The people of Rumuche Community in Emohua Local Government Area (EMOLGA), Rivers State, were thrown into festive mood last Saturday, as they celebrated the initiation ceremony of Ugwu ‘Nganga’ age grade into the ‘Ugwu etor’ a senior group made up of three different age grades.
The event was marked with traditional dances and merry making.
Members of the ‘Nganga’ age grade, who are between the ages of 58 and 60 years danced at the Rumuche play ground to the admiration of families, friends and well wishers and will hold a Thanksgiving service, at six different churches including Baptist Church, Rumuche, Emohua, and St. Lukes Anglican Church Emohua, to thank God for making it possible for them to celebrate such an important event in their lifetime.
Speaking on behalf of the age grade, Engr. Marcus Okogbule Oriji explained that the day was historic and the ceremony unique because with their initiation into the ‘ukwueto’. It is their duty to serve the community for 12 years at the completion of which each of them will not be less than 74 years and ripe for a greater service to the community.
Engr. Oriji explained that the functions of the Ugwu etor include to ensure peace, progress, law and order in the community, mobilise the youths for communal services such as cleaning roads, cutting farm paths, protecting the community against internal and external aggressions and encouraging educational advancement of the youths as well as settling of minor disputes among others.
He stressed that whatever issue that is beyond them is passed over to Eleru-urie or council of Chiefs and if it is beyond them, it is then passed over to the Ohna council or the ‘Offor holders’ who constitute the highest traditional organ of governance and their decision on any matter is sacrosanct and final as far as the community is concerned.
The dancing ceremony called ‘Omaete eri’ according to him literally means, one who does not know how to dance which symbolises the fact that no matter how you dance or what you do, if you are not given a hand shake at the end by the older age grade your efforts are in vain. “it is a tradition that teaches us that no matter what you do on earth, some body somewhere must tell you if you did it right or not, it tells you that somebody some where is watching you,” he said.
The managing director of Moh-Hi Tech Engineering works, Port Harcourt, described the ceremony as an age-long tradition handed down from generation to generation and there is nothing fetish about it because you are not initiated into a secret cult and there is nothing primitive about it because most of the initiatees are highly educated and have attended various universities within and outside Nigeria.
The graduate of Southernton University, England and former lecturer with Rivers State University of Science and Technology (RSUST) said, “we kick against fetish and obnoxious practices, the ceremony is a tradition we have to keep to enable the youths imbibe and respect the custom and tradition of their ancestors which kept them together and ensured their progress over the years.
Engr. Oriji stressed that it is because the youths of today have deviated from the custom and tradition of their ancestors, that is why the society is engulfed by all manner of crime, but in Rumuche, where these traditions are kept, the crime rate is very low compared to other neigbouring villages.
He assured that peace and harmony will continue to reign in the villages especially as they have decided to take the bull by the horn to sanitise the community by adopting the principle of leadership by example. According to him, it is only when they allow lapses that the youths can seize the opportunity to cause havoc and dictate the affairs of the community. He, however, lauded the youths for their maturity, discipline and selfless service to the community, adding that their interest and well being will always be protected.
The Chairman of Nganga age grade, Mr. Chinotu Njokwu Olormi, thanked the members for their efforts which ensured thesuccess of the ceremony as well as friends and well wishers for their support and encouragement.
Seven Notable Moments In Late Baba Suwe’s Life
Renowned Nigerian comic actor, Babatunde Omidina, popularly known as Baba Suwe, passed away on Monday, November 22 at the age of 63.
Baba Suwe’s demise was announced by his son, Adesola Omidina, on social media.
Here are seven key things to remember about the popular late Nollywood comic actor.
Baba Suwe was born on August 22, 1958.
State of origin
Baba Suwe was a native of Ikorodu, Lagos State.
He was born and grew up in Lagos Island.
Baba Suwe had his primary and secondary education in Lagos and Osun States, in the South-Western part of the country.
Baba Suwe was renowned for the comic role he played and featured in scores of movies – including those produced by him – such as Iru Esin, Ebi Olokada, Baba Londoner, Obelomo, Elebolo, Larinloodu, and Baba Jaiye Jaiye, among many others.
Baba Suwe’s health worsened as Tampan denied abandoning him
Omidina began acting in 1971.
He, however, came into limelight after he featured in a Yoruba movie titled ‘Omolasan’, which was produced by Obalende.
Demise of his wife
The comic actor was, married to comedienne Omoladun Omidina, who died in September 2009. It was one of the most devastating moments in the life of Baba Suwe.
Drug Trafficking accusation
In 2011, Baba Suwe was accused of cocaine trafficking by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) .
The allegation was later described as false and defamatory by a court in Lagos which ordered that Baba Suwe should be paid N25 million as compensation.
He, however, lamented that he did not receive any payment years after the ruling.
The veteran actor died on Monday, November 22, 2021, after he was said to have battled an illness for a long period. He was 63 years old.
ENIFF Showcases 50 Films From 15 Countries
The Eastern Nigeria International Film Festival, ENIFF, last Wednesday, in Enugu commenced the showcase of 50 films from 15 global countries.
The four-day event features among other films, a Moroccan movie, “Ultimate King”, Nigerian best narrative movie, “Yahoo Plus” and other award-winning movies.
Co-founder of ENIFF, Obianujuaku Akukwe-Nwakalor, who spoke with newsmen in Enugu at the commencement of the premiere, on Wednesday, disclosed that the film festival features the participation of major Nollywood actors such as Pet Edochie.
Akukwe-Nwakalor however regretted that Nollywood, which had its roots in the southeast has been taken away from the zone due to equipment deficit and support for the dwindling fortunes of actors and artistes, who are based in the east.
She also said that the development had forced most of the southeast-based actors and artistes to relocate to Lagos where there are better opportunities for the industry.
She said, “They (actors and artistes) are struggling because they don’t have the right equipment; they don’t have the right support; they don’t have money.
“To produce a film that can compete, that can at least be on NETFLIX, you need millions of Naira and the people here(East) don’t understand what it means to invest. If I tell you to invest N100 million into my film, you don’t understand and because you don’t understand how you are going to make N300 million from it, you are not going to invest”.
Akukwe-Nwakalor, with the co-founder, Mr Chris Odili, is hosting a film festival called Eastern Nigeria International Film Festival (ENIFF) in Enugu through the Eastern Nigeria Film and Arts Initiative, said the idea was to bridge and set up a creative hub in the southeast.
“We’re basically bridging the entertainment space or grid and set up a creative hub in the southeast part of Nigeria.
“Yes, we have pockets of things going on here. But, you will agree with me that we’re taking a back seat. We’re the backbenchers right now when it comes to entertainment space. Everything happens in Lagos.
“I came from Abuja and things as basic as finding a projector were very difficult. This is because people don’t use nor demand such here.
“We have forgotten that the Nollywood industry actually started from here in the southeast. But we have lost the steam”, Akukwe-Nwakalor said.
The idea of the festival, she explained, was to come back home, set up a space where the young ones, particularly those in the schools, could be trained to learn about film education, bringing in facilitators from different parts of Africa and the world so that they can learn from best hands what the creative space is about.
“We are starting from education. We are teaching them first to understand how this works. Until you understand, that will shift your mindset and when your mindset is shifted you can now begin to think of how to make money.
Ramsey Nouah Accuses Directors Of ‘Mediocre Nollywood Production’
Nigerian veteran Nollywood actor, Ramsey Nouah, has blamed directors in Nollywood of mediocre Nollywood production.
According to him, Nollywood needs a lot of improvements before it can be considered satisfactory for viewers.
Our source reports that Ramsey Nouah said, “I still find a lot of disconnect between the technicality and creativity in my industry right now. I see that the creative, which is the art part of filmmaking, is still not as deep as I want it to be.
“Performances from the actors are not deeply rooted. We have good quality techniques going on, but it’s almost like oil and water not mixing properly.
“If you can’t get an Oscar-winning performance from an actor the fault is not the actor, but the director’s. If you can’t deliver as an actor, the problem is the director that cast you”.
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