The Anioma Cultural Festival was held and as usual the Organization For the Advancement of Anioma Lifestyle OFAAC has wonderfully place smiles on our faces but it is just relatable that like a people we look return and appraise ourselves to determine our performance. This shall help us to do better within the future. However, prior to we leave distant on this, credit should be provided to OFAAC, an organization with substance; an organization that untiringly and intrepidly work round the clock within funding the cultural fiesta to promote and preserve our culture; an organization that has now succeeded in putting our Anioma region in tourist destination. The Anioma Cultural Festival should be gaining impulsion in some quarters but it is still requires the help of all. The Organization For the Advancement of Anioma Culture, the lifestyle umbrella regarding the Anioma people was founded in November 2003 by Arc Kester Ifeadi.
Its core focus is on preservation, promotion and advancement regarding the wealthy cultural heritage regarding the Anioma people and Nigeria. OFAAC is non-governmental and non-political organization and membership spans throughout all classes of people in Nigeria and within the Diaspora. Its primary aims and objectives are as follows:. i Preservation, promotion and advancement regarding the appreciation and development regarding the wealthy cultural heritage regarding the Anioma people and Nigeria. ii To promote positive self-esteem and natural identity amongst the youth.
iii To promote the use of traditional attires. iv To encourage traditional crafts for technology, tourism and economic stabilization in rural areas. v To carry out researches and documentations of our cultural heritage. vi To product and promote the unique lifestyle of Anioma for local or worldwide tourism. The Organization For the Advancement of Anioma Lifestyle shall have achieved higher than its corporate calculations possessing consistently and successfully place together nine cultural festivals for the region.
OFAAC shall also be on record as an organization that has pulled the highest many Anioma traditional rulers at a lone forum. This record is hard to negate considering that it involves the help of traditional rulers who are the bywords regarding the people’s culture. OFAAC has also worked hard to achieve this, considering that it is a non-profit and non-political team with no political bait or any money to distribute. It is purely a corporate inclined team with the cultural interest of its people standing as chief aims and objectives. It is on this basis that it sets out to preserve and promote some regarding the already becoming extinct cultures of its people.
Dance culture, Dress culture, traditional wrestling and masquerade dance are little of them. OFAAC is doing for its own people what should be done; rightly they have chosen an endeavour and courageously they can be on a mission. They can be winning the cultural race and the people are rejoicing. OFAAC’s achievements shall not be in vain as it was in 2005 pronounced the finest cultural function in Delta State by the Federal Ministry of Lifestyle and Tourism which of course is a testimony of hard-work as well as consistency within the endorsement regarding the people’s culture. Again, it won the heart regarding the Omu of Okpanam and Anioma, HRM, Dr Martha Dunkwu who recently announced the presentation of a parcel of land in Okpanam to OFAAC.
This year’s function regarding the festival shows that the festival has grown tremendously with a remarkable improvement in standard. This specific one attracted about 98 groups that engaged themselves in a well competition and larger witnesses than what it was within the past which shows astounding improvement in display since the final performance. It shall also have received wider publicity from the press whether from print or electronic press and no doubt has enjoined the greatest talked about cultural festival at the moment. One remarkable feature regarding the function was methodical and sequential arrangement created likely by consistency and experience. For one, the participants appear to have acquired mastery regarding the cultural fiesta such that sequence was greatly established giving the function tang.
Regularity within the organization regarding the programme has also facilitated participants’ understanding of their roles thus ably preparing themselves towards every coming edition. Every participating team is now a beauty to behold. We also notice that the events regarding the Anioma Cultural Festival have grow to more competitive in a well manner. This year’s function has also return in defined classifications; categories that existed in Primary school, Secondary school, Egwu Eshushu, Royal category, Aguba, War, Uloko, Creative, wrestling, Masquerade and Overall winners. Real classification of competitions has ensured speedy conclusion regarding the function and also ensured that more winners emerged.
In all about 27 total winners emerged at the function that is progressive for the region. There is no doubt that the cultural fiesta is fast gaining ground internationally becoming the tourists’ destination. Hard-work has basically been the secret regarding the organizers. All roads now lead to Asaba in anticipation regarding the Anioma Cultural Festival. MTN Nigeria and Seaman Schnapps, the primary sponsors of this year’s function have reiterated their stanchness in standing behind the Anioma people and organizers regarding the Anioma Cultural Festival, helping the region to showcase its lifestyle to entire world.
By far, the greatest achievement of this year’s Anioma Day is the participation of Igbanke dance troupe. OFAAC has commendably scored a spot by uniting Igbanke with their Anioma kith and kin thus acting like a centre of unanimity. The heroic deed supports the thinking that Igbanke has an ethnic grouping and that its roots should be traced to Ika people of Anioma where the people rightly belong. This has also opened the window for the people to regularly engage in cultural interaction with their kinsmen in future. It was a day that Igbanke was specially celebrated by the rest of their kinsmen.
