The Osun festival is an annual celebration of the goddess of fertility, healing and protection that is felt beyond the shores of Osogbo in south west Nigeria. It continues to attract healthy interest globally. A documentary on the votary maid of the festival is a fresh angle that was effectively explored in the winning documentary, ARUGBA OSUN.

It spotlights the role of the votary maid, a virgin, who carries the sacrificial calabash from the king’s palace to the Osun River. As the carrier of the people’s hopes and dreams, the votary maid is central to the celebration. The documentary captures the essence of the festival as a forum for cultural reunion, communal worship, and global networking. It conveys the importance of the carrier, and explains how the carrier is picked and prepared for the task. The narration is enriched with the perspectives of six past votary maids, who explain their mixed emotions on being divinely picked for this assignment, and how the forces of tradition and modernity have coexisted over the years to shape public perception of the votary maid’s role as a harbinger of hope and blessings.

Ozi Okoli is a year 2000 graduate of Theatre Arts and a polyglot who speaks English, Igbo and Yoruba fluently and has a working knowledge of Hausa. In his ten year broadcasting experience he has worked with Rave TV, Network News 24 TV, Channels TV, and Continental Broadcast Service.


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