From Eziomume Solomon, Nnewi
Arguably, world’s longest serving monarch, Igwe (Dr) Kenneth Orizu III of Nnewi in Nnewi North Local Government Area of Anambra State, will December 28, mark his 57th anniversary on the throne with yet another Ofala.
Nothing is being held back as Nnewi people will roll out the drums to celebrate the event which coincides with his 95th birthday. As part of activities slated for the auspicious occasion, the monarch will be inaugurating a museum at his palace.
Chairman of Igwe Orizu 2020 Ofala Planning Committee, Ezechukwu Nsoedo, told Daily Sun that the museum would house different relics and ancient monuments of previous monarchs.
Flanked by the committee secretary, Emmanuel Unigwe, Nsoedo said: “The ultramodern Igwe Orizu museum, recently completed, will be officially opened on December 28, as part of the Ofala activities. The museum houses old things used by Igwe Orizu I and Igwe Orizu II, as well as other significant relics got from different villages and towns around Nnewi”.
Nsoedo also noted that former governor of Akwa Ibom, Godswill Akpabio, who started the museum when he was governor, as well as Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State are expected to grace the fiesta; adding that worthy sons and daughters of the community, as well as friends from both public and private services, who have distinguished themselves and contributed to the development of Nnewi, will be honoured with chieftaincy titles.
“The museum was started by Godswill Akpabio when he was governor of Akwa Ibom State. He is a chieftaincy title holder in Nnewi, as well as member of Nnewi council. He will be expected at the Ofala festival,” he added.
He continued: “The festival, which will take place 28th and 29th of December, will provide new dimension to the fiesta by introducing unique cultural activities and entertainments.
“On 28, the Ofala festival will be kick-started with religious service. Again, apart from opening the museum same 28, Igwe Orizu will be receiving visitors from all walks of life, as we as bestowing titles on deserving sons, daughters and friends. Meanwhile, night before the Ofala day, Nnewi will be agog with activities, as the town will be marking special cultural day prelude to the Ofala proper. This activity will witness heavy youth participation.
“29th December will also be activity filled, because, unlike before, many cultural and musical performances will commence by 9am; so that natives and visitors alike will be continually entertained till the evening hours, when masquerades will be on display.”
He also added that the well-known Abiriba dance troupe, Mkpokiti, the dance troupe from Oba Nsukka, as well as the Inyikiriputu musical troupe from Nnewi will also be performing to add colour to the festival.