Who killed the Nmanwu Festival at Omoba?
When I was growing up, I looked forward to going to Omoba, the headquarters of Isiala Ngwa South Local Government Area on December 26 annually for the Nmanwu festival.
It was a dream come true.
We saved our pennies to attend.
We trekked long distances to grace the occasion.
As I punch this keyboard by 4 am, I am filled with goosebumps.
A sense of De javu or nostalgic encounter.
Interestingly, my father, the Headmaster was an ardent Catholic, but he gave his blessings for my siblings and I to grace the festival.
I can still remember vividly in 1984, over 10 masquerades were on display.
Oh sure, we had fun.
We were happy.
We felt fulfilled.
We were merged with our nativity.
The crowd on such occasions were unprecedented.
People came from all walks of life to watch our Nmanwus show complex dancing steps with ‘Ikpupuru’ looking for who they will flog.
We stood in awe as we watched our cultural heritage.
The high point is always the fact our origin comes to the fore.
Also, money exchanged hands.
People so gathered sold and bought things.
This is simply marriage of money-making and culture.
I ask this day, what went wrong?
Who instructed us to abandon the ways of our forefathers?
Paddy Anyatonwu brings you a message.