The Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Alfred Achebe, has clocked 20 years on the throne and is set to celebrate it with the Ofala Festival.
Chief Mike Areh, the Chairman of the 2022 Ofala Festival Steering Committee, disclosed this during a press conference at the Ime-Obi Palace, Onitsha, Anambra State on Thursday.
Areh said the festival would hold at Ime-Obi, Onitsha on October 21 with Ofala Youths Carnival while other events would hold on October 22 and 23 with the ‘Iru Ofala’ and ‘Azu Ofala’.
He added that the carnival would be organized by the Onitsha Ado Youths Council and would showcase the rich cultural heritage of Onitsha to the global world.
He described the Ofala festival as a special celebration where the monarch feasts with his subjects after his emergence from seclusion, during which he had successfully negotiated the fortunes of the kingdom.
According to him, His Majesty, Nnaemeka Achebe, Agbogidi, Obi of Onitsha would also use the occasion of the Ofala to commemorate his 20th anniversary as monarch with thanksgiving.
Areh said this year’s festival was sponsored by Globacom, adding that subscribers would stand a chance to win gifts in special Ofala promo.
He said the Oraeze Arts Series, would take place with no fewer than 120 artists participating, adding that dignitaries from various parts of the world would grace the event.
He said: “Our monarch ascended the throne of Ezechima 20 years ago on May 14, 2002, which coincidentally was his 61st birthday.
“The Ofala is the high point of the Onitsha ceremonial cycle. The Obi of Onitsha is the celebrant of this spectacle which is rooted in deep spirituality; it is an occasion for the monarch to fulfill certain obligations.
“It is also a re-enactment of the joy which the monarch shared with his subjects, at the discovery that yam is non-toxic, and a valuable source of food,” he said.
“It is also an avenue for multi-talented and well-established artists from various parts of the world to exhibit their works, at least 120 artists will be exhibiting their works at Oreze VIII.
“A royal banquet organized by Globacom in honour of the Obi would hold on October 26 at Dolly Hills Onitsha and there will be Ofala thanksgiving at St. Stephens Anglican Church on October 30.
Speaking on the sponsorship deal, the Regional Manager, Globacom, South East Zone, Mr. Mike Ehunadu, said the partnership with the Onitsha Traditional Council had commenced in 2011.