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Offot Ukwa Clan Festival Logo Unveiling Erupts Cultural Elation
Ndifreke Enefiok, Uyo
The bustling city of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State Capital was submerged in deep cultural elation and worthiness, Saturday 6th August. The occasion was the logo unveiling for the Offot Ukwa Clan Festival of Arts and Culture, 3rd edition.
From the popular Ibom recreational centre located in the heart of the city to roads, and adjoining streets in the capital city, the loud sound of cannon fire could be heard. Different sounds from wooden gongs, xylophones and other locally made musical instruments rented the air.
Women known in our local parlance as ‘Eka-Iban were seen dressed in different arrays of cultural pieces. Some in Onyonyo, Ndod-iba, blouse and headtie, while the young ladies known as Ubo-ikpa were dressed in mini, gathered skirt and gown, some on trousers and long flowing gowns, sewn with a combination of colour which represented their respective villages.
The mbong-iban were not left out in the festivity. Same with the men who were dressed in Usobo – an ankle-long wrapper tied by men and worn with a long chieftaincy shirt and Okpompom, a scarf.
The different colour mixes, local fabrics and fresh leaves used in the festival depicted an aura of rich cultural reserve and heritage. 22 flags representing the villages in the clan were hoisted and another, the Clan flag hoisted which umbrellaed the whole clan.
Read Also: Offot Ukwa Festival Novel, Worthy Of Support – Dr. Uwemedimo Udo
Masquerades, dance groups, mascots and children were not left out in the euphoria as they all danced in one united step. Beyond the array of musical presentations and dance, the festival witnessed a convoy of prominent sons and daughters of the clan.
The Paramount Ruler of Uyo LGA and Clan Head of Offot Ukwa, HRM Edidem Sylvanus Effiong Okon, JP who is the royal father of the land accompanied by his wife, members of his council of chiefs and other traditional rulers and flanked by the royal maidens and warriors was received amidst the celebration.
In his welcome address, Chairman, Offot Ukwa Clan Council of Chiefs, Eteidung (Rev) Aniedi Okon noted that the festival was a remarkable day in the life of the Offot people, as it serves as a force of unity and strength.
Eteidung Okon thanked the Paramount Ruler and the people of Offot for identifying and showing great joy at the festival and prayed God’s blessings on them.
In his opening remarks, the Chairman of Uyo Local Government Council, Dr Uwemedimo Udo hinted that the day signified a great celebration for Offot Ukwa people and, that the ‘historic event displayed the assemblage of the cultural heritage of the people.
Dr Udo noted that the window created by arts and culture can be utilized for socio-economic and political growth of the Offot Ukwa Clan, State and country at large.
While thanking His Royal Majesty, Edidem Sylvanus Okon for his thoughtfulness in mobilizing the Clan Council, stakeholders, and the entire Offot Ukwa people to convoke the cultural festival, Dr Udo added that culture has dual tendencies; tendencies towards stability, change and rapid development and should be greatly maximized.
Read Also: Let’s Explore Our Rich Cultural Heritage Towards Unity, Development of the Society – Rt. Hon Anietie Eka
Earlier, the Chairman, Central Planning Committee for the festival, Elder Patrick Albert in his introductory remark and brief about the carnival disclosed that the main event which will happen later in October this year has as its motto, “Celebrating Unity & Cultural Legacy” while the theme is “Offot Ukwa Festival 2022: Utilizing Arts and Culture for Socio-economic & Political Growth.”
Albert noted that the festival is intended to strengthen the cultural bond, showcase the unique identity and project the Offot Ukwa people whom he described as hospitable, intelligent, industrious and landlords to landmark infrastructures in the state capital.
He highlighted that this year’s festival which is the 3rd edition since it was first held in 2013 and 2016, will be a one-week long celebration packed with multi-content: Music, Dance, Plays, Pageantry, Arts and Recreational Games – Traditional and Modern Sports.
Presenting an address entitled, “Offot Ukwa Festival Of Arts and Culture: Self Identity On The Ascent,” Dr Aniekan Brown, a lecturer in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Uyo, disclosed that the time has come for Offot Ukwa people to reignite an identity that can tag to them anywhere they’re found in the world.
Brown, a renowned Criminologist further elucidated that culture and self-identity work in tandem to give the people a sense of pride, hence the need to initiate or come up with an item that can be linked to the people of Offot Ukwa. Also, Dr Brown while noting that Offot people have played great roles in the politics of the state, called on them to take the front row in governance.
In their separate goodwill messages, the Member Representing Uyo State Constituency in the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Anietie Eka represented by Mr Michael James and the Uyo Vice Chairman, Hon. Sylvia Ekong called for the fostering of unity and peace among the people.
The highlight of the festival includes – the unveiling of the festival logo, Offot Ukwa Clan Logo/Flag, Offot Ukwa Clan Cultural Attires, Offot Ukwa Unity Mass Choir, march past by the different villages, unity performance by cultural troupes, cultural display, ballads, presentation of the musical album ”Offot Edaka Eda” among others.