It was carnival as usual in Adazi-Ani, a community in Anaocha Local Government Area Anambra state and the country home of Chief Godwin U. Okeke, owner of GUO Transport Company as the community celebrated the 2019 edition of her annual new yam festival with a youth carnival, sponsored by Dr Emeka Okeke and friends.
A very significant festival celebrated amidst huge cultural display and entertainments by different kinds of masquerades and other notable entertainment groups with pomp and glamour at the Eke Market square, heart of the Adazi Ani town, reminding Igbo youths and vast indigenes of the town that Igbo culture and traditions still has prominent role to play for a peaceful coexistence in the society.
The youth carnival was attended by some dignitaries including the Honorable Commissioner for Housing, Member representing Anaocha at state House of Assembly, some advisers to the state governor, friends, invitees as well as Dr. Emeka Okeke who sponsored the youth carnival with like minds and friends, even as the festival which is celebrated annually is an avenue to uphold the culture of the town as it is in line with the traditions in Igboland as well as inculcate good values to the youths of the town.
Addressing newsmen at the occasion, Dr Emeka Okeke, Founder/CEO, RISE Clinic Nigeria disclosed that the reason behind the youth carnival was to bring the indigenes of the community together to chart ways of meeting the needs of the community. He stressed that the festival is the only means of attracting people especially the well to do to understand the needs of the community and to invest in the small businesses around the community and assist in supporting the needs of the community.
Speaking about sustaining his giant strides in the development and free service to the Adazi-Ani community, Dr. Emeka Okeke emphasized that success could never be achieved alone, but through adequate team work, saying: “when you make it a one man business, it will fail. But if I get a few of my friends and show them the need to invest in our local community, the need to invest in our youths and how we could grow our local economy, that changes their mind and encourages them to come on board as some of them are already doing now.
“The carnival is done to bring the people of the community together especially youths. People of Adazi-ani are scattered all over the world and nothing attracts them back to our community. If we fail to come back together like brothers and sisters in a gathering like this, we would not be able to discuss our problems and the ways to develop our community.”
Hallmark of the festival was the triumphant display by the Aspire football club of Adazi-Ani, Anaocha, Anambra state, Nigeria. The club that is barely a year plus has done tremendous well. It started with a group of youths playing football for fun in a community field but has now grown to become a force to be reckoned with not only in Anambra but in Nigeria.
According to the financier, Dr Emeka Okeke, the journey started sometime in June 2018, when some young players were spotted in the field playing with passion and enthusiasm. They had only been playing for fun and just to keep fit, little did they know that success and stardom had been at the door, patiently waiting for them.
The boys never imagined that their regular evening two aside soccer could turn to a bigger and Stronger Club until when Dr Emeka Okeke, a philanthropist in all ramifications registered the club on the 12th December, 2018 with Nation-Wide League Two, and Anambra FA; which gave them an automatic ticket to participate in Anambra FA Cup 2019 as well as Nation-wide League one (Amateur Division 2 Tournament 2019). The club has been promoted to Division One and will soon be in NPFL.
They defeated host of teams including FC Ifeanyi Ubah who had won the cup 4 times in a row to now become the Anambra FA champions.
Speaking to newsmen shortly, Hon. Ejiofor Ebere Leonard who is the House member representing the constituency in the state House of Assembly, thanked Dr Emeka Okeke for mobilizing youths in the community adding that the event was organized to uphold the existing peace, unity and progress of Adazi-Ani people through cultural exhibition.
Also speaking, Chief Chinedu Madubuko of Chico group of company Nig. Ltd told our reporter that the festival is crucial to the development of the youths, “if we don’t organize this festival, there is a stage the children will reach, they will not know what omenaala (tradition) is. Based on these, we organized our children to teach them our culture and Igbo culture in general.”
In the same vein, Hon. Iyke Gerald Ozoh who is the special assistant to Anambra state Governor on community Liaison said the event will promote the culture and tradition of Adazi-Ani so that the generations to come will know that Adazi has a tradition and culture they uphold as well as other communities that will be made aware that Adazi have what they are know for.