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The sesame to a half-year of festivity!

Nchaka or new yam celebration may be regarded as the sesame to a half-year of festivity and merry-making. Nchaka marks the end of the farming season. The first part of the celebration is known as the “Female” Nchaka , which occurs on an Ahuo day, proclaimed by the traditional authorities.

At the setting of the sun, all married women (other than widow), once the signal is given, proceed in group, carrying fire brands and “Olive” branches, to the river bank chanting in unison:

Ajama biapu!

Ejabra biapu!

Standing beside the river, they throw the fire-brand and “Olive” branches into the river and turn round making for home and shouting at the top of their voice Uruo, Uruo, Uruo, (142).

The next Ahuo day is the “Male” Nchaka, when the whole community turns out at the crack of the dawn, all clad in ceremonial attire. These different groups are led by the various onuobdo elders, many celebrants carrying weapons, fans and walking sticks in their hands. All  celebrants assemble on the eastern bank of the Omoku River. Two elderly chief celebrants take their position at some distance in front of the crowed and communicate with the later through two messengers, Then the great prayer rises as from one man:

Cha-cha-cha,  cha – a – a – a – !          (thrice)

We-we-we,  we – we – e – e – e – !       (thrice)

As soon as the ritual incantations are spoken and the traditional sign is given, the guns bom and the festival cry rises

Leader: tua njoli!

Response: Nchaka wre onye mgbasi.

Leader: tua njoli!


Nchaka wre onye amisu.

Ali Ogba, History of Ogba People By Ellah, Francis  J.