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Anambra community celebrates Ashaolu 2023 with ancestors for peace, unity, progress


From David Onwuchekwa, Nnewi

Nnobi in Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra State has celebrated its century-old Ashaolu (new yam) festival where the monarch of the community, his subjects, friends and well wishers marked the 2023 edition with fanfare.

The festival which kicked off at the palace of the traditional ruler of Nnobi, Igwe Muodum Nick Obi on Wednesday was billed to end on Saturday, according to the tradition.

The Igwe said the Ashaolu was a moment when the community gave thanks to God for a bountiful harvest after a successful farming season and a time to show brotherly love.


Igwe Nick Obi in a short prayer to start off the event at his palace asked God to bless his subjects with long life and prosperity and wished them well to experience many more Ashaolu celebrations in good health.

The Igwe, surrounded by his cabinet Chiefs known as Ichies, who dressed in their white regalia with red caps of different designs to match, broke the kola nut and poured libation, according to the tradition of the land.


He invoked the spirit of their ancestors to be partakers of the event. That took place after he had emerged from his inner chambers with standing bellows of Igweeee, Igweeee, Igweeeee! To welcome him into the ‘Obi’ (a traditional reception usually found at Igwe’s palace).

Thereafter, roasted yam tubers were cut into pieces and served everybody with palm oil source prepared with local ingredients.


Shortly after that, the Igwe rose together with his Ichies and everybody headed for ‘Aho’, the ancestral square of Nnobi people where another segment of the celebration continued.

Other activities at the ancestral square were announcement of the winners of olugbu (bitter leaves) soup makers competition among the married women of the community who were part and parcel of the celebration, the biggest yam harvest and best palm wine tapper. Winners emerged and went home with cash prizes and certificates of recognition.

Speaking at the event, Ichie Okwudiri Maduka said farming should not be relegated to the background, describing it as an activity everybody should embrace for survival in the face of harsh economic situation. He suggested that everybody should go back to farming.


He disclosed that he cultivated rice and yam enough to serve his household the year round and encouraged rural and urban dwellers not to joke with farming to be able to have a relief from economic hardship.

He appealed to governments at all levels to look inwards and assist rural and other categories of farmers with farm inputs including fertilizers, seedlings and soft loans for a better harvest.

Ichie Maduka, fondly called Ohia Anawalego in Nnobi noted that high cost of petroleum products had been responsible for increase in the prices of food items across the country and urged government to look into the issue of high price of fuel to reduce transportation cost.

Some other speakers were Ichie Basil Eruchalum; Barr Chukwudi Ezenyi; Ichie Ebenwele Emmanuel; Chief Cypril Ojukwu, among others who described the Ashaolu Nnobi as a time to give thanksgivings to God for a bountiful harvest as well as a period that fosters peace, unity and progress in the community.