The Igbanke Local Progressive Alliance created this a possibility but most the Organization For the Advancement of Anioma Lifestyle OFAAC and Igbanke Local Progressive Alliance INPA share the accolade. Much as the function is celebrated, there also some bitter lessons to read from this year Anioma Cultural Festival. That this year’s function attracted about 47 royal fathers from the Anioma region is a testimony of sense of good relationship between many regarding the traditional rulers, their subjects on one paw and the traditional rulers and the affairs of their region on the other hand. Surely, the traditional rulers appreciate the communal gains in building stronger relationship between the leaders and subjects. However, on the component of politicians of Anioma extraction, it is unfortunate that relationship between Anioma political representatives and those they represent is very dim.
Victor Onyekachi Ochei, Speaker regarding the Delta State Home of Assembly, Former Deputy Governor of Delta State, Chief Benjamin Elue, Evangelist Joan Onyemaechi Mrakpor, Member regarding the Delta State Home of Assembly and Theodora Giwa Amun were present at the occasion but it still remains sad that the people’s political representatives with Anioma mandates did not deem it fit to capitalize on the pretty day offered by the Anioma Cultural Festival to relate with their own people that largely gave them mandates. One should have thought that a cultural festival is different from a political activity but this specific year’s function has not broken the opposition jinx theory that many regarding the politicians hold. It was also poignant that many of our royal fathers who were physically present at the occasion discovered that those that had return to them prior to elections for royal blessings did were not at the occasion in solidarity with the people’s cultural heritage which they can be all component of. It distant lends credence to people’s general methodology that they their political representatives are distant from them limiting feedbacks that should help to strengthen the affairs regarding the region and lead to its development. Politics is good but lifestyle is the bedrock of every society Anioma inclusive.
Sadly enough, many regarding the political representatives of little of its sub-groups were missing thus these sub-groups had no representatives at the cultural festival, which left participants from these sub-groups feeling void. Words here cannot passably describe their feeling but they should have yearned to have their political representatives watch them as an encouragement. Political representatives’ presence shall surely make the function complete, a reason we crave their presence. The function should not be an function for the Anioma people alone and this can only be achieved if Anioma political representatives make moves to identify with their own people through the natural avenue created by OFAAC. If they decide to identify with the program then large political heavyweights from the other ethnic groups particularly in Delta State shall release the region the many wanted support.
Political representatives should not ever turn their backs at the very people they came begging during political campaigns. Imagine if 1/2 regarding the political heavyweights that Anioma boasts of throw their help behind the Cultural Festival, it shall indeed be a force to reckon with. This is howcome we implore our political representatives to render help to cultural fiesta. It shall have emerged like a vision of one person but it has this day transformed into an encircling cultural conservation and promotion fiesta for the good regarding the entire sons and daughters regarding the Anioma region which political ideology should not ever rock. There is no region without leaders; one should that is why have longed to look the acclaimed leaders regarding the region within the roll call of attendees.
Getting feedback from the people they lead is as important as their headship. A cultural festival is a very important aspect of a group’s existence and a team can not ever celebrate its day without its leaders. An function like this wants the help regarding the region’s leaders to be complete. There was for that reason a huge bolt from the blue that many of those that claim to speak for the region were not on ground to grace the occasion and appreciate those they claim to lead. If an Anioma function of this enormity held in Anioma land does not receive overwhelming attendance from the leaders regarding the region, shall one expect a similar function to attract large turn-out in United States of America.
It has noticeably grow to customary for newer organizations particularly those whose things are entrenched online to send delegates to function while older organizations are not ever seen. This noxious attitude should change for the good regarding the region. Ofu obi bu ike anyi should book the diverse people regarding the region towards stabilizing the already growing voice within the Nigerian polity. This is if ever the region wants to be heard. While fairly emerging groups like Ndi Anioma, Anioma Voice, Umu Anioma, Proudly Asaba, Ndi Oshimili South, Onu Anioma and Igbanke Local Progressive Alliance between many others sent delegates to event, delegates from older acclaimed socio-political groups regarding the region were palpably missing at the event.
Lastly, the annual function appears to have grown with large crowds than the organizers expect, it shall that is why be of advantage to organizers if large screens are placed on the venues regarding the function to enable closer view by the excited audience. This piece should be incomplete without heaping praises on the Organization For the Advancement of Anioma Lifestyle that continues to promote and conserve our culture. This year’s function is indeed a testimony that the Anioma Cultural Festival has return to wait and with assistance from all, the Anioma wealthy cultural heritage shall continually be showcased to whole world. We thank OFAAC for a job well done and implore it to do more for us. Anioma is the indeed the greatest location to hail from.