ooni of Ife, in Ile-Ife to Brazil to celebrate Aje Festival.
This is in her capacity as the woman who co-ordinates the annual Aje Festival in Ile-Ife. On New Years Day, she spoke to City People TV crew on the significance of Aje Festival and why she celebrates every 1st of January.
Why do you always celebrate New Year every year?
The reason is not farfetched. I love to celebrate 1st of January, not in big way but just to appreciate God in my life. And I will continue to appreciate Him, in my life, in my business, going up and down; He has always been there for me. Till I leave this world, I will continue to give Him the glory.
You are also somebody that people you don’t wait until January 1st before you celebrate people. You are always touching lives, always helping people. What explain that?
That’s my calling; celebrating people. I’m always happy with everyone. Where in 2020, by 3020, it’s very certain all of us are going to be inside grave. So, why unnecessary envy, Why can’t we love each other unconditionally? I’m a happy person and I love happy people around me. When you call me to come and celebrate with you, I will come with my family, come with all I have to celebrate with you. I won’t wait until you give drink or food, because I know what it takes to organize a party.
I also notice that, even though you wear white, you’ve also been very creative with your design. Do you always design yourself or you have someone that does that for you?
I design myself and I also have people around me that appreciate me. They want the best for me. It’s not easy to be wearing white but since the beginning of my life I love white. My name is Oluwatoyin. Even my mother told me not to wear red, or black. I’ve been wearing white since the beginning of my life. Like I said, it’s not been easy but because of my calling, and because I celebrate Aje. And I thank God for the life of my husband, my children and my Royal Father, Imperial Majesty, Ooni of Ife. I will continue to thank him because he has always been there for me too. I pray to God to spare his life and give him long life, and by the grace of God he’s going to be there 70/80 years, that’s my prayer for him and his family.
Your calling as having to celebrate Aje has taken you to so many places, can you tell us what you like about it and what gives you thrill to celebrate it?
Ever since I started celebrating Aje, if I touch people or pray for people they will come back to me with lots of testimonies. Aje is not just an ordinary festival. Everybody loves Aje and everybody prays for it every day of their lives. Only that if your mind is not pure you cannot celebrate Aje; it will never work. I remember when I travelled to Brazil, you need to see how people were trooping in to meet and greet me, because they know the meaning of Aje, it’s just a pity that here we don’t appreciate what we have because of envy. And this shouldn’t be so, it’s all about prayer. I believe in God, I believe in Jesus, but this is our tradition, and we must embrace it. I want to advise everyone here to let our mind be pure always. Let’s love ourselves. Don’t envy anyone. And don’t be jealous of other people’s success. I pray this 2020 is going to be our year of blessing. Goodness and mercy shall follow us in 2020. Aje festival in Brazil will come up in Feb 2nd and February 17th in Ile Ife, Nigeria. I inviting everyone to come and pray. God bless you all.