Monday, 20 April 2009
BY ANDREW IRO OKUNGBOWA
THIS Easter, one of the places to be is Arondizuogu, Imo State, where the Aros are celebrating Ikeji Festival.
This yearly cultural fiesta, which spans four days, begins on Thursday, April 16, and ends on Sunday, April 19, cutting across three local councils of the state — Ideato North, Okigwe and Onuimo.
Ikeji is the celebration of yam, perceived as king of all farm produce in Igboland, hence it is venerated. The regard given to this food crop is also extended to the farmers, whose barns are filled with them.
Visitors to the cultural fiesta will be treated to masquerade performance, which is usually the symbol of the festival.
According to the chairman of the festival organising committee, Dr. Emmanuel Chidi Marume, masquerades of different types from across the communities and representing various ages, and subject matters will be on parade in colourful performances.
So, expect to see at the arena and around the street corners long stretch of masquerades, some presenting fearsome stunts while others spot exotic look.
All these, the organisers say are the elements that add to the festival’s thrill; making it a-must-attend for the Aros; who visit family members and friends while partaking in the yearly feast that has come to define not only the cultural essence of the people, but their spiritual existence.
A lot of important personalities are expected at this year’s event with the state governor Ikedi Ohakim as the special guest of honour at the grand opening ceremony.
Programme of Events
Sunday March 15 – Easter Monday April 13
Pre- Ikeji promotional carnival in selected cities in Nigeria – Lagos, Owerri, Abuja, Onitsha, Aba, etc.
Wednesday April 15 (Eke odu)
Thursday April 16 (Orie Egbugbu)
Emume (Feasting and thanksgiving) – all homes; Eze’s palace
Special Emume Ikeji – Eze’s palace.
Friday April 17 (Afor)
Colloquy – theme: ‘Making Ikeji festival a world class carnival: problems and prospects’ - LN Motel Plaza, Ndiukwu, Arondizuogu
Masquerade displays – Afor – Ndiukwu.
Saturday April 18 (Nkwo)
Formal opening ceremony – Arondizuogu civic centre project site
Masquerade displays – Nkwo achi, Ndiakame Uno.
Sunday April 19 (Eke)
Masquerade displays – Eke Ndianiche Uwakonye, Aro Umuduru
Monday April 20 (Orie) – Thursday April 23 (Eke)
Farewell outing of all masquerades – In various markets in Arondizugou
Event begins at 9am daily.
Beach Carnival For Tarkwa Bay
TARKWA Bay will come alive on Easter Monday as Lagos State Ministry of Tourism and Inter – governmental relations, stages a beach carnival.
The carnival, which runs from 10am to 6pm, will feature artistes such as D’Banj and P-Square. Besides the musical show, the Easter carnival will showcase movie stars and comic acts.
The show is a non–fee paying one while people will be treated to free drinks and other items. There will be free transportation from the CMS and Obalende as well as the Army Officers’ Mess to the venue.
The carnival is part of the activities of the state government to promote tourism and “to bring sanity to the Island.”
CATE Camp Greens Africa With GTRIP 2
CATE Creativity Green Club invites children and young people between the ages of seven and 15, to be part of its culture, eco-tourism and creativity awareness initiatives tagged: Green Africa Easter Day Camp, and Green Trip 2. The camp is scheduled to hold from Tuesday April 14 to 19, at 7b Adebiyi Close, Onitiri, Yaba, to mark International Children’s Book Day; and also Earth Day.
The Founder of Heritage Home, an orphanage, and Courage Education Foundation as well as the Editor-in-Chief of Timeless Newspapers, Pastor Ituah Ighodalo, will be the special guest at the event.
This year’s camp, being the sixth in the series, has as theme: I am the World – Unite To Combat Climate Change. It is in line with the 2009 International Children’s Book Day. It is also in support of the Lagos State Government’s ‘Operation Green Lagos’ initiative and the UN Millennium Development Goal Seven [MDG7].
“The Camp will give children and young people the opportunity to learn about Africa’s cultural and historical heritage; the environment and how to look after it; make new friends and spend time away from the house. It will also afford parents the much needed break,” notes the coordinator of the programme, Sola Alamutu.
Also included is a trip to the historical town of Badagry with the support of Jethro Tours, to see the first Storey Building in Nigeria, where the legendary Ajayi Crowther translated the Bible into Yoruba.
Campers will also go on excursions to the Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA); Picture works Colour Laboratory, both in Yaba, Lagos and a branch of Bank PHB.