Onitsha set for Ofala festival

The Onitsha Kingdom in Southeast Nigeria is agog with excitement as the commercial town awaits the Obi of Onitsha, His Majesty, Nnaemeka Achebe, to flag off the activities of 2019 edition of the annual Ofala festival.

Globacom is the major corporate sponsor of the event, and has been doing so for the past eight years, a phenomenon that has helped to upscale the festival to a world class tourism event.

The  main  Ofala features a  display  of royal dances, tributes, parades and music running  over two days commencing on  October 11 till 12. However, the activities of the festival has now been increased to include other events, to make it 10 days of unstoppable fun and entertainment for both visitors and residents.

A joint statement by the Ofala Steering Committee and Globacom, explained that the 2019 Ofala events will now include the Onitsha City Marathon, organised by the Onitsha Business School. The 21-kilometre road race has been  approved by both the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

This takes place on Saturday, October 5 and  renowned international marathoners, particularly from countries with road racing records like Kenya, Ethiopia, Ugandan and  Diaspora Nigerian elite athletes, have registered for the event.

The marathon will be followed by the Oreze Arts  VII, a group art exhibition promoted by His Majesty’s Chimedie Museum Trust Foundation and supported by the National Gallery of Art. The works of  250 artists  from various parts of the world are planned to be on display  at the show, which will run from October 9 to  October 13.  Frank Ugiomoh, Professor of Art History and Theory, Department of Fine Art and Design, University of Port Harcourt, will be the special guest of honour at the opening ceremony of the art exhibition.  A panel discussion  on the ‘Role of Art in Community Enlightenment, Cohesion and Development’ will form part of the exhibition.

Panel lists include Tayo Adenaike, Obiora Anidi, and Nneka Odoh. Others are art collector Hakeem Adedeji, and art curator Iheanyi Onwuegbucha.

About 2000 persons are expected to participate in the Ofala Youth Carnival, which is scheduled for Thursday, October10. Now in its seventh year, the carnival holds under the auspices of the Onitsha Ado Youth Council and showcases the rich cultural heritage of Onitsha.

The activities will be rounded off with a Royal Banquet, organised by Globacom in honour of the Obi of Onitsha. The banquet will be held at the Dolly Hills Hotel, Onitsha, on Monday, October 14.

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