IWAJI, the annual new yam festival in Igboland has been described as a veritable tool in advancing the Igbo culture, as nothing binds and unites a people as its culture. Igbo culture is a heritage that should live for posterity.
President-General, Ihembosi Progressive Assembly,Christopher Ihueze stated this at the 2020 new yam festival held at Central School field, Ihembosi,Ekwusiogo LGA.
Prof. Ihueze said festivals in general are expressive way to celebrate heritage, culture and traditions. That people are meant to rejoice and share special moments with their loved ones. Festivals like this play an important role, it adds significance to our social lives and connect us with our families and backgrounds.
“The new yam festival in Ihembosi serves the purpose of bringing happiness to our lives and strengthens our sense of unity. It is a season when majority of our people are at home for socialisation. The celebration is a confirmation of the collective experience of Igbo cultural values and also aimed to stimulate the consciousness of our youths. Our people see this period as a time of mass return; hence many events come up in the town during this period,” he noted.
An indigene of the town, Fabian Nwosu, said Ihembosi has always cherished its culture which the present generation would like to preserve for posterity. He thanked everyone present to witness the 2020 new yam festival appreciating God for life amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Another indigene of Ihembosi, Ebuka Onunkwo, while thanking God for His immense protection and guidance amid the pandemic, said, “as you can see we are wearing face mask to comply with COVID-19 protocols but most importantly is the good mood brought by the new yam festival. I pray that next year’s festival will be more entertaining.”
The festival featured iwaji by the oldest man in Umuohi village, football match, traditional wrestling, fashion parade, farmers’ competition, and traditional dance.