All attention will be at the access strip of the Efua Sutherland’s Park this Saturday, September 22, 2018, where the Eze Indi-Igbo Ghana (the King of the Igbo People in Ghana), together with His Elders, and the entire Igbo Community will mark the 2018 Igbo Day – Iriji (New Yam Festival) in Ghana.
The 2018 Igbo Day Celebration which starts at 10:00am is under the theme: “Celebrating Igbo Culture in the Diaspora”, and will be fêted amidst the display of the traditional heritage by Kings and Queens, including Royal Fathers and Mothers from the African Continent!
Present at the celebration of the 2018 Igbo Day, also, will be dignitaries from Nigeria, the United States of America, Europe, Traditional Rulers from Africa, and many more VIPs from Ghana where the Igbo Day Event is will be celebrated.
ANSWER ME: The programme will be chaired by…
The 2018 Igbo Day – New Yam Festival Fiesta, again, is being hosted by the Inducted Igbo King in Ghana HRM. Eze. Dr. Amb. Chukwudi Jude Ihenetu who initiated the well-established event in 2013! The Chiefs, Elders, and People of Igbo Kingdom in Ghana are therefore inviting the general public to be part of this noble experience; and equally be a part of the celebration at the Efua Sutherland’s Park.
The core objective of the festival is to restore the Igbo culture and tradition for the teeming Igbo sons and daughters in Ghana. Most of the Igbo people in Ghana have lost touch with the main traditional values that identified the Igbo man in the past.
Having come to settle in Ghana and having achieved a certain level of economic freedom, they have integrated into the Ghanaian society by mostly inter-marrying with Ghanaians or foreigners.
The children from these marriages and indeed children of Igbo families who have been living in the Diaspora for a long while have lost track with key aspects of Igbo culture and tradition.
ANSWER ME: Highlights of the landmark event include …
There will be the display of rich Igbo Culture for tourism relevance, interspersed with cultural performances from other African Countries, amidst drumming and dancing. Citations will also be given to Honour People of the Igbo Community, Private Organizations, Royal Fathers, Politicians and all others who have contributed significantly to the development of the Igbo Kingdom and to Ghana’s advancement!
The climax of the occasion will be the conferment of various chieftaincy titles on some deserving sons and daughters of Igbo land who have distinguished themselves in their various fields of human endeavour.
Brief background to the Iriji – New Yam Festival of the Igbos:
The Igbos of Nigeria living in Ghana, led by their King Eze Dr. Amb. Chukwudi Jude Ihenetu – since 2013 have been observing New Yam (Iriji) Festival in Accra, Ghana.
In the traditional Igbo society, which is mainly agrarian, so much emphasis is placed on the cultivation of yam; it signified wealth in ancient times. In the ancient times, a man’s wealth was measured by the number of his yam barns and the sizes.
Following tradition, the Iriji – New Yam Festival is a time of thanksgiving to God for making the yields possible and a time to pray for good yields for the next planting season. In modern times, you can equate to a time to thank God for seeing one and his family through from the beginning of the year to the present. The solemn role of eating the “First Yam” is performed by the Igwe or Eze, the Traditional Ruler. All across Igbo Land and among the Igbos in the Diaspora, the New Yam Festival is a highly captivating art event. The colourful festival is a visual spectacle of coherence, of dance, of joy and feasting, display for community members to mark the end of the cultivation season. It is a Festival where people express their gratitude to those who helped them to reap a bountiful harvest.
Brief Profile: HRM Eze Dr. Amb. Chukwudi J. Ihenetu
Eze (Dr) Ambassador Chukwudi Jude Ihenetu, Eze Ohazurume I, Eze Ndi Igbo Ghana was born in Umudoroha, Amaigbo Nwangele Local Government Area of Imo State, Nigeria. He has seven brothers and one sister as well as being third born of his family and second son.
Dr. Ambassador Chukwudi had his primary school education at Township Primary School, Nsujaba in Imo state, Nigeria. He also attended Comprehensive Secondary School at Nsujaba for his Junior Secondary School Education and proceeded to Government Technical School Owerri, Imo state, Nigeria; and later pursued a course in Political Science at the Lagos State University.
Eze Dr. Ambassador Chukwudi Jude Ihenetu came to Ghana as a businessman in 1995 and delivered goods such as spare parts and calculators. When he discovered that Ghana was conducive for investment, given the peace in the country, coupled with the traditional Ghanaian hospitality, he decided to settle. He got married in 1998 to his beautiful wife; Lady Liberty Quarnoo; and today, God has blessed them with five children – three girls and two boys..
It is a known fact that Eze Dr. Ambassador Chukwudi Jude Ihenetu is from the same blood lineage of King Jaja of Opobo who is a Direct Senior Brother to Eze Chukwudi’s Great Grandfather called Eze_Alah Okwara Ozurumba. Their father was called Okwara Ozurumba. He had six children of which King Jaja of Opobo is the fifth son while Eze_Alah Okwara Ozurumba was the last and sixth born. Thus Okwara Ozurumba had six children of which King Jaja of Opobo is the fifth son while his great grandfather is the last and the sixth born. It is the same blood lineage that Eze Dr. Ambassador Chukwudi is coming from.
Thus coming from the same blood as King Jaja of Opobo who was King over the Opobos, today, in the same way and manner, God has elevated Eze Dr. Ambassador Chukwudi Jude Ihenetu and made him the Igwe of the Igbos in Ghana.
There is a saying that: “wherever you go – if you do not see an Igbo man there – pack your bag and baggage and leave”. Eze Dr. Ambassador Chukwudi Jude Ihenetu – Eze Ohazurume I, was crowned Eze Ndi Igbo Ghana on the 30th of August, 2012 by the President of Presidents Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo in Diaspora Oliver Akubueze – alongside other First Class Traditional Rulers and the Igbo Elders in Ghana.
Before ascending the throne, he was a private businessman with investments in Oil, Real Estate, Agriculture, Telecommunications, Transport and Entertainment.
In a related development, the Chief of Staff of the Igbo Kingdom in Ghana – Chief Harisson Karlo Mba has called on all Nigerians living in Ghana to adhere to the laws of Ghana so that they continue to live in the country in peace since many Ghanaians are also married to Nigerians.
By Frank OSEI AFRANE