The unification and cultural essence in celebrating the New Yam in Igbo Nation once again came to the fore during the New Yam celebration in Enugwu Quarter, Umuawulu in Awka-South Local Government Area.
Correspondent Kenechukwu Chukwudi reports that New Yam celebration has no doubt become a cultural melting point for Ndigbo, which apart from celebrating a bountiful harvest which the New Yam signifies, is also a time for home coming, socialization and planning towards the growth and development of various communities.
Speaking during the ceremony, the immediate past Deputy Speaker of the Anambra State House of Assembly, Chief Harford Oseke, emphasized that farming is important to ensure food security and celebrating the New Yam is a way of being thankful for the year’s harvest.
He commended Governor Willie Obiano for his Agricultural policies.
For Chief Emmanuel Ekwelu, who is from the community, last Saturday in the month of September is when sons and daughters of the community gather to celebrate the New Yam, as no one eats the New Yam until the community celebrates and eats the New Yam especially that from the community.
Chief Ikechukwu Nwozor a community leader, thanked God for a rich harvest for the year, praying that next year’s harvest will be greater, as he encouraged youths to go into farming to cushion the effect of harsh economic realities of the period while Mr. Onyeka Nwosu said celebrating the New Yam is celebrating the fertility of the soil, praying for God continued blessings.
In their various remarks, Chief Innocent Atuka, Mr. Chekwube Okafor and a friend of the community, Chief Mike Ejiogu, noted that celebrating the New Yam is portraying the core Igbo tradition as done by their fore fathers.
The event reached its peak with masquerade displays, weighing of big harvested yam from the village, which the winner is expected to go home with five hundred thousand Naira, with cash prizes for the second, third and fourth positions respectively.