The 2017 ANAMBRA CULTURAL DAY has come (yesterday) and gone, but not without leaving memorable pictures in my head. It was my first time of attending such and I must confess that I was impressed with the richness of all that was on display culturally, colour-wise and much more, even in the periods when it seemed there was some disorder, even that was characterized by some rhythm that made it all the more interesting. The Cultural Day was organized by the ASSOCIATION OF ANAMBRA STATE DEVELOPMENT UNIONS, AASDU comprising of all the town unions from Anambra State in Lagos, led by its President, CHIEF BARRISTER VINCENT OSAKWE, from IFITEDUNU TOWN UNION (which he also heads), ITU-Lagos. The Practice Pitch of The National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos was the venue for this epoch making event, with His Royal Majesty, Dr. (Sir) Felix C. N. Onyimadu KSJI, JP, (Nwajiaku VI Igwe Ukpor) as the Royal Father of the Day. The celebrations started with the National Anthem, Opening Prayers, Presentation and Breaking of Kolanuts, then followed by the Chairman’s Opening Remarks. Prominent sons and daughters of Anambra who couldn't be seated in the VIP section, especially those saddled with leading and coordinating their town unions, and to receive guests were recognized. The President of the union, with members of his executive committee, members of the high table, a retinue of praise-singers and entertainers, and associated train soon went round to greet members of the town unions present and seated in canopies all around the fringes of the expansive practice pitch, while the open field was left for extraordinary displays by masquerade groups and dancers. This was followed by a march past by all the town unions present, with song, drumming and dance. Though it wasn't meant to be a political event, something akin to politics occurred when incumbent Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State, turned up to give his keynote address. Once he'd done greeting eminent personalities in the VIP section, he made a tour of all the town union canopies to wild applause by those present, many like me just out of curiosity stood just to catch a glimpse of him, while his party faithfuls and supporters, waved the (APGA) flag of his party round and about the pitch. His major contender for the gubernatorial elections in November, Dr. Tony Nwoye though not present, had his party people around distributing fliers and holding small talk with anyone willing to know a thing or two about their candidate. When the governor eventually gave his speech after the Anambra Anthem was sung (my first time of hearing such, which though was sonorous to the ears, wasn't exactly that inspiring and inspirational, in my estimation), he promised to deliver on the proposed airport, for which preliminary work had started within three years, if reelected into office, amongst other promises to yet again, wild cheers and adulation by those present. Sooner had he finished his speech than he left with his entourage, as it is with most politicians at events such as this, and the celebrations continued in earnest, especially the procession by town unions which had earlier on been truncated by, and at his arrival. Just before the parade continued, the attention of many was drawn by an activity in the camp of Awka Etiti Town Union which would later become the cynosure of all eyes for a brief while. Interestingly, they didn't even have to leave their canopy, rather they attracted interest from allover the pitch, such that their canopy was soon thronged by onlookers, initially scared that they might not be able to film proceedings of some men in priestly attire trying to invoke the spirit of their masquerade with a black earthen plate on its head, the content of which constantly emitted smoke, while their presentation lasted. It soon turned out to be a battle of masquerades and dance troupes, especially after the closing remark, vote of thanks and and closing prayer was made, with each town union trying to outdo the other with their abilities, and sometimes otherworldly acrobatics, to the delight of fun-loving revelers who by the time the major programmes of the day had been exhausted, gravitated freely to any of the groups whose antics tickled their fancy, regardless of their clan loyalties. In all, the event was a success through and through, with hardly any major hitch, besides the lack of enough food to go round in a few of the canopies, especially for those who came late, though there was more than enough to drink, alcoholic and non-alcoholic. It served an opportunity for those with families to unwind, while for the children, some of which may not have been to Anambra State, even to their villages and towns of origin in Nigeria's Southeast, or hadn't witnessed any of the sort of things they beheld yesterday in the very few days they usually spend during visits to their villages during festive periods, it was an opportunity to be acquainted with a bit of their culture. Something I'm sure is different from the Christianized Igbo culture that those kids are exposed to in school, churches or their homes (like once I watched some school children singing an Igbo church song during their schools' culture day), besides the diabolic that the Igbo culture is mostly portrayed as by Nollywood. It is my hope that subsequently, events like this will be more encompassing, to include not just Lecture and Merit Award, as well as the Cultural Day Event, that held on the 14th and 28th of October, respectively, but also such that will encourage scholarship amongst Anambra students in Lagos at all levels, if possible, even something for the kids, and women, though they also have their groups where they do their things too. From here though, one can easily tell that things can and will only get better, especially when people with vision are allowed to hold such positions where their abilities can easily be utilized to catapult Anambra State to the state of the dreams of her people, as well as positively affect the lives of Anambrarians outside of the homeland, in states like Lagos. Ndi Anambra, Ekene e Mu Unu! 'kovich ANAMBRA CULTURAL DAY CELEBRATION, 2017 Originally posted on my blog, "madukovich's cogitations".

Published by m'khail madukovich