The festival which has become an upstage event for the people and stakeholders with collective shared sense of responsibilities in the development of arts and culture is gradually evolving into an oak.
In a press statement, Arc. Kester Ifeadi, president, OFAAC, said that this year’s festival is significant because the year mark the beginning of a new phase in the life of OFAAC. Eleven years of existence, “we remain focus, despite numerous challenges, drawing strength from God the creator and from relevant stakeholders who have remained resolute in their supports and encouragement for OFAAC and its cultural activities. Anioma Cultural Festival now in its 11th year has continued to attract interest from far and near, we give thanks to God”.
The theme for this year’s festival is The Values that Unite us, Ifeadi stated that the theme is apt, at a time like this, there is need to bring to fore the many values that unite us as a people. No doubt, Anioma is noted for its peaceful disposition with so many value systems and as such people need to co-exist in love for the common good of all.
Telecom giants, MTN and Grand Oaks Nigeria Limited, makers of Seaman’s Schnapps, are sponsoring this year’s event. And over 180 dance groups, along with other performing arts and exhibitors from the various communities in the nine local government area of Delta North Senatorial districts and beyond are billed for this year’s festival. The Asagba of Asaba, Obi (Prof.) Chike Edozien will lead the crème de la crème of over 80 royal monarchs in Anioma and outside Anioma land to the festival.
The categories of dance to be competed for at this year’s festival are Egwu-Ajah – maidens dance arts, Agwuba-royal dance arts, the vibrant Uloko dance and the scintillating dance arts of Anioma kids in primary/secondary school category. Other activities lined up include traditional wrestling challenge, fashion display, arts and crafts exhibition, raffle draws with loads of exciting prizes and a royal banquet amongst others. Best performing groups from different categories will be awarded cash prizes of different sum and interesting gifts from MTN and Grand Oaks Nigeria Limited makers of Seaman’s Schnapps major sponsors of Anioma festival.
“Our goal is to help preserve, promote and advance the appreciation and development of the rich cultural heritage of Anioma people and Nigeria in general” said Ifeadi. There are so many exciting ideas turning into a reality because of the vision and enthusiasm people at the grassroots including royal monarchs continue to have for ensuring their communities are part of OFAAC activities and ultimately get the attention they deserve.
Anioma Cultural Festival is deeply rooted in communities in Anioma land and the people take pride in their legendary traditional attires, dance, music, historical artifacts/crafts and cuisine. The Festival which is usually presented tnas an avenue to entertain diverse audience of culture enthusiasts and music lovers are exposed to the rich heritage of the Afro-centric nature of Anioma dance art. The festival is today reputed as the finest cultural event in Delta State attracting sons and daughters of Anioma both at home and in the Diasporas in addition to thousands of festival attendees each year.