Anioma 11th Cultural Festival

BY BENSON OKOBI-ALLANAH/ISIOMA OBIONOCHIE
This year’s Anioma Cultural Festival, the 11th in the series, which took place at the Oshimili- South Arcade saw the coming together of different dance groups’ rich artistic display on Easter Monday from the nine local governments that make up the Anioma Nation in Asaba, the Delta State capital.
Richly attired Anioma sons and daughters in mostly their popular akwa-ocha and other dresses in different colours stormed the grand event. The entire venue was packed full with exotic sleek cars in different makes and colours which lined up both sides of the Ogbeogonogo axis of the popular and busy Nnebisi Road.
Right inside the bowels of the fairly large Arcade, different groups from the nine council areas were busy warming up for the different competitions that were billed to take place, mostly the dancing competition. The Ebu Wonders Masquerade could be sighted towering above any known creature seen standing at the colourful venue.
At the venue, long-time, no see friends had cause to meet, and consequently, there was a lot of back-slapping, hugging, necking, hand-pumping, hand-shaking, all these accompanied with smiles, a testimony of being one, living in peace and unity.
The drums beat persistently like the gongs, local tambourines, other local musical instruments, singing and clapping from different voices and hands provided what looked like a competition among groups of people trying to undo one another in a competition that was yet to start.
The Asagba of Asaba, Prof. Chike Edozien, and his ageless wife, HRM, Modupe Edozien, the Obi of Ute-Ogbeje, HRM, Jikeme Chukwuma, who later gave the opening prayer, the Omu of Anioma, Obi Martha Dunkwu, and member, Board of Directors, National Orientation Agency (NOA), were among the early callers at the venue that day.
Most of the scintillating displays of the legendary Anioma dance arts – the Aguba Royal Dance, Egwu Amala, Uloko Dance arts, Occupational Dance, Egwu Oshushu, Maiden Dance and creative dance arts from young Anioma youths with choreographic dance steps in the gorgeous rendition of traditional songs in unique rhapsody of pride were all proudly displayed. Aside these, were traditional wrestling dance challenge/ traditional flute challenge, exhibition of historical artifacts/crafts, popular live bands to thrill the audience, fashion parade/folklores, raffle draws and some of the most delicious and nutritious Anioma cuisines.
The dance group from Owa-Alero in Ika North East area of Delta State, after putting up a very wonderful performance that sent many spectators on the edge of their seats, went home as the overall winner of the event. The Asagba of Asaba and his wife presented the overall winner and the second runner up winners, while the Omu of Anioma, Obi Martha Dunkwu presented a plaque to the winner, creative dancers’ arts from Climax Academy College, Ogwashi-Uku.
Among other traditional rulers present were, the Obi of Nsukwa, Obi Kenneth Ezegbunam; Obi of Ewulu, Obi Godwin Onyeweuwa; Obi of Abala- Unor, Obi Maduabunachukwu; Obi of Idumuje-Unor, Obi Charles Anyasi; Obi of Ejeme-Aniogor, Obi Emmanuel, Brig- Gen Alabi Isama (Rtd.) and OFAAC President, Arch. Kester Ifeadi, and other OFAAC top notchers.

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