Harvest of masquerades as Anambra community celebrates Igba Ebe festival

Harvest of masquerades as Anambra community celebrates Igba Ebe festival

Harvest of masquerades as Anambra community celebrates Igba Ebe festival

By Chinwe Nwacha, Onitsha

It was a harvest of masquerades and musical band groups at Ama Okpobili, Amajana village, Akamnato Nando, Anambra East Local Government Area, Anambra State, when the people celebrated the 2023 and fourth Igba Ebe yearly festival.

Led by their spiritual director, His Spiritual Eminence, HSE, and leading servant of the New Covenant, traditional Dr. Igwe Onyeachonam Iwuno Ovomba, the  two-day celebration, (18th and 19th May), started with Ula (eve) of Igba Ebe and then the Igba Ebe proper that heralded the return of masquerades.

Addressing the mammoth crowd that gathered, Igwe Ovomba, (a.k.a Udenegbaona), said that the  2023 Igba Ebe festival, came with new things, changes for the better, bountiful farm produce, among others.

The event which attracted relations, friends and well wishers from far and wide as it was a sort of mass return, he added was an opportunity for interaction and reunion with relations, friends and well-wishers.

"It is a period to welcome new things coming into Nando that include, agricultural produce like pears, corns, and many others.During the celebration, we have various masquerades, dance troupes and traditional medicine practitioners like myself, we display the stuff we are made of as part of our cultural heritage.”

 “Traditional medicine practice runs in my family. My father was born a native doctor, it is inherited. We did not get or learn it from any body and whatever medical protection we give you, nobody will harm or kill you unless your hands are not clean.

“From my primary to post-primary school days I was disturbed to leave my education career and focus on the traditional medicine practice spiritually and I had to obey. I was a good artist then and could draw very well," he stated.

Pictures show different masquerades that thrilled the people with Igwe Ovomba dancing with Ijele masquerade

On the relationship between the church and tradition he lamented that,  "The church has disappointed God and until the church turns a new leaf, people will continue to believe more in the traditional medicine practice because only the truth is told in the traditional practice and if you go contrary it results in immediate unpleasant consequence”

"I am the new servant of the new covenant, I deal with 1777 spirits. Since I have come out to celebrate the Igba Ebe festival, Nando will have many good changes. People will start to see light as darkness has been sacked from the community.

“There was a time Nando was in darkness but now light has come. I said it that there will be light and there was light. Scores will be rich now not just two or three Nando people but scores, progress has commenced since God has brought me out to join in the festival.”

On his advice to the youths he lamented that, "Youths of these days no longer emulate their parents but rather go after the opposite sex and that is why they die prematurely. As a youth, if you are doing something and found out it is not good for you, stop it," he warned.

Contributing, Chief Ifeanyi Muonua, from Awkuzu, a neighbouring community, said that his host, Igwe Ovomba, was a known traditionalist who believes in tradition and helps to better the welfare of the people.

"Tradition is not a religious worship and can't go into extinction. It has come to stay. What Igwe Ovomba and his people are doing is tradition. In my country home, Awkuzu, we also do it, it is a yearly event but in our place we call it new yam festival," he further explained.

Also speaking, Chief Simon, Uchechukwu, former head of Sabbath churches in Anambra East Local Government Area, said that the festival was the beginning of new month of 2023, which was heralded with masquerades of different types that displayed to thrill the spectators.

"I was the head of Sabbath churches of the whole of Anambra East Local Government Area but I resigned my position for traditional worship. Now I am Chief Priest of our deity. If I am told that I will leave the Sabbath church I will not believe it. Tradition is where the truth is told. Some run away from tradition because it kills if you offend it. Our forefathers had longevity because they believed in tradition," he explained.

In his own contribution, Chief Orakwue Sabastine, said that the festival was to mark the beginning of new month in the year adding that the church calendar year was wrong.

"With the new month it brings about new things and the people are celebrating it with happiness. It is a yearly event. People run away from tradition because it doesn't waste time to kill those who offend it," he further explained.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post