By CHIKA CHIMEZIE
After months of working on the project, the Central Working Committee (CWC) of the Ogbunike Cave Carnival (OCC) has finally unveiled plans for this year’s show. Ever since the maiden edition was staged in 2013, in Ogbunike Town, Oyi LGA, Anambra State, the carnival has continued to grow and expand in terms of content and packaging.
According to the Project Manager of the carnival, Adaeze Uzodoh, this year’s edition, which will run for three days (December 30, 31 and January1, 2017), will set the tone for a new era in the life of the carnival.
“We are delighted to announced that we are ready to stage this year’s carnival. Over the last few months, the Central Working Committee has been working underground on how to make this year’s outing a success. Today, I want to announce that we are ready to host the country,” she said.
Meanwhile, this year’s edition is set aside to celebrate the traditional ruler of Ogbunike Community, HRH, Igwe John Ositadimma Umenyiora (Ezedioramma 1 of Ogbunike) on his 75th birthday and 40 years on the throne of Ogbunike. The main celebration holds on December 26 with the Ofala Festival, where the people will have opportunity to pay homage to one of the longest serving traditional rulers in the state.
However, the Carnival proper will kick off on December 30, with the Five-Aside Football Tournament, a one-day competition among eight teams that will see the winning team win a trophy and cash prize. This will be followed by Sport Parade, which will see football fans, clad in their different club jerseys, parade with the winning team to the market square (Oyeolisa Market), with a traditional Ogene music leading the train.
The day two of the event, which holds on December 31, will feature the traditional Ogbunikewalk4life (Street Carnival), starting from 7.30am. The carnival float will take off from the Ogbunike Town Hall, through the usual routes, to the Round Palace of Igwe Ogbunike, HRH John Ositadimma Umenyiora, where guests will pay homage to the King.
From the palace, the train will move to the Cave, where visitors and tourist will have the opportunity of exploring the tourist destination that has put Ogbunike community on the world map. The day will wrap with the Carnival Concert/New Year Countdown by 6pm, at the Town Hall, with different musicians and comedians on parade.
On New Year Day, Ada Ogbunike Beauty Pageant will take centre stage. The event, which will see pretty Ogbunike ladies contest for the Ada Ogbunike crown, will be spiced with musical and comedy performances.
“For now, we are giving details of the events, but at the right time, we are going to give a complete prgramme schedule for the carnival. However, we promise you that this year will be the best,” Uzodoh, the CEO of LIBDEZ Solutions assured.
She therefore called on coporate organizations and government agencies to come and support the initiative.
“We want to use this opportunity to invite sponsors and supporter to join us this year; we are open to all forms of partnership. This year, we are going to surprise guests with the package we’ve been working on. I can assure you that we’ve taken care of all the logistics involved, including security. We look forward to hosting all of you this year, as you come to explore our natural heritage,” she said.
Meanwhile, application is now open for contestants willing to be part of this year’s Ada Ogbunike Beauty Pageant. According to the Head Communications, Casmir Obiegbolu, all participants must be between the ages of 18 and 25 years old, be Ogbunike indigene and must be of good health and character.
“She must not be married, mothers or pregnant and should be able to speak fluent English and Igbo. We are searching for young Ogbunike ladies across the globe (home and in diaspora) to be part of this great opportunity. This is an opportunity to become a cultural ambassador of Ogbunike and help promote our culture. Interested participants should contact 08181873125, 08122142710, 07039400407 or whatsapp 07067579928 for the application form. You can also visit www.ogbunike.ng or ourfacebook.com/ogbunikecavecarnival for more details,” he said.
First hosted in 2013 by 90 Degrees Entertainment, Ogbunike Cave Carnival (OCC), which is now staged in collaboration with LIBDEZ Solutions, is a three-day festival centered on Ogbunike Cave, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.