It is said that some things are better witnessed than narrated. The event that took place on the 30th of December 2021 in Umueziogwu, Uzoagba in Ikeduru Local Government Area (LGA) of Imo State is now engraved in memories of the witnesses, documented for references, but must be told for historical, informative, academic, cultural and future purposes.
What a day! What an Ofala! The palatial home of Chief (Prof) Chimezie Anosike Kingsley (Ebubemba) (KSC) and wife Mrs Maureen Nneka Kingsley (Odiuko na Mba), the “Obi Ebubemba” hosted the crème de la crème of the Igbo culture and tradition.
The Ofala also brought the best heads and minds of the Igbo society together and never lost its cultural vibes despite the crystal clear intellectual capacities of the men and women, captains of industries and business moguls present at the occasion which shook the very foundation Ikeduru LGA stands on.
The exceptional vitality and vivacity of Ebubemba and his Lolo (Queen) caught the attention of everyone and served as the catalyst to the liveliness of the Ofala from the beginning to the end.
The constant greetings of their too many special guests and unstoppable dances did little to dampen their ardour, as they stead strong and come out refreshed and anew whenever they enter the “Ime Obi Ebubemba” (Inside Ebubemba’s Palace) and come out.
Prominent Traditional Rulers within Ikeduru and Imo State were led by the Chairman, Ikeduru Traditional Rulers Council, His Royal Highness Eze Peter Njoku of Umuri-Amaimo, His Royal Highness Eze Marcel Ejemonu (Ebi of Ebikoro) and His Royal Highness Eze Oliver Njoku of Abazu community to the Ofala.
The Ofala was rich in entertainment because, Chief Anenechukwu Uba, (Eze-Uzu Na Ichida), the Ambassador of Igbo Culture in the South East of Nigeria dazzled the guests with his majestic entrance into the Obi Ebubemba.
Eze Uzu na Ichida exhilarated everyone at the venue with his skilful traditional moves, extra special attire and atypical entourage with uncommon traditional mannerism.
Just as the guests, friends, well-wishers, business partners of Ebubemba, Uzoagba people and the entire Ikeduru were yet to digest the traditional performance presented to them by Eze Uzu Ichida, Ambassador Francis Akunne (Igwe Credo) took the stage.
Igwe Credo who came from the cradle of Igboland, Agukwu-Nri Ancient Kingdom saturated the atmosphere with his “Egwu Arobinagu” (a special traditional song done with words and flute) that got everyone thrilled.
The guest got an overdose of the entertainment galore when, Igbo’s famous and foremost Town Crier, Fenfe Pericoma from Arondiuzogu, took the stage to demonstrate that the gifts of his father, Chief Pericoma Mezuo Okoye, one of Igbo’s greatest singers and traditionalists live on despite his exit from the earth.
The entertainment part of the Ofala was taken to a different dimension when Frank Ifeanyi Dons (Anyi Dons Onye Ichaka), the Master of Ichaka Music, took the stage and electrified the atmosphere, charged it to the highest capacity and set everywhere on fire of excitement with his unique sound and voice.
The unique voice of Chinonso Uba (Nonsonkwa) and MC Elegam Face got the ribs of the guests cracking with laughter as both men behind the microphone displayed their talking skills with entertaining grandiloquent verbosity both in Igbo and English language to the excitement of everyone.
Not forgetting Ikegod who performed with great vigour and did his things with special songs which he is always known for all over Igbo-land.
Ebubemba lived up to his name, as guests were served with different delicacies at a prompt time and according to their demands and choices. Words to describe the quality and varieties of drinks served at the Ofala are yet to be created in the lexicon of both Igbo and English language.
One of the important numerous highlights of the occasion was the decoration of Hon Hilary Ugochukwu Nwachukwu aka Ugo-Sly (Eriri Ego) as one of the Ambassadors of News Echo Newspaper and News Insider Magazine by two other Ambassadors of the publications, Hon. Calistus Mbaoma and Ugwumba Jude Opara.
Speaking after the decoration, Ugo-Sly said, “This is an embarrassment on the positive side. I never expected it. My heart is gladdened because I’m here with my brother Ebubemba.
“I’m happy I’m appreciated not because of what I’m doing now but because of what I’ve done before. You know that what Ebubemba is doing is good. When you come to a conclusion and you see things not going right, what you should do as a human being is to right the wrong.
“We belong to the same generation and we’ve come to fight the spiritual wickedness in the high and low places. We’ve not come to remove, rather we’ve come to add. So I thank you, everyone.”
He also made a handsome donation for the growth of News Echo Newspaper and News Insider Magazine and wished everyone a great new year ahead.
There was also the presentation of gifts from News Echo Newspaper and Insider Magazine crew to Chief Mrs Maureen Nneka Kingsley which was done by the Chairman of the occasion, Osimiri Ikeduru.
Mrs Maureen Nneka Kingsley, after receiving the gift said, “To all the members of the Staff of the News Echo Newspaper and News Insider Magazine, I appreciate you all. I’m overwhelmed. I never expected this from you guys.
“I’m humbled. May my God God continue to bless you all. Thank you all for your support and your contributions. Editor, General Manager, News Editor, I thank you all.”
Always accompanied by his Lolo as he moved around the different canopies to greet his guests, Ebubemba welcomed everyone at the Ofala which he described as first of its kind within the area.
He took time to explain the history and origin of Ofala which is very much popular around Igbo Riverine Towns and majorly communities in Anambra State.
Ebubemba thanked Ikeduru and Uzoagba people, friends and well-wishers for honouring the invitation to come to his Ofala. He described the presence of the entire guests as a mark of love and honour did to him and his family.
He said, “I thank everyone who came from different places. I thank my in-laws from Anambra State, those from Enugu, those who came from Lagos and others who came from Australia to participate in the Ofala. I thank Austin (Mortgage) Charles Container, Confidence, a strong woman.
“I also thank Mr Bartholomew Uneze who also came from Australia. I also thank the Uzoagba Stars Club. They’re the owners of the house. I thank the Chairman of this occasion, Osimiri Ikeduru. The president of Uzoagba Stars, Chief Tony Ndu (Omekagu), I thank you.
“Anyone who ignores his kinsmen will always walk alone. I also thank my wife for her support. I thank the wives of members of Uzoagba Stars Club. Your support for us has pushed us to do exploit and we’re proud of you our wives.
“I thank my mother, my mother-in-law, my siblings, nephews and nieces. I also thank Mr Steven Ibe, a renowned geologist that also came from Australia to witness this with us.
“I also thank News Echo team and De King Printing hub as well as youths of Uzoagba. I especially thank Eze Uzu na Ichida. He is a great man. I also thank Anyi Dons Onye Ichaka, Igwe Credo, Fenfe Pericoma, the great Igbo Town Crier.
“I also thank the masquerade group from Iho who came here to display our culture for all to see. I also thank our brother Ikegod. I wish to special thank K Cee Voice (Ugochinyere), a great man. I say may God guide everyone back to their destinations. I thank you all.”