Ibagwa-Nike - Some tourists
and actors who graced the 2015 Ibagwa-Nike New Yam Festival in Enugu State say
it exhibited the people’s culture and their peaceful nature.
The tourists told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in interviews
in Inagwa-Nike, Enugu State that the event was thrilling and had the message of
peace one could take home.
The New Yam festival is celebrated by the Igbo people of
Eastern Nigeria to thank God for the gift of life and a successful planting
Some of the activities that marked the event included the
breaking of kolanuts to offer prayers to God and slicing and consumption of
roasted yam tubers with palm oil.
Other displays are musical renditions by various groups,
traditional dances and masquerade displays.
Mr Per Staffsen, a tourist from the Netherlands said: "I am
very honoured to be at this celebration to mark a successful planting season.
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"I have never really taken part in a festival like this,
and I can say it’s a very impressive and robust event.
"You don’t get this sort of festival or masquerade displays
in any other part of the world’’.
Staffsen, who is also the Vice President, International
Association of World Peace Advocates (IAWPA), said though it wasn’t his first
time in Nigeria, he found the people of Ibagwa-Nike peaceful.
"They and indeed the people of Nigeria are peace-loving and
that is one message I will take home.’’
Also, Amb. Emmanuel Nweke, the spokesman for IAWPA, said
that it had been very fantastic, adding that he loved the culture which, he
described as dynamic.
"I now have a very good knowledge about this African
"You can see what happened at the playground, different
masquerades came to display.
"They were not too hash to the people as against what I
have seen in other societies; here masquerades have been very accommodating to
both indigenes and non-indigenes,’’ Nweke said told NAN.
Popular Nollywood actor, Nkem Owoh, said that "this is not
my first coming to Ibagwa-Nike.
"The festival is one of the most traditional, the most
grounded tradition that we have,"Iriji or Iwaji’.
"So, anybody who wants to have a first-hand information on
the foundation of the Igbo people’s culture must recognise Iwaji festival in
Igboland,’’ Owoh popularly known as "Osuofia’’ said.
Actor and movie producer Charles Awurum said: "It is always
good to see the culture of other people so as to know how they live.
"When you move to see the culture of other people, you are
happy; you marry it with your own culture and see if there are differences or
areas you would love to adopt’’.