The African community in Los Angeles went agog in mid-November 2017 with the visit of the foremost Yoruba Monarch ,His Imperial Majesty Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, The Ooni of Ife.
The Ooni’s visit with other ranking African monarchs was at the auspices of the maiden edition of the Hollywood and African Prestigious Awards (HAPA). The Hollywood and African Prestigious Awards (HAPAwards) chose to honor American leaders and African Royalties in a week-long celebration of the richness of African cultures and the beauty of America to promote world peace. The awards keynote address, tagged ‘The Eradication of Negative Images Associated with Africa and the Forgotten History’ was delivered by the Foremost Monarch of the Yoruba Race; the Ooni of Ile-Ife, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II. Speaking on the essence of the Awards, the Founder and Executive Producer of HAPAwards, Ms. Tina Weisinger said, “HAPAwards will blend several rich cultures from the motherland from all facets of motion pictures, arts, sports and music.”
The week-long celebration also enjoyed the presence of other African Royalties in attendance, including the head of the Swaziland Royal Family; His Royal Majesty King Mswati III of Swaziland, His Royal Highness King (Dr.) Noble Odaifio Welentsi III of Ghana, Chief Osabarima Nana Ansah Sasraku III Mamfehene and Kyidomhene of Akuapem Traditional area of Ghana and other Kings from the Yoruba tribe of South-Western Nigeria. The richness of American and African cultures was displayed at during the Dinner with the Kings, Fashion show, Yoruba Gala night and the HAPAwards night itself.
The week came to an exciting climax when the Ooni attended the worship service at The International Christian Center, Hawthorne. The church founded and pastored by Drs Dipo & Nony Kalejaiye, played host to the Ooni and his esteemed Royal entourage. The Ooni was welcomed in a rich display of the Yoruba culture by ICCLA’s Women Ministry who were gaily dressed in Red & White traditional attires, and a young girl bearing a bouquet of beautiful flowers.
In his welcome address to the Ooni and the Kings present, Pst Dipo took the church into the history of the Royal House and his own native clan of Ogere Remo, which was founded by Crown Prince Onipakala of Ile-Ife. Hence, he noted that the Ooni’s decision to worship at ICCLA was a form of ‘home-coming’. He particularly commended the huge love largely enjoyed by the Ooni from his subjects, which stem from his humility, and largeness of heart. Pst Dipo led the congregation to pray for the Ooni and the kings, anchored on Psalm 20 in both English and the Yoruba languages. Thereafter, he presented the Ooni with the gift of a Bible, duly signed on behalf of the church and bestowed on the Ooni life-membership of the Church.
The Ooni in turn during his address to the congregation, emphasized the importance of praising God particularly for the grace to be alive. He noted that Man while asleep can be likened to being in a state of unconsciousness, which only changes when man wakes up, as determined by God’s Grace. He further admonished that the whole essence of Mankind being to honor God as the Sovereign. He mentioned the attractive similarity between ICCLA’s logo and the Oduduwa Royal house and proceeded to lead the congregation in some choruses in worship to God. The Ooni commended ICCLA for the warm welcome and presented a gift of a Bronzed artwork sculpted by Youths who are beneficiaries of the ongoing Ile-Ife Empowerment program, to Pst Kalejaiye.
Pastor Dipo delivered a short and powerful evangelistic message “What Manner Of Love” on the love of Christ for Mankind and the need to surrender to His Lordship. He ended it with a salvation altar call. Other highlights of the service were the ICCLA Vineyard Voices and Band’s contemporary rendition of the popular folklore song ‘Olorun Mi’, a song of Praise and dedication to God written by Madam Comfort Omoge and re-arranged by Dr. Kunle Pinmiloye (aka KSticks) as well as the reception in honor of the Ooni and his royal entourage.
Click below to view an online photo album of the Ooni’s historic visit to ICC-