The much awaited Ofala Festival, sponsored by Globacom, in Onitsha, Anambra State, on Friday began with a Youth Carnival organized by the Onitsha Ado Youth Council (OYC).
Various youth cultural groups including the Agbalanze (Ozo title holders), Egbenuoba (warriors of Onitsha), Egwu Edo (girls dance group), Di Okpa (family heads), Omu (bearers of children) and Otu Odu (women title holders) took part in the carnival and dancing in procession through the streets of Inland Town, Onitsha, in celebration of the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe.
Additionally, throughout the carnival, Onitsha’s rich cultural heritage was emphasized.
Several youth organizations wore clothing that reflected the various cultures of Nigeria, such as the Yoruba, Fulani, Edo, Igala, Ijaw, etc.
The young people also wore clothing that represented the “Obi of Onitsha,” “Oba of Benin,” and “Ooni of Ife” royal traditions.
The Iru Ofala and the Azu Ofala will take place on Saturday, October 14, and Sunday, October 15, respectively, according to a press release from Globacom.
The festival is used by the king to fulfill some duties, but it is mostly a celebration by the king and his subjects of his return from a yearly seclusion period, during which time he successfully negotiates the kingdom’s fortunes.
It also serves as a recreation of the traditional ruler’s celebration with his subjects over the discovery that yam is a nutritious food source and that it is non-toxic.
On Tuesday, October 17, Globacom will also hold a Royal Banquet in honor of the Obi of Onitsha at the Golden City Events Centre, located on Residency Drive in Onitsha.