Monday, 21 September 2015

Solomon Ogbonna pledges to resurrect Onicha Igbo-Eze cultural festivals



 AJIBADE ALABI
Undoubtedly, The Igbo have continued to stun the world with their laudable industrialism and intellectualism but of course, so many of their sons and daughters had jettisoned their cultural heritage occasioned by the emergence of Christianity, this, a cultural activist, Chief Solomon Ogbonna, pledged to bring to order by ensuring the resurrection of Onicha Igbo-Eze three key traditional festivals.
Onicha Igbo-Eze area of Enugu State is without being sycophant one significant city in Igbo land that reached in undiluted Cultural festivals at the era when African culture and traditions are being appreciated and portrayed in good manner as the city had many notable festivals that usually attract tourists from various spheres of life among which were Ere-Nkpo, Yam and Aju festival respectively.

Having noticed the hazard effect of the over twenty years abandonment of Nkpo, Aju and Yam festivals, the community Chiefs and Elders had formed a committee involved twelve able men and spearheaded by the Ace Arts collector, Chief Solomon Ogbonna to strategise on the success of the event.
In his statement during a brief chart with Newswatch Times  recently in Lagos, Chief Solomon blamed the abandonment of the three key festivals in Onicha Igbo-Eze on the wrong information religious leaders are passing across to the sons and daughters of the land about traditional festival. "Everything should be blamed on religious leaders within Igbo land, they've led lot of our sons and daughters astray because of their selfish interest.
"Their inability to differentiate religion to that of culture has afforded them the chance to ignorantly turn our children against their cultural heritage which could have spurred them to think of home and develop their towns and cities.
"No government can successfully govern his people without any prerequisite knowledge of their culture and tradition. Igbo-Eze people have a way of worshiping their gods before the advent of colonialism.
"The holy communion is not a new trend to our people as kola-nut was being used by our forefathers for religious rite just as Holy Communion is being used by the reverend fathers. I am a devoted Christian who believes strongly in the teaching of the Holy Bible and also attending church regularly but until we all learn how to draw line between religion and culture we would continue to jeopardize our cultural heritage to the glory of foreign cultures," he said.
Speaking further on the already mapped out strategy to achieve the resurrection of Onicha Igbo-Eze festivals, Solomon said he's bent to challenge his influential strength to bring Igbo-Eze cultural festival to the notice of international communities, "I've vowed to explore my influential strength and ensure that I with the support of other members of the committee expose the Igbo-Eze cultural festivals to the notice of international communities.
"I am a professional when it comes to uplifting and projecting African culture and tradition having featured over 2000 exhibition in the USA, UK, Germany, Japan and other countries in the world. In my private gallery, I accumulate over 7, 000 artworks while I had also won over hundreds award plaques in the course of my passion for the preservation of African Arts and Culture, so you can't expect somebody with such unrivaled profile to settle for less.
"I'm going to use my personality to bring UNESCO, Diplomats, Government functionaries and some notable multinational companies to participate in this festival," he affirmed.
It's noteworthy to highlight that Aju and Nkpo festivals are used to ascertain and streamline the economic and socio-political status of the community. It is a platform that affords the sons and daughters of the community the opportunity to be identified with their lineages because every participants will according to the history present kola-nut to their uncles who will now in return presents traditional food like Yam to his nephew as gift.

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