Still, in the mood of celebrating Anambra State at 29, today’s post is focused on some of the beautiful festivals and events that have opened up Anambra’s cultural landscape to the world.
First on the list is the Golibe Festival. The term Golibe literally means ‘To Rejoice’. It was inaugurated by the Obi of Onitsha, HRM Igwe Alfred Achebe in 2016. The festival is actually a program of the Onitsha 21st century project which targets to leverage on the rich cultural heritage, in a bid to transform Onitsha into a preferred destination for cultural tourism and a hub for modern-day commerce and innovation.
Since it’s inauguration in 2016, two editions of the festival have been held. The Golibe festival features the following events:
- Christmas rendition.
- Golibe dreamland.
- Unity Football match.
- Drama- Onitsha Past, Present, and Future.
- A Night with the Stars.
- Golibe Arts exhibition and Street Carnival.
- Chill zone.
- Scholarship and Philanthropy.
- Onitsha masquerade carnival.
- Mr. & Miss Golibe pageant.
The gastronomy aspect of the Golibe festival serves as a melting pot for all sorts of food, most especially Onitsha cuisine. Meals such as the Nni Oka, Ukpo-Ogede, Ofe Nsala provide the impetus for visitors to appreciate Onitsha cuisine. Local drinks are not left out either. For example, Omumu brew which is typically served during Ozo ceremonies together with palm wine is readily available.
The Golibe gastronomy provides enormous opportunities for local and international foods and drinks company to partner with the Festival Planning Committee to create a uniquely seamless experience for guests and deserving holidaymakers who wish not to spend all the time in the kitchen.
Generally, the Golibe festival is not just an event where holidaymakers come from far and wide to wind up time and enjoy themselves during the close of the year; it is a festival that seeks to showcase Onitsha to the world through its rich cultural heritage which is massively on display during the period. An example is the Onitsha masquerade carnival.
You can be certain of a fun-filled experience during the Golibe festival which is hosted in the City of Onitsha, known for its strategic location on the bank of the Niger River in Nigeria’s Anambra state. Onitsha is not just a metropolitan city known for its river port, it is also the hub for commerce, industry, education, and most importantly a rich tourist destination.
What is Onitsha without the Ofala festival? You guessed right, incomplete! One of the major hallmark of Onitsha and Anambra as a whole is the Ofala festival. The annual festival usually comes up in October. The festival paves the way for the people of Onitsha to keep their culture alive and it has become a major event that draws visitors from far and wide. As a matter of fact, the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation realized it’s potential and endorsed it as a major festival in Nigeria.
Telecommunication giant, Glo has been responsible for sponsoring the festival since 2011. With the introduction of several innovations to the historic festival, the Ofala has emerged as a major tourism spectacle. Some of the features of the Ofala include Onitsha City Marathon, Oreze Art exhibition, Panel discussion, Ofala Youth festival, Royal banquet, the Ofala itself (display of royal dances, tributes, parades, and music).
Generally, the Ofala festival is a celebration by the Obi and his subjects to mark the monarch’s annual emergence from seclusion, during which he is assumed to have successfully negotiated the fortunes of the kingdom. It is steeped in spirituality and is the high point of Onitsha ceremonial cycle.
Next on the list is the Anambra Music Festival which brought in two of Nigeria’s hottest music superstars; Davido and Naira Marley. The show held earlier this year at the Ifeanyi Ubah Stadium, Nnewi. It was organized by Chizzy Entertainment and featured many other A list music stars in the country. This event basically brought into Anambra globally celebrated superstars, music lovers, tourists, businessmen, and women into the state and they didn’t just get value for their money, they also enjoyed what Anambra had to offer as a tourist center.
In the same vein, the Oba Carnival still brought back Davido into Anambra to perform alongside other A list music connoisseurs such as Nigga Raw, DJ Neptune, DJ Jimmy Jatt, DJ Factor, Ruff Coin, Zoroswagbag, DJ Flex just to mention a few. Indeed it was a highly received show. The show was packaged by Obiora Iyiegbu, the chairman of Cubana Group. The main purpose of the show was to put Oba back on the national landscape, little wonder it was held at Merchants of Light school field, Oba.
The Ojoto Unity Carnival is another event that lights up the beauty of Anambra. The show was basically organized to thrill the indegenes of Ojoto and neighbours who came back to celebrate Christmas and New Year from far and near, in Ojoto Community, Anambra state. The show featured displays and performances from Phyno, Funny Bone, Frank De Don, Jimmy Jatt, Bracket just to mention a few. It was organized by millennial real estate entrepreneur, Dr. Kennedy Okonkwo.
Yet another show is the Uli fest, revitalized by brothers, KC and E-Money Okonkwo. Through this festival, they were able to shine the light on their country home in Amamputu village. The music fest held at Uli Central school field featured performers such as Zoro, Ruff Coin, Timaya, Mr 2Kay, A.Y, Funny Bone, etc.
Some other festivals and events that keep the cultural calendar of Anambra state busy include The Igu Aro in Nri and Enugwu-Ukwu, the Nwafor Festival in Ogidi and Ogbunike, the Ede Aro Abagana, the Imo Awka festival of Awka, the Eziokpalaigwe festival of Amawbia, the Afia Olu festival of Nnewi, the Uzoiyi festival of Umuoji, the Obiora Obosi, the Iwaji festival of Igboukwu.
Anambra state isn’t just called the Light of the nation for the fun of it, it showcases this motto through it’s rich cultural heritage which are usually on display during these festivals and carnivals. It is also important to give credit to the Governor, Chief Willie Obiano whose administration has laid the foundation for these events to thrive in.