Onitsha Kingdom Ofala Festival 2019 Begins October 5
BY SUNNY DAVID
The 2019 edition of the annual Ofala festival of Onitsha kingdom, Anambra state, will begin on Saturday, October 5, at the palace of Obi of Onitsha, His Majesty, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe.
The festival which is sponsored by data grandmasters, Globacom, will not only display the rich cultural heritage of Onicha Ado NIdu, but it will also be ten days of glamour and entertainment for both visitors and residents.
This was announced via a joint statement signed by the chairman of the Ofala Steering Committee, Chief Prof. Ngozi Okafo, the Ogene Onira of Onitsha, and Globacom, represented by Mr. Augustine Mamuro.
According to the statement, the ceremony will start with the maiden edition of the Onitsha City Marathon, organised by the Onitsha Business School, on October 5.
The 21-kilometre Road race has been approved by both the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).
Many renowned international marathoners particularly from countries with road racing records such as Kenya, Ethiopia, Ugandan and Diaspora Nigerian elite athletes are expected to participate in the event.
This will be followed by the Oreze Arts VII, a Group Art exhibition promoted by Igwe Achebe’s Chimedie Museum Trust Foundation and supported by the National Gallery of Art. The works of 250 artists from various parts of the world will be displayed at the show which will run from October 9 to October 13.
Frank Ugiomoh, Professor of Art History and Theory, Department of Fine Art and Design, University of Port Harcourt will be the special guest of honour at the opening ceremony of the art exhibition.
A panel discussion on the Role of Art in Community Enlightenment, Cohesion and Development will form part of the exhibition. Panelists include such artists like Tayo Adenaike, Obiora Anidi, and Nneka Odoh. Others are art collector, Hakeem Adedeji, and art curator, Iheanyi Onwuegbucha, the statement disclosed.
Ofala Youth Festival will be held on Thursday, October 10, and will feature about 2000 persons. Now in its seventh year, the carnival holds under the auspices of the Onitsha Ado Youth Council and showcases the rich cultural heritage of Onitsha.
The Ofala proper which is a display of royal dances, tributes, parades and music running over two days, will take place on October 11 and 12.
The scope of the festival has been widened, with various events now part of the celebrations. The activities will be rounded off with a Royal Banquet, organised by Globacom in honour of the Obi of Onitsha. The banquet will be held at the Dolly Hills Hotel, Onitsha, on Monday, October 14.
The statement also revealed that both Onicha Ado NIdu and Globacom looked forward to a continued partnership such that Globacom as major sponsor would, in its usual manner, make contributions towards the growth and development of the festival.
Ofala was recently endorsed by the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation, the apex tourism Regulatory Agency in the country as a major Nigerian festival.
Steeped in deep spirituality, the Ofala is the highpoint of the Onitsha ceremonial cycle. It is a celebration by the Obi and his subjects to mark the Monarch’s annual emergence from seclusion, during which period he has successfully negotiated the fortunes of the kingdom. The Ofala also marks the homecoming of Onitsha indigenes