Nchaka Festival

Posted On 01 Jun 2014
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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. Al l 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.

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  1. Aan

    You want to forgive an enemy that has not laid down their arms and who still vows to dotsrey you. This is just the Nigerian way of talk and doing things. We expect God to fix it for us, after all vengeance is for the Lord.Have you seen how the Jews react to terrorism ( mind you they are the ones chosen by God). They fight and smite the head of their enemies most of the time especially when they are attacked. We just talk here and say God will deliver us from our enemies. God has given us the power and knowledge to defend ourselves, we need to exercise it and pray for success.We should not behave like cowards, we must fight back. There are people ready to defend themselves anytime, they are just waiting for the church leaders to say it is right to do so. It is not wrong to defend oneself, these people will continue to bomb and kill people in their house of worship and we are talking of forgiving them. Did they beg for forgiveness?We are damn too quite in Naija, its almost up to the point of being stupid.

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