By: Aloysius Attah, Onitsha
Enugu-Ezikeoba people, Igbo-Eze North LGA, Enugu state in the Diaspora are poised to host the maiden edition of its cultural fiesta towards showcasing the unique cultural identity of its people to the global stage.
The cultural carnival tagged “Ezike Day 2022” now in its peak preparation stage will feature cultural dances, masquerade displays, reunions and awards.
President General Umu Enugu Ezikeoba in Diaspora, Chef Roland Ayogu (Eze Omeogo) who spoke to in Enugu after touching down from his Johannesburg, South Africa base said the cultural fiesta was conceived to revive Enugu- Ezike’s dying cultural values and preserve them for the generation next.
“Those of us in the Diaspora see how the western world value and promote their diverse cultural milieu. But in our place, sometimes people erroneously see such as fetish. The idea is to tell and preserve for our children, the rich cultural heritage of our forebears so that the children will grow up to know most of the fading cultures”
“Apart from that, there are so many positive things we see happening in the western world and we want to use this opportunity to showcase ours to the world too because exposure is very important”
Chief Roland also disclosed that charity works will also feature prominently in a day set aside before the cultural fiesta where the less privileged among the people will be given a sense of belonging.
“About the charity aspect and empowerment of the less privileged, it is a fact that before now, charity works was not all that rampant in our place but the narratives has changed today from the time our people in Diaspora took the plunge in that direction and today, more people are cueing in.
“We are concerned in eradicating poverty in Ezikeoba land. We are looking at how to look into the problems of the less privileged among our people and see how we can establish them into something tangible. We are looking at fighting crime with youth empowerment because when the youths are engaged positively, they will not be attracted into crime and criminality.
He disclosed that as a pro-development group, the cultural carnival will also attract other progressive minded people from the community and beyond including Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi who is the Special Guest of Honour.
“Political leaders, traditional rulers, stakeholders and eminent personalities in Enugu State and beyond are expected to grace the carnival. People like our own Dr Chris Onyekachi Simon (Don Chris) Chief Festus Oshaba-Onuh (Ferotex Group) and the member representing Igbo-Eze North/ Udenu Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon Simon Atigwe and the Mayor of Igbo-Eze North LGA, Prince Ejike Itodo among others will also grace the occasion” he said.
Also speaking, Chairman of the planning committee, Barr Pius Ayogu who spoke from Scotland said the essence of the event is to reinvent the rich culture of their people.
“To showcase the very rich cultural heritage and to foster unity among our people and to help them add value to their lives. 31st December 2021 and 2nd January 2022 are two important dates with history for our people. Quite a good number of some of our less privileged and physically challenged people will get a lifeline to start something and stand on their feet instead of depending on people for their daily survival”
“We know we are blessed as a people and we need to showcase our uniqueness to the world. Most children of Ezikeoba people in the Diaspora doesn’t know the unique masquerades of Ezike people like theOshagenyi, Agbeji, Mgbedikeand the rest. This will be the first of its kind in the community” he said.
Ayogu said other executive members of the Diaspora group like Dr Igwebuike Olijo, its Secretary based in Canada, Chief Eusebius Ekere, its Public Relations Officer based in Texas USA are working round the clock with their resource persons within Enugu state to ensure a successful outing.