Age-long traditional wrestling which has been part of Igbo culture has been in the decline for years now, as the people have abandoned it for western form of wrestling and other modern sporting events.
But in Ebem, the headquarters of Ohafia LGA of Abia State, the traditional game has received a reviving boost this year, as publisher of All Breaking News/All Breaking News TV ,Ifeanyi Okali has hosted the wrestling contests in Ebem Ohafia, to the excitement of the elders, traditionalists, youths and children of the ancient villages and entire Ohafia lands.
The wrestling competition which was held at Eziukwu village square precedes the 2022 Ohafia new yam festival that would soon be celebrated.
During the wrestling, junior and senior categories of wrestling competitions were held, while a mammoth crowd of natives and other residents of Ohafia, together with their invited friends from neighboring communities were at Eziukwu village square, to cheer their preferred contestants.
While the beating of the melodious beats of wrestling music and the display of friendly battles between the contestants titillated the crowd, the elders of the town nodded their heads in joy that their ancestral tradition had not gone extinct. This year’s Igba mgba were contested teenagers and youths from Ekeleugo, Eziukwu and Mgbaga clans and the winners of the battles at grand finale were rewarded with gifts. The host of 2022 edition, Mr Ifeanyi Okali who is also an executive member of Ebem Ohafia Development Union (EODU) promised that 2023 edition of the traditional wrestling competition would be more interesting than 2022 and charged Ebem Ohafia indigenes home and abroad to support the upholding and reviving of sweet cultures of the people.
He commended the paramount ruler of Ebem Ohafia ancient kingdom Kpoke 1 of Ekeleugo and the paramount ruler of Ebem Ohafia,HRH Ezie Ukoha Kalu Ukoha for his efforts in preserving the traditions of the people and praised the President-General of Ebem Ohafia Development Union, Chief Emeka Mba for creating chieftaincy and cultural committee that would work in synergy with the Eze-in-council. Okali urged the youths of his community to maintain respect for the elders and to shun immorality and violence, while advising them to learn from the virtues of their rich cultural heritage.