Ondo State Government has dedicated this year’s edition of the Mare Festival, which was celebrated in low key, on 13th December, 2013, at Idanre, Ondo State, with the theme, “Endless Possibilities,” to the late State Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Barr. Deji Falae.
Mare, the short form of Mare bo, a Yoruba word, meaning, “don’t fall,” is a mountain climbing expedition, without any spiritual attachment; it also features carnival float/street entertainment, comprising cultural performances, arts and crafts, exhibition, marathon race, and a musical concert that parades prominent Nigerian musicians.
Speaking at the occasion, Ondo State Deputy Governor, Alhaji Ali Olanusi, who represented the Executive Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, said this year’s festival was low-keyed, because it was being dedicated to the late Commissioner of Culture and Tourism, Barr. Deji Falae, who until his death, was the Chairman, Local Organising Committee.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Commissioner for Information, who is now the Chairman, Local Organising Committee, Mr. Kayode Akinmade, said the State government was perfecting strategies to immortalise the late Commissioner by ensuring that the Idanre Hills, which is the focal point of the Mare Annual Festival, was listed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), amongst other World tourist sites.
Ondo State culture ambassadors, Chief Jibola Dabo, King Sunny Ade, female Talking Drummer, Ara, Actress Bimbo Oshin, Yemi Blaq, Funsho Adeolu, Mo Abudu, Dupe Umosen, Danny Young, Adigun Abolore (9ice), Lord of Ajasa, fuji music maestro, Abas Akande, popularly known as, Obesere, among others, spiced the event with soft mind touching songs and short drama sketches, mostly composed and created in honour of the late Commissioner, Barr. Deji Falae.
Mare festival, an initiative of the Executive Governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko began in December, 2009, and has since become an annual event; and Mr. Nnamdi Oyeamaka, a Youth Corper serving in Idanre, won the mountain climbing competition.
It would be recalled that the late Commissioner for Culture &Tourism Barr. Deji Falae, was among other dignitaries that passed on, on 3rd October, 2013, in a fatal Associated Airlines plane crash, when the remains of former Ondo State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Agagu, were being conveyed to Akure from Lagos.
The National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) South West Zone was represented by Mr. Dickson Idonije of Orientation and Cultural Affairs Department, Mr. Ogaga Anakpoha, Head, Corporate Affairs Unit and Mr. Eustace Nwokorie of the Research and Documentation Department.