Published On: Wed, Aug 12th, 2015

Eko-o-ni-baje New Yam festival

New Yam festival

ADEOLA OGUNRINDE

Culture lovers in Ibeju Lekki, Local Government Area of Lagos, should be getting ready for fun as this year’s Eko Onibaje New Yam and beach festival organised by Castel Down Art Centre, a Lagos-based cultural promotion outfit holds on Friday September 18.

 

Ozo Chinedu Idezuna, a.k.a Ezemoo Africa, the promoter of the festival who spoke ahead of this year’s outing said the festival would commence with Miss Eko Onibaje beauty pageant at Ibeju Lekki on Friday September 11. Other events lined up in this year’s cultural feast includes traditional wrestling, cultural dance performance, masquerades, palm wine drinking and many other thrills.

The cultural outing according to Idezuna is aimed at fostering unity among Nigeria’s various ethnic groups. This year’s event will be celebrated with pomp and ceremony.

Idezuna said the Oba of Ibeju Lekki, His Royal Majesty Oba Olusegun Salami, the Onibeju of Ibejuland will be the royal father of the event, as well as other dignitaries expected to be at the event.

 

Grand finale of the event however, comes up on Saturday September 19, at Eleko Beach.

The promoter gave reason why the yearly event, has become very significant.

“For years, several outcry have echoed the need for Federal government and private sector to look inwards into the non-oil sector of the economy. This clarion call was seen as a way out of the dependence on oil as the mainstay of the Nigerian economy. The searchlight beamed into several other revenue potential and tourism, culture.

 

“This objective spurred the establishment of Eko Onibaje New Yam and beach festival with the aim of promoting tourism and culture. The beautiful and serene Ibeju Lekki area of Lagos became the takes off point of a celebration of a united Nigeria with culture and tourism as a pivot. This initial idea of just an atmosphere to share yam as entrenched in Igbo culture of Nigeria metamorphosed into a gathering of several cultures such as the Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa and other ethnic groups.”

 

The yearly festival now in its seventh edition is packaged as a festive campaign for awareness of culture and tourism. It also inculcates programmes that offer young talents opportunities for wide exposure.

Meanwhile, the festival which holds every September in Ibeju Lekki, Lagos, has added yet another admirer to its growing list of supports, the Nigerian Field Society.

This support by the Field Society for the festival was formally acknowledged when the society paid a visit to Idezuna in Ibeju Lekki recently.

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