It was celebration of culture, tradition and longevity as the ancient Igbo-Ukwu community in Aguata local government area of Anambra State celebrated their Igbu Ichi festival.
The highly colourful occasion took place at Shaw Institute of Cultural Arts(SICA) Igbo-Ukwu.
The community actually played host to eminent personalities from all over the world who came in to be part of the epoch making event.
The 2021 Igbo-Ukwu Igbu Ichi festival featured the centenary celebration of the sole surviving Nze with the ichi marks in the Igbo-Ukwu, Nze George Umeokonkwo Umennadi and Igbo-Ukwu History Lecture.
The Igbu Ichi festival was not just colorful, it was also entertaining and educative.
The program for the day actually kick started with Igbo-Ukwu History Lecture chaired by Chief Chris Ezeh.
A prominent historian scholar, Prof Onwuka Njoku delivered a lecture on a topic ‘Toward Igbo History’
The erudite professor noted that what makes an Igboman different from any other person from the north or west is not his physical attributes.
He said that the distinguishing factor remains that of culture and tradition.
Prof Njoku during his lecture examined contemporary state of Igbo history, why Igbo history is what it is today and the way forward.
He encouraged the Igbo to give their culture and tradition the seriousness it deserves as it is done in other climes.
“Ndigbo are enigma to themselves and to other Nigerians, they are the least studied, least understood and most construed,” he noted.
Prof Njoku identified the description of artefacts in Igboland by the early Christian missionaries as one of the reasons that negatively impacted historical research.
“When we call the artefacts negative names and discard them, what about the history behind the artefacts? he quipped.
The History Professor urged Ndigbo to ensure that they speak Igbo Language to their children at home and as well as educate the children on Igbo cultural values and tradition as a way of self-discovery.
He also called for synergy among Igbo historians.
Humphrey Obikwelu who presented a paper on ‘The state of history of Igbo-Ukwu’ established the historical significance of ‘Nkwo’ Igbo-Ukwu and the artifacts discovered by Thustan Shaw and his colleagues.
He pointed out that Igbo-Ukwu occupies a special centrality in Igboland just as the ancient Igbo-Ukwu played prominent role in the practice of ‘Igbo’ Medicine.
Obikwelu noted that Igbo-Ukwu was known as Igbo before Ukwu was added to it in 1930s.
The lecture was followed immediately by a special centenary reception for Nze George Umeokonkwo Umennadi.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed was represented at the occasion by Mrs Rose Kwarsen, Head of Department, Cultural Industries and Heritage.
The chairman organizing committee, Chief Berth Ndibe thanked every individual who contributed one way or the other towards the success of the 2021 Igbo-Ukwu Igbu Ichi celebration.