‘Why we celebrated Oba Of Benin Coronation’

Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole (second left) presents the staff of office to His Royal Majesty, Omo n’Oba n’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Ewuare II, Oba of Benin after his coronation …

Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole (second left) presents the staff of office to His Royal Majesty, Omo n’Oba n’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Ewuare II, Oba of Benin after his coronation …

The ancient Benin Kingdom and the entire Edo State was in festive mood recently, as the crown prince, His Royal Highness, Eheneden Erediauwa, ascended the revered throne to become the new Oba of Benin, succeeding his late father, Omo n’Oba n’Edo Uku Akpolopkolo, Oba Erediauwa. Indeed, it was a rare celebration of the rich Benin Kingdom.

From top government officials led by Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo to traditional leaders, including the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III and Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II; politicians, foreign delegations, businessmen and women, friends and well wisher all thronged the venue to witness the epoch-making event.

A graduate of the best British and American schools, and a former Nigerian ambassador to Sweden and Angola, the new king is determined to revive the former glory of his kingdom and kickstart the economy.

“With international aid and private sector partners, we will save our heritage,” he said.

He also promised, in particular, to invest in the bronze industry, which is the kingdom’s pride.

“I hope to attract tourists, help develop the agricultural industry,” the Oba said.

However, over the years, culture, as a unifying factor, has always provided platforms for promotion of businesses and great brands to appeal to targeted consumers. Aside from celebrating human values and heritage, sponsorship of cultural activities also creates emotional connection between brands and the people. So, at the Oba of Benin coronation, Goldberg beer made good use of this opportunity, as the brand joined in the cultural celebration with a special activation.

As people of the ancient city of Benin commenced coronation rites for the Crown Prince of the Benin Kingdom, Goldberg Lager Beer again identified with the people and added colour to the occasion. Aside congratulatory greetings on many platforms, Goldberg stands and pictures were at strategic locations in the ancient city.

Available record about Benin shows that the enthronement of the Edaiken as Oba of Benin and the royal funeral rites known as emwin n’ ekhua, meaning “the big things” is a watershed in Benin history.

As part of the traditional coronation rites, Prince Erediauwa performed a 10km trek from his palace in Uselu through Benin-Lagos Road, Lagos Street to Ekpo-Ohae at Urhokpota Hall. He also climbed a 500-year-old palm tree.

He later moved to the ‘Iyan-Akpan’, now known as the popular five-junction, where Chiefs from Uselu community handed him to Chiefs from Benin. The heir apparent also visited Use forest in Egor Local Government Area of Edo State, where he picked a name he would bear as the new Oba after interaction with his fore fathers. Indeed, the coronation was an insight into the rich culture and history of the Benin people.

Speaking about the brand’s involvement in the coronation, Corporate Affairs Adviser of Nigerian Breweries Plc, Mr. Kufre Ekanem said Goldberg was happy to identify with the coronation, describing the Oba of Benin as one of Nigeria’s most revered monarchs.

“As a brand that is rooted in the cultural ethos of the people, Goldberg felicitates with the in-coming monarch and the entire people of Benin Kingdom for this historic occasion in the ancient city,” he said.

He also revealed that the team would pay an official visit to the palace of the Oba to register their unflinching loyalty to the Kingdom.

In the last few years, the brand has remained in the forefront of promoting African culture through the sponsorship of major traditional events. As at the last count, the brand has associated with not less than five of such events in Nigeria. However, its annual sponsorship of the popular of Osun Osogbo and Ojude Oba fiesta in Ijebu Ode appears to be the most celebrated.

Considering the place of culture in Benin and the importance of the coronation to the people, the involvement of the brand in the coronation, especially in promoting the Benin heritage, will go a long way in repositioning Goldberg as a preferred beer brand among the consumers in the area.

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