The traditional ruler of Ozubulu in Ekwusigo Local Government Area of Anambra State, Ide John Chinyere Udeagbala has noted that some stakeholders in the tradition, history and culture sector in Anambra State have plans to partner Anambra State Association South Africa(ASA-SA) to promote the nation’s culture.
In an exclusive interview with The Daily Times during a visit to his Palace in Ozubulu, the monarch also spoke extensively on ways to actively encourage best practice within tourism industry to the benefit of cultures, traditions, youths and travelers, thereby creating more jobs for for youths in the society, greater income for the citizens; whilst at same time minimizing negative impacts on tradition and culture.
The monarch, who is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Judeagbala Holding Company, Chief John Chinyere Udeagbala has assured that Anambra traditional rulers as custodians of Anambra tradition, history and culture would play prominent roles for the revival of Nigeria culture.
Ide Udeagbala said, “ASA-SA has a mandate to take our culture to South Africa. We are going to partner together. Already, they are having new yam festival in South Africa; and more other. It is promoting our culture . For me, I will like to key into that project and one of these days will participate in the activities for them to know and understand that we are in support.”
According to him, “The identity of any country or nation is culture and tradition, and that is happening here and ones you loose it you have no where in history.”
The Traditional ruler, noted, the people are fast allowing influences from the West to erode their cultures and traditions.
Speaking further therefore, Udeagbala who said that he would always asked God for wisdom and guidance to stay on the part of the truth, equally noted, the kind of life that was in existence 10 to 20 years ago conflicted the ideas of the youths.
“We are counseling youth, speaking to them, trying to get them to acquire skills. Because of the economic downturn in the country has resulted in a lot of hardship and so many young people that left school are looming about the streets without work.
According to him, “This has change the thinking of the people, the people now think that success is all about riches.
Again, he said that the society needed to be re-oriented by changing their perception.
He said,”So, we need to reorient the society per say to let them know that hard work has to come first by change this perception that riches come so easy.”
He also charged the Pastors to come to the point where they will really kind of shun the idea of prosperity by magic, which he said was a big problem. “Nobody talks about salvation but it’s all about prosperity by magic,” he stressed.
On the contrary, chief Udeagbala urged that ASA-SA came to discuss a way forward to move Anambra State forward in the area of culture, education, youth empowerment and skills’ acquisitions.
He said, “I indeed overwhelm by their visit and to the programs they have and with the calibre of people that came.
Coincidentally, everyone exchanged ideas, but because of the connotation that followed the crime in South Africa that it’s crime- related, but by the time we discussed and exchanged ideas, we found out that that they are really trying and helping to make our society better.
On ways to assist them, “I am a custodian of our tradition. So, by implications I am duty bound to ensure that laudable programmes like this needed to be encouraged. By this position, I will assist them get in touch with the government and also various local authorities and town unions to assist them.
He said that ASA-SA has got a big responsibility before them. First of all, they have to work assiduously to ensure that the impression that South Africa is crime infested being powered and fed by Nigerians or that is by Nigerians’ crime-related life that is powering the zenophobic activities in South Africa. So, they have a whole lot of responsibility to clear that and to ensure that a more positive image is created for Nigerians in South Africa, particularly the Anambra people in South Africa.
He said, “In addition, with the calibre of people I don’t have any doubt that they will excel and carry on with these responsibilities and my message to the Association is to carry on with these responsibilities, knowing that nothing good comes easy.”
Incidentally, the traditional ruler of Uzuakoli Ancient Kingdom in Bende local Government area of Abia State, Eze Kanu Onyedikachi Ikonti has noted that the culture of his people are gradually dying a natural death.
The king in a chat With our corespondent in his Palace in Uzuakoli also spoke extensively on the importance of Uzuakoli New Yam Festival even as he described yam as the king of all crops in Igboland.
He said, “Some of our cultural practices are dying a natural death. I think we need to improve on them. For instance, during the New Yam Festival, everywhere was quiet. One scarcely knows there was something happening here except in Ngu whose is known with Ikolo. Well, next year with the help of other traditional rulers, it would be a different ball game all together. We would make some noise. Next new yam festival, we would expect to see all the Uzuakoli people in Diaspora, we would set up a vibrant Vigilante Group.”
He charged all the other traditional leaders in the neigbouring communities to discharge their duty effectively by stating that they should be meeting, at least, once in a month to discuss vital issues facing the community. Eze Ikonti said.
Speaking on the significance of the new yam festival in the Ancient Kingdom of Uzuakoli, the traditional ruler, said that the natives would not eat yam until the festival day.
“We plant our yam between March and April every farming year and it matures around this time”, he said.
He disclosed that the throne is a life time something. “I was in my 60s when they elected me as the Eze in my community”, he recalled.
“We have been trying to fulfill government’s policy and good leadership on the people to ensure peace and stability in our community. Since 20 years ago, I have been on the throne; and there has never been any serious issue. I make sure there is peace in Uzoakoli”, he maintained.
According to the king, raising funds for rural development has remained his major challenge. “We don’t want to live it to the government all alone, he said.”