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Eziowele to mark flogging festival

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THE five major villages of Eziowele,  in Idemili-North Local Government Area of Anambra State, comprising Umuikpele, Umunnama, Ezi-Nimo, Okpalikpo and Obulu are currently gearing up for the annual esoteric Flogging of Cane Cultural Festival called Elimede in the area.

  Eziowele is said to be an ancient kingdom with very rich cultural heritage handed down to the descendants by their forebears. The town, which has 20 political wards is currently in very high spirits this festive season as it looks forward to a mass return of her Indigenes from far and near to celebrate the annual historic flogging of cane cultural carnival which takes effect from 2nd January, 2022.

  Elimede is said to be an age-long custom and tradition of Eziowele people. It is an occasion to pour libations and thank the gods for bountiful harvest in the previous year while they prepare the grounds for another planting season. It is also an occasion for elderly women of the community to pray and commit the land in the hands of the gods.

   Elimede Cultural Festival in Eziowele  is a time for friendships which eventually metamorphosed into long lasting relationships and marriages. It is equally a time for people to initiate businesses and all forms of social intercourse. Elimede is a period for people to meet and make merry as they feast their eyes on masquerade displays, wrestling matches, flogging of cane contests, cultural dances to mention just a few of the side attractions. It is a time everyone earnestly longed for with enthusiasm and great expectations.

  To this end, the national president of the Anambra State Association of Town Unions (ASATU) and President-General, Eziowele, Chief Titus Nnabuike Akpudo said activities had been lined up to make the forthcoming Eziowele Elimede Cultural Festival a huge success.

  Akpudo, who spoke with our correspondent at the ASATU Secretariat Complex, Government House, Awka, said from December 26, football tournaments will commence across the villages while December 27 is Eziowele Annual Cultural Festival. He said that the mother of all the cultural events in Eziowele community is the Elimede Cultural Festival.

  The Eziowele President-General said neighbouring communities of Abagana, Umunachi, Abacha and some others do celebrate it too. He said Elimede Festival holds from 2nd to 4th January every year. According to him, ”  Elimede Festival is normally a festival in preparation for new farming season. It is also an elderly women’s festival but the menfolk use the opportunity to showcase their strength either through masquerades or without masquerades.

   “It normally goes with flogging of cane and sometimes, we set awards for the best masquerades. It is just entertainment and nothing more. Women and girls rush the flogging contestants because of their brilliant exceptional skills. The Elimede Festival opens door to a lot of relationships which most times, end up in marriages and business transactions. Also, the economy of the community is at its peak because all the restaurants and joints will be busy and a lot of money exchange hands. “

  The ASATU National President said that the EzioweleElimede Festival and cultural festivals of other communities in Anambra State were being compiled by the ASATU National Secretariat for onward presentation to the state government to determine how the programmes can be made more commercial and beneficial for both government and the communities respectively.

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