Bongo festival to the rescue of Igbo culture

Dancers in performance at Bongo music festival

Bongo is a musical instrument in Igbo cultural heritage that cannot be ignored in the Eastern part of Nigeria.It signifies a lot in the historical development of Igbo land. It serves as a symbol of strength, strong voice, announcement of great passages, events and entertainment. Bongo Festival is a festivity of music, arts and culture, which will bring to the fore the cultural heritage of the eastern region of Nigeria.

It is expected to gather music, arts and culture lovers from all over the country and beyond.Performing the unveiling ceremony of the Logo of Bongo Festival in Abuja, the Director General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) Mrs Sally Mbanefo said undoubtedly, Nigeria is rich in terms of traditions and cultures, as each part of the country had one cultural heritage that stands them out of the others.

She expressed dissatisfaction with the fast disappearing of some cultures, attributing it to the failure of some parents and guardians to promoting their culture by speaking their language to their children, adding that they tend to teach their siblings western language and culture rather than theirs.

Mbanefo maintained that this and other reasons brought the creation of the Bongo festival to promote Igbo culture and preserve “our cultural heritage”.”We ‘Igbo’ need to be proud of our culture our tribe, other tribes like Yoruba and Hausa are always proud of their tribes, we Igbo need to work on that. Others go abroad to study but they learn their language, and when they come home they speak it. But we, the Igbo, we fling our culture away, when we travel abroad.

“The riches part of your culture is your language; if you lose your language you have lost your history. I am appealing to fellow Nigerians, especially the Igbo to hold tight their language. Let us keep in touch with our origin, our grass root, because this