A cultural proponent, Chief Mrs. Uche Ezeoke has canvassed for the revival of masquerade festival in the South-East as part of efforts aimed at promoting the rich Igbo cultural heritage and tradition.
Chief Mrs Ezeoke made the call at Amichi in Nnewi South Local Government Area during her installation as Mother of Masquerades of the community.
Chief Mrs Ezeoke who hails from Ndikelionwu and married to Amichi said that she will partner the Anambra State government and meet with relevant stakeholders to ensure that the age-long Masquarade festival is revived.
The event held at the palace of the traditional ruler of Amichi, Igwe Alphonsus Ezeoke, amidst pomp and pageantry was a renaissance of the Igbo age-long culture and tradition and promoting them beyond the borders of the Igbo nation.
Speaking after the installation, Chief Mrs Ezeoke said she practices, love and promotes culture despite her education, the reason why she was made Mother of Masquerades Amichi and also Mother of Masquarades Ndikelionwu in her community of origin in 2010.
She expressed worry on how the Igbo people disregard their culture and promote foreign culture, a situation she said does not define who the Igbos are.
She bemoaned that the people have been bought over by Christianity, because Christianity has made them wash away their culture and tradition, but according to her Christianity can be merged with culture because the Whiteman promotes its culture despite its religion.
Chief Mrs Ezeoke, the only woman cabinet member of Igwe in Council in Amichi, said with her position as mother of Masquarades she will create awareness and reactivate the Masquarades festival.
The traditional ruler of Amichi, Igwe Alphonsus Ezeoke, while performing the kolanut ritual, prayed for the mother of Masquarades and called for the inclusiveness of women in the Igbo culture, while adding that she deserved the accolade for championing the course of culture in the community.
Igwe Ezeoke emphasized that the Igbo culture is already dying, saying that such an event will reawaken the culture of the people, and called on the entire Igbo people to uphold their culture and tradition.
In an interview the Councilor representing Amichi Ward One and a cabinet member of the Igwe in Council, Chief Chikwendu Onwuania, described the mother of Masquarades as one who upholds the cultural values of the community, adding that the event is a record-breaking in the history of the community.
The Head of Masquerades in Ndikelionwu, Mr. Goddy Nwafor who congratulated the mother of Masquarades Amichi, called on the Igbos to sustain and uphold their cultural values as it is already going into extinction.
The event was featured displays by different masquerades including Ajofia Nnewi, Ijele, Agaba among others took turns to entertain the people and greeted the mother of Masquarades.
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