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Tourists, actors hail Ibagwa-Nike New Yam festival celebration

18 August 2015, 17:11

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 season.

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.

Also read: Lagos photo festival to foster unity 

"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 culture.

"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’’. 



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