Victory Anikor and Onyeka Ezike
You know the Ogidi people very well, don’t you?. The community located in idemili local government area of Anambra state. Ogidi is a big town with over 70,000 indigenes,with 25 % of the population being non indigenes. The traditional ruler of the populated community used to be a practising pharmacist, the Chief Executive Officer of Alben healthcare industries limited, one of the leading pharmaceutical companies in Nigeria, until his crown as the monarch of the community after eighteen years of chieftaincy tussle,without a king.
His Majesty Igwe Pharm Alex Uzo Onyido, who welcomed the news crew who were on a fact finding visit about the community to his well beautified palace, gave the history of the Ogidis as being over 450 years old. The Igwe described the Ogidi kingdom as an ancient community , dating back to the founding father known as Ezechumagha, (born c.1550) . Ezechumagha married Anumubosi, regarded as the ancient queen of Ogidi kingdom. They both had a son in 1580 named Inwelle. Inwelle married and had a son in 1611 named Ogidi meaning strong pillars as the name reflects,because he was a great warrior,.
His Majesty Pharm Alex, spoke about the rich cultural festival,regarded as the most popular cultural festival in Anambra state,known as the Afor festival. He said the festival usually held every first Friday of July annually,lasting for over ten days. The festival he said attracts indigenes of the community both home and abroad,including foreigners.
” Afor festival brings our people home from all works of lives,the age-long festival has its economical benefits to the community, as farmers sale their farm products such as yam and cassava during this festival. It also unites us as one, and cuts across religious divide,because everybody enjoys it,” the Igwe said.
According to the secretary to the Igwe, Mrs Chinwe Nwakeze, the community during the period of the festival does not approve any ceremonial event such as weddings, burials and traditional occasion. Chinwe also said, that a day before the festival, the Masquerade group initiate new members,which includes young boys of about ten years old. After the initiation, the initiated boys become part of decision-taking in the family.
One of the notable personalities from the town is literary noble winner, late Chief Chinue Achebe ” Ugo Belu nioju, the Eagle on the iroko.
Oguejiofor Sochina Bernard
Rose Ahanoah Chiazom
Chiduzie Chiazokam Jennifer
Iweorah Ezinne Esther
Maduka Ebele C…