It’s Amannagwu Again!
Amannagwu Village, for the second consecutive year, emerged winners of the 2014 Eke Ekpe cultural festival which took place on Saturday September 20, at Amaikpe Square, Obinkita. At the event, Umu Aro turned out in their large numbers, accompanied by their guests from other communities outside Arochukwu. Eke Epke activities commenced with the presentation of trophies and medals to the winners of the PG Cup. After the arrival of special guests including the Eze Aro-in-Council, the villages commenced the traditional display of masquerades and traditional dances to the admiration of the spectators. As it had become customary, each village was given 10 minutes to perform with a panel of judges scoring them.
Ujari presented two dance groups, while Amuvi presented a dance group as well as Nmanwu. The scintillating performance of Amannagwu which presented Amarigwe, brought some spectators to the edge of their seats, in the bid to catch a glimpse of the thrilling dance steps. The young men who performed the ancient war dance were clad in joji wrapper with their bodies well illustrated with white chalk (Nzu) in line with the rule of the game. Most of them carried carved wooden machetes while the leaders had carved wooden guns. Eze Ezeagwu, Mazi Okoroafor Uro joined the dancer, and admirably displayed rare skills, eliciting applause from the crowd. Ndi Abah from Isimkpu were in their usual elements. Leaders of the village kept them under close watch as they had earlier signed an undertaking to be of good conduct. Their display also added fun to an already exciting evening.
The judges had a herculean task deciding the winners of this year’s event. After a brainstorming session, the panel announced Amannagwu overall winners, while Obinkita and Atani villages emerged first and second runners up respectively. The general turnout at this year’s Eke Ekpe was impressive and the event was one of the best organized in recent times. It was announced that from next year, any Nwa Aro that wears trousers to Eke Ekpe will be penalized – Ngwa Isii. The party train thereafter moved to the residence of Dr. Joyce Nkemakolam who hosted guests to a lavish ceremony.