All roads will lead to every family in Mbaise, for this year’s annual iriji Mbaise festival that is expected to come up on the 15th of August 2022.
August 15th of every year is always sacrosanct for the people of Mbaise, on this date, the people usually thank God almighty for a bumper harvest and take their first fruit for blessing.
In a chat with Waka About Africa, Barrister Cyril Anyanwu, the President-General of Ezurezu Mbaise stated that 15th August is the day the Mbaise people celebrate their annual festivity of “Iri Ji Nde Mbaise” in Imo State.
Bar. Anyanwu, however, stated that in the sequel to consultations with its Trustees, Executives, Affiliate Organizations and stakeholders, including Traditional Rulers, Ndi Ezeji, as well as Ezuruezu Mbaise organs at home and Diasporas“, the 2022 iriji should be homesteads and low key.
According to him, the Ezuruezu Mbaise has met and dwelt on the issue, considering the insecurity banditry, Kidnapping, and incessant killings situation, especially in Imo State and arrived at celebrating a low-key festival.
Ezuruezu Mbaise, the umbrella body of organized unions and groups in Mbaise, announced that this year’s annual “iriji Mbaise” festival will hold on August 15, as the date cannot be changed but explained that gathering a large crowd of people at this period of insecurity, killings, kidnapping, etc to celebrate Iriji Mbaise might lead to disorder.
Anyanwu, said, first Iriji Mbaise is sacrosanct, the people of Mbaise must thank God for keeping her safe to harvest the first crop in the season. The iriji festival is the season when we sieve true farmers from ceremonial ones. Thus we will offer the sacrifices as is the practice of the Mbaise people.
According to Barrister Anyanwu, he said the Apex body directed that the Iriji Mbaise celebration will consequently be restricted to homesteads, age grades, villages and communities “without the traditional fanfare.” “For the Ceremonial aspect of the festival we have advised, that we restrict it to homesteads as the date fell on a Monday which is sit -at -home for those in the East and we cannot afford to lose any of our children due to insecurity “.
Ezuruezu insists that “there’s no need exposing our people to avoidable risks, above all, there is no police personnel in most parts of our communities, Mbaise. There is no police station in Ahiazu Mbaise and Aboh Mbaise LGAs. We The Ezuruezu Mbaise dwelt on this and conclude we wouldn’t want to put the lives of our people in danger”.
Responding to Waka About Africa, the PG said, Ezuruezu Mbaies, in its wisdom, advised her people outside the east to go ahead and celebrate with fanfare if their environment is safe. He noted that the annual New Yam Festival and other public services projects benefit Mbaise people at home and abroad.
‘Iri Ji Nde Mbaise is a yearly thanksgiving ceremony for a bumper harvest and an accident-free farming season, and thereby a reward for farm workers who bring their first fruits for blessing’.
He also stated that the Iri Ji Mbaise celebration attracts friends, in-laws and neighbors “as we showcase our hospitality, traditions and culture. Above all, we show our prowess in yam cultivation.”
During the celebration, the Ezeji people (yam kings) are always at the centre stage to receive visitors like the Governor, President, Captains of industry and other politicians who came as guests of honour to observe the Iriji festival with this announcement made by Ezuruezu Mbaise visitors may not come again.
Speaking with Waka About Africa, Eze Leo-Nwokocha on behalf of the traditional rulers under the platform of the Mbaise council of traditional rulers says that the Iriji Mbaise ceremony for 2022 will be a low-key event.
The monarch disclosed that the Iriji will be restricted to homesteads, age grades, villages and communities without the traditional fanfare associated with elaborate celebration.
This celebration involved Mbaise people home and abroad. During the celebration, the Eze people(yam kings are always at the centre stage to receive visitors like the Governor, President and other politicians who came as guests of honour to observe the Iriji festival with this announcement made by Ezuruezu Mbaise visitors may not come again.
In the past, there used to be displays of traditional and cultural dance, to entertain visitors as well as to show the case of Mbaise socio-cultural heritage of Igboland and that of Mbaise in particular.
The New Yam Festival (Iriji) Mbaise style attracts in attendance Mbaise sons and daughters States and visitors from far and near, Nigerians and other countries. The event showcases the rich traditional kola nut breaking ceremony, mouth-watering cook, roasted, pounded, fried yam (including Ji ahụrụ n’ọkụ), artistic yam barn exhibition, and musical extravaganza topped by an electrifying Abigbo Dance, enticing Mbaise Women’s dance display, etc.
Ezuruezu Mbaise wishes all her indigenes a happy new yam celebration.
MBAISE GA-ADI. Ndigbo GA-ADI rue mgbe ebighi ebi!! IGBO KWENU!! Ya Gazie!!!.