By Lillian Itiafa Adebija
Ogori Magongo is a local government area in Kogi State and it is one of the smallest local government areas we have in Nigeria.
The Ogori people are popularly known for the Ovia Osese Festival that is usually celebrated two weeks after the Easter celebration.
The Ovia Osese festival is all about the initiation of young girls who have attained the age of 15 and are of good moral conducts into womanhood. The people of Ogori land (Ogorians) see it as a necessity for all their daughters to go through this stage of Ovia Osese and they feel if this rite is not done, the girl will be rejected by the land and she will not be seen as an Ogori woman.
This tradition has been in existence long before the advent of the missionaries and yet the religious activities did not alter the tradition of the people of Ogori Magongo because they see this tradition as a ritual and a right that must be done for their daughters every year.
The week of the Ovia Osese Festival, these girls (maidens) are camped by the chieftain of Ogori culture a woman known as the “IYODINA” and then she trains them in the ways of a woman.
These girls are taught strong morals, traditions, respect for families and culture; how to cook traditional food, how to keep their families together and finally how to take good care of a man.
This training usually takes a long period of time but as time passes and with civilization in the way, it is now done within a period of two weeks.
The women of Ogori are known to be good home makers owing to the fact that it is rare for you to see an Ogori woman who got married and ended up divorced because, they have been well trained by their families and their culture well imbibed in them including the tradition on how to keep a home.
It is therefore obvious that the good behavior is as a result of the Ovia Osese culture of the people of Ogori Magongo.