New Telegraph

Thrills, colours of 2020 Aradhe Cultural Festival

The sleeping community of Aradhe in Isoko North Local Government Area of Delta State ended 2020 on a celebratory note as the community came alive and agog during it annual cultural festival, Aradhe Cultural Festival.

The organisers of the event said the festival was to foster unity among the sons and daughters of the town and promote the cultural heritage of the people as well as preserve its local dialect from going extinct.

An agrarian community, the festival attracted participation from everyone, including the aged and young ones as well as visitors from across the state and other parts of the country, as the celebration is seen by the people as a time of great socio – cultural entertainment and communal feast. Spanning several days, the festival was heralded with a football match and thereafter a seminar where the youths of Aradhe where taken through series of entrepreneurial lectures. They were challenged on productivity and advised to shun criminal activities and be good ambassadors of the community.

Some of the youths were also empowered with different working tools in order to enable them start off one business and the other so as to impact on their community and the society at large. According to the Chairman of the planning committee of the festival, Mr. Omakopia Felix, the festival is focused on reviving the socio – economy and cultural heritage of the people among others: ‘‘We want to use the cultural festival for the revival of our heritage, the economic survival of Aradhe through cultural tourism and our local food for outsiders to see and emulate.’’ Part of the plan of organising the festival was also to encourage their youths who have not visiting to see the need to do so, especially those in the Diaspora.

‘‘We decided to fix the event during the Yuletide period in order to add colours and glamour to it because of those who came to celebrate Christmas and New yYear,’’ he said. Adding that: “Cultural festivals of such nature are basically to foster unity among our children in order for them to see themselves as one big family even if they meet outside Aradhe.

‘‘It is also to bring peace and fun. We also have some people who are not from Aradhe who came to celebrate with us, people from Elu, Ozoro, Ughelli and Ogidi came to join us in the celebration because we are hospitable people.

“We organised football matches for our youths from different streets in the community who put on our attires and would come to the parade ground and displayed it to the admiration of our guests while those that won went home with different gifts and prices.’’ Pastor Andrew Osugo, who is the secretary of the planning committee, also disclosed that part of the reasons for the festival was to attract their people in the Diaspora, which he said has been achieved while it has also stimulated the development of the community through the provisions of infrastructure by the wealthy indigenes.

While Issac Eferere, a member of Aradhe Gold Cross, said the festival is basically to propagate the culture of the people and facilitate development to the community. Opa Williams, chairman of Aradhe Gold Cross, said the cultural festival is very important to the lives of the community as it helps to preserve their language from going into extinction because most of their children don’t speak the Isoko language anymore.

Peter Igoho, who was one of the sponsors of the festival revealed that festival promotes unity as it is an occasion for celebration and feasting by the people. While the National President of Isoko Youths, Comrade Ovia Omakpo, said they have united the youths of Isoko nation and they would continue to unite them through the festival because they have no other place they can call home than Aradhe.

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