The 2023 Ofala Festival, sponsored by telecoms operator, Globacom, began on Friday in Onitsha, Anambra State, with the Youth Carnival organised by the Onitsha Ado Youth Council (OYC).
Youth cultural groups such as 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) participated in the carnival, dancing through the streets of Inland Town, Onitsha, in celebration of the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe.
The carnival was also used to showcase the rich cultural heritage of Onitsha indigenes. Nigeria’s diverse cultures were also on display as different youth groups dressed to represent the Yorubas, the Fulanis, Edos, Igalas, Ijaws, etc. There were also “Obi of Onitsha”, “Oba of Benin”, and “Oni of Ife” among the youths.
A statement by Globacom indicates that the Ofala celebrations will continue with the Iru Ofala on Saturday, October 14, and the Azu Ofala on Sunday, October 15.
The festival is used by the monarch to perform certain obligations, and is mainly a celebration by the monarch and his subjects of his annual emergence from seclusion, during which period he successfully negotiated the fortunes of the kingdom. It is also a re-enactment of the joy which the traditional ruler shared with his subjects at the discovery that yam is non-toxic, and is a valuable source of food.
Globacom will also host a Royal Banquet in honour of the Obi of Onitsha on Tuesday, October 17. The banquet will be held at the Golden City Events Centre, Residency Drive, Onitsha.