One of the top line cultural celebrations in eastern Nigeria, Globacom-sponsored Ofala Festival, took off with great fanfare on Friday in Onitsha, Anambra State, with several activities including the Oreze Arts Series and a spectacular Youth Carnival organised by the Onitsha Ado Youth Council (OYC).
The Oreze Arts Series, which is a group art exhibition promoted by His Majesty’s Chimedie Museum Trust Foundation, opened with over 120 artists exhibiting their works. Some of which include Alex Nwokolo, Kainebi Osahenye, Edison Ekwueme, Dr Bolaji Ogunwo, Tola Wewe, and Ayeva Nourridine. The special guest Professor John Ogene, is a Professor of Art History and Graphics, Department of Fine and Applied Arts, University of Benin.
On the other hand, the Youth carnival featured different cultural groups, including the Otu Odu Onitsha, Egwu Odu, and Agbalanze, dressed in full traditional regalia dancing through the streets of Inland Town, Onitsha, in celebration of his Majesty, the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe, Agbogidi. The carnival was also used to showcase the rich cultural heritage of Onitsha indigenes.
A Royal Banquet organised by Globacom in honour of the Obi of Onitsha comes up Wednesday, October 26. The banquet will be held at the Dolly Hills Hotel, Onitsha. The activities will be rounded off with an Ofala Thanksgiving service scheduled to hold on Sunday, October 30 at St. Stephens Anglican Church.
Globacom said the highlight of its sponsorship of the 2022 festival include a special promotion to give subscribers an opportunity to win amazing prizes including tricycles, popularly called Keke, industrial sewing machines and grinding machines. “All a subscriber needs to do to win any of the prizes is to recharge with a minimum of N1, 500 or to buy a minimum data bundle of N1, 000 before the end of the promo,” the company explained.
Ofala celebrations will continue with the Iru Ofala on Saturday, October 22, and the Azu Ofala on Sunday, October 23. It is an occasion for the monarch to fulfil certain obligations, and primarily a celebration by the monarch and his subjects of the monarch’s annual emergence from seclusion, during which period he successfully negotiated the fortunes of the kingdom. It is also a re-enactment of the joy which the monarch shared with his subjects at the discovery that yam is non-toxic, and is a valuable source of food. Igwe Achebe is also using the occasion of the Ofala to commemorate his 20th anniversary as monarch.