A scene from the festival

In the 14th century(around 1498), Ìjàkadì (wrestling) started as a cultural festival in Offa, Kwara state, Nigeria. This happened during the Moremi Festival. Moremi was a queen who sacrificed her son for the sake of peace in the village. Her story has nothing to do with sport so I won't go there at all. Google can help if you're interested in learning more about her.

Back to the topic, the then king (OLOFA) engaged in a mock wrestling with his second in command (ESSA) in the presence of the whole town. Since then it became a yearly ceremony in that town and a popular slang emerged from it, "Ìjàkadì l'orò Offa (Wrestling is an Offa game).

During this celebration, there's always singing, dancing, drumming, hunting display and also a reenactment of the wrestling that happened in the 14th century.

The tradition drummers

This festival takes place every December and it's like a reunion for all indigenes of the town both home and abroad. It is also an opportunity for visitors to witness the New Yam festival as it always clash with ijakadi festival. This is a festival that shows the importance of strength, strongwill and determination. This festival now attracts foreign tourists and it has been listed as one of the cultural festivals promoted by the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation.