Driver, Driver what’s happening to the vehicle.
Driver……i really don’t know but please exercise patients let me check it out.
Driver…….oh, am sorry people but we’ve got a brake failure. Am so sorry about this. Let me go into the neighbouring village and get a mechanic.
People singing in loud voices accompanied by heavy drum beats.
Driver, what’s going on. Where did you drop us? Where is that noise coming from?.
Driver…… Am not sure am confused as you are…..wait a minute. What’s today’s date?
Today is 11th
Driver…..i think the ikega festival is starting today and if am correct, we can’t get any mechanic now because everyone will be at the market square.
(Panicking) so what do we do now, it’s late already and we are a long way from home.
Driver……please relax and take it easy. We can’t get a mech so I will suggest will head to the village square and watch some show. You never know you might like it. What do you say?
Okay, I guess I could take a look
What’s this ikega festival all about anyway?
This is a festival celebrated by warriors of the land. On this day, you get to see and know the bravest of the bravest on the battlefield. The people involved are the ones that came out victorious. You know a large number of twenty may have gone to war but only the ones that made a significant impact are celebrated and today is that day.
This festival runs for six days and it’s usually performed in June every year. The first day of the festival is called Ike day( meaning market day). On this day, they prepare a local food with palm oil and yam in a large portion and serve to friends and family.
On the next Ike day, they gather in large numbers singing, dancing and demonstrating how they conquered in the battlefield. They all match to the village square with Okuma the masquerade.
Lots of acrobatics are done and diverse acting skills are seen from the warriors. The display how they left the house, and when they got to the battlefield and they defected their opponent. During this short dance drama, some carry props like human bones and skull.
A warrior carrying a human skull signifies that he beheaded someone in battle. He is most distinguished and because of its bravery he alone is worthy of carrying Okuma.
Those in the arm forces will also be part of the participants in the festival. They shot themselves and cut each other with a cutlass but nothing happens to them. At the end of the day, singing and dancing continues and all goes back home.
In recent times, it is said that some of the armies disturb the festival from taking place because of the human parts they carry. This, however, has not stopped the festival from being heard. The armies believe it is a show of violence but this people believe it is a show of strength and bravery.
At the end of the day, I did admire the show of bravery. 💪💪💪💪💪💪💪💪💪💪💪