Organised in collaboration with LIBDEZ Solution Services Ltd, the three-day festival aimed at celebrating the UNESCO World Heritage Site, will commence on December 30 and end on January 1, 2016.
According to Chuks Nwanne, the founder and Creative Director of the carnival, this year’s edition will set the tone for more innovations around the project, as well create platform for youths of the community and tourists to unwind during Christmas break.
“In 2013, when we came up with Ogbunikewalk4life, the idea was to use the health walk/mini carnival to set the tone for the main carnival. With the level of success we recorded in 2013 and 1014, it was obvious that the time has come for us to unveil Ogbunike Cave Carnival. What you will witness this year is the original format of the carnival, which has taken us three years to develop,” he said.
Based on the programme plan made available to the media, this year’s carnival will open on December 31 with Ogbunike Five Aside Tournament, a one-day football competition involving eight teams, who will slug it out for the carnival trophy. There will also be a Sport Parade, which will see football fans clad in their different club jerseys, as the parade to the market square (Oyeolisa Market) with traditional Ogene music leading the train.
On December 31, which is the day-two of the festival, the regular Ogbunikewalk4life will take the center stage. The carnival float will take off from the Ogbunike Town Hall, through the usual routes, to the Round Palace of Igwe Ogbunike, HRH John Ositadimma Umenyiora, where guests will pay homage to the King. From the palace, the train will move to the popular Ogbunike Cave, where visitors and tourist will have the opportunity of exploring the tourist destination that has put Ogbunike community on the world map. In the evening of the same day, there will be Carnival Concert/New Year Countdown at the Town Hall, with different musicians and comedians on parade.
Ada Ogbunike Beauty Pageant, the grand finale of the carnival, holds on January 1, 2016, at the Ogbunike Town Hall. The event, which will see 10 pretty Ogbunike ladies contest for the Ada Ogbunike crown, will be spiced with musical and comedy performance. Winners will be presented with prizes.
Speaking on the 2015 carnival, the Project Manager for OCC, Adaeze Uzodoh, informed that the team is doing everything possible to stage a successful event this year.
“When we came up with walk4life in 2013, many didn’t give the project a chance. But with what happened last year, it is clear that people are beginning to key into the initiative. So, this year, we are going to surprise guests with the package we are working on. As time goes on, we will update the public on the programme proper.”
Uzodoh, who is also the CEO of LIBDEZ also called on the Anambra State government, corporate organisation and well-meaning individuals to support the initiative.
“Let me use this opportunity to thank the traditional ruler of Ogbunike, Igwe John Ositadimma Umenyiora for his support to this project. From the first edition, he has been a pillar of support for us. Also, Ogbunike Progressive Union (OPU) has been very helpful in making this event a success.
“For corporate organisations, this is an opportunity to come in as sponsors; we will be glad to have you as partners in progress. We also solicit the support of the Anambra State government is growing this carnival to an enviable height. This project has the capacity of projecting the tourism potentials of the state,” she said.
Meanwhile, VISAGE Concepts Nigeria Ltd, a Lagos-based PR outfit, has been unveiled as the communications outfit for Ogbunike Cave Carnival 2015. The PR Company will be responsible for all communication about the carnival, including pre and post event.
“We are glad to be associated with this project, which I believe has the capacity of exploiting the tourism potentials of the cave,” the CEO of VISAGE, Iwuchukwu Chukwudi said.
“For three years that the Carnival has successfully held, we have observed with delight, the deep passion displayed by our young people, while showcasing their interpretation of their cultural identities through their dresses, songs and dance steps. Our joy knows no bounds when we see the joy and camaraderie radiating throughout the land.”
He added that, “we believe it is a project that can showcase the tourism potential of Ogbunike cave while engendering peace and fraternity among the Ogbunike youths. Glad this is happening because it will go a long way to project the famous Ogbunike cave and its inherent potentials to the outside world. It is a project we are glad and excited to associate our brand with.” (Entertainment Express)