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In Nigeria: cultural day 2019
The 2019 cultural day held amidst much fanfare at Saint Francis Catholic Secondary School on the 23rd of March 2019. The ideals of the Cultural day to exhibit Nigeria’s diverse cultural heritage was gallantly achieved through colourful parades and a host of other activities which took place that day.
The day’s event officially commenced with the celebration of Holy Mass at the school chapel by Rev. Fr. Tersoo Gwazaa S.J. It was the usual liturgical celebration spiced up with various native languages, with readings, psalms, hymns done in all but English. Beautiful dance steps by the dancers in the liturgy from entrance, enthronement of the Gospel, offertory as well as dismissal. This spoke very remarkably of the rich cultural heritage of Nigeria.
After the mass, everyone proceeded to the beautifully decorated school arena where they were all seated according to their tribes. The second part of the programme began with a lovely rendition of the national anthem and pledge in Yoruba. This was followed by the administrator’s welcome address and the introduction of dignitaries to the high table. The parade came up no sooner and saw the various tribes along with their invited dance troupes put up lovely displays as they traversed the field, while stopping briefly at the high table for a few breath taking performances. It began with the Arewa and Akwa/Cross, the Yoruba, the Igbos and finally the Edo/Delta. All members of staff, including the DHS sisters identified with their various cultures in their traditional attires.
After the parade came a short drama presentation by the Saint Francis Drama Troupe, highlighting the importance of unity with regards to the political landscape of the country. The drama stemmed from the recently held presidential elections and ended on a more positive note.
The event went on with the visitation of the various ethnic groups by members of the high table. This allowed them to display their rich cultural dishes as well as their local artefacts. We had the special dish Edikang-ikong from the Akwa-Cross, Ofe Utazi from the Igbos, Gbegiri from the Yoruba and starch from the Edo-Delta.
The third edition of the cultural day ‘beauty pageant’ came shortly after, and this year it was sponsored by an alumnus of the school, Princess Sandra Azuike. It had two members of staff as well as other alumni under the Jesuit Volunteer Corps (JVC) as judges. The beauty pageant ended with the presentation of ten thousand naira cash prizes to the winners as well as other consolation prizes presented to the runners up.
The dance presentations by various ethnics groups went on while the people wined and dined. The playing of the talking drum by Ayodeji Tobi seemed to draw the event to an end. The Head-teacher, Mr. Nmesirionye gave a vote of thanks after which the closing prayer was led by the deputy administrator, Rev. Fr. Chikere Agbo S.J.
With this, the 2019 cultural day came to an end officially, looking forward to 2020.
By Sr. Rosemary Etim DHS. Published April 11th, 2019