Sunday, 8 February 2009
The Nenwe Cultural Fiesta was one of the high points of my Holiday visit to Nenwe. Believe it or not, I am already looking forward to this years's edition.
With Air Commodore Chris Chukwu (flanked by Air Cdre NE Offor (awgu), Gp Capt Ben Ugwueke, (Nenwe) and Gp Capt Emeka Ozoemena (Ihe), the stage was set to receive the Chief Host, Dr. Cos O. Onuora. He was not alone on his own side of the table - our own dear JON, Clem Ebere, Prof. Okey Alimba, Pat Hawkins, etc were on hand to witness.
I saw our brothers from NPAUSA - ably led by Charlie Mbah. Te gathering was a roll call. The four Igwes - Nwachukwu, More, Ifeanetu and Imoh added colours to the Cultural event. They all appeared in their splendour, with their Red Cap Chiefs in tow.
When last did you witness the real Nenwe boxing context? It was the high point of the event. Some, a little younger than me, could not remember when last they saw that spectacular. If that was eventful, the iwa ekwa regalia was a sight to behold. Imagine those able bodied men in full avarangidi war regalia displaying Nenwe talents, Culture and Dance. It was nostalgic.
There were competing dance groups - the Nenwe National anthem (Ikwirikwo), Ubo Ogele, Igede Ubo, Egerende, ikpa, etc. There was a long list of dancing groups. I am still feeling bad that up till now that most of the dance groups could not be accommodated due largely to te late start of the event. They mobbed me at te end of the day to protest their non inclusion.
Oh, you should see the iwa ji (Cutting of roasted yam and eating with palm (red) oil.) Pieces of roasted yams went round the crowd. With oil, it was a delicacy.
I must thank all those who put this together - Dr. Onuorah captured the essence of the event in his speech. There is no people without a culture, not all nenwe cultures are barbaric. The Parish priest in charge of St. Peters Catholic Parish, Rev. Fr. Emma Anugwom sat all through; he said both opening and closing prayers.
I can not describe the ikpa dance as displayed by Officers - Chukwu, Offor, Ugwueke and Ozoemena. Offor in particular was at home, la aruchi nti while dancing.
Donatus Nzeh, Decency Mbah and Ezekwesiri reminded us of Odabara dance. Their dance steps... oh my God. Some one close by me joked that it was a mixture of Reggae and Disco.So we called it, Odabaradisco.
Bismarck Orji, Valent Aniobi and Chief Gab Ejim deserve some comendations for their efforts. But please next time, don't bring tables that will make the Air Cdres look like liliputs. They are giants in many ways.
Sai, able Sec, was the reporter of the event. I am sure he will soon publish his pictures.
As for me, I am still sufering from the dust I inhaled at the event. It was my own contribution to Nenwei.
Chief Cyril Oleh