Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha
It was a cultural carnival at the fourth College Day of the Nwafor Orizu College of Education, Nsugbe, Anambra State, recently. Colourful costumes, cultural attire, drums, dances and masquerades were on parade.
The carnival train took off from the provost’s office, otherwise known as ‘Aso Rock,’ with the provost, Dr. Ifeyinwa Osegbo, leading the procession, followed by the registrar’s office, bursar’s office, librarian’s office and then different deans and heads of departments with their students.
There was no exemption as the management, staff and students, in their colourful consumes, joined the procession from ‘Aso Rock’ through the first gate of the college to the 3-3 Road, the second gate of the college and terminated at the school arena, where the main ceremony took place. They went round the arena, to the admiration of a cheering crowd that had already gathered at the place.
At the arena, there were performances by the college’s music department, performance by a guest troupe (Nkpokiti Dance Group), demonstration by primary and secondary schoolchildren from Awka and other schools, as well as fashion parade by the Department of Business Education.
Also, there were some masquerade displays such as the Eagle, Ijele by the Igbo Department and Izaga, among others. An egg race by the management staff of the college drew a lot of attention, like the water game by the deans and directors of the college. In addition, there was a beauty pageant organised by the Students’ Union Government, where a new Most Beautiful Girl in the College was crowned after outings and display of costumes and talents. It was no doubt a battle of beauty and brains.
Chairman on the occasion, director of Part-Time Programmes of the college, Dr. Ndu Azubuike, spoke on the essence of the social activities. He said the carnival as an event started in South America and later spread to other parts of the world, including Africa, noting that the Calabar Street Carnival still remained the biggest in Nigeria.
He said that the carnival was an avenue to showcase cultural heritage through the colourful attire and costumes, stressing that it has also become a veritable means of revenue for the country and states through tourism.
Osegbo described the college carnival as a means of bringing the management, staff and students together in a cultural way to mark the College Day in grand style. She disclosed that it was initiated four years ago by her predecessor and she sustained it due to its relevance in uniting the college.
The provost expressed the hope that the carnival would grow to be like other big carnivals in Nigeria that would attract global attention, tourists and generate revenue for the school and the state, respectively.
Osegbo noted that, as the eagle, which is desirous and always wants to attain and achieve its aim, the staff and students should be focused and determined to achieve their aim and succeed, with the sky becoming their limit.
“It is a day we set aside to be together as one family. It is not all study all the time because ‘all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.’ It is a time we display our cultural heritage, show our way of life, have fun, play together with staff and students. We learn every day and it is not only in the classroom that we learn, we also learn from this type of ceremony, because some of the students don’t know some cultures and, through this event, they would be accustomed with culture and as well participate in other social activities.
“The theme of the carnival is ‘Optimism.’ It is determination that would make you to attain the height you want in life. In whatever thing we are doing, we should be focused and serious to achieve success and never look back or be distracted,” the provost said.
Departments and groups who excelled in different categories of the event went home with various prizes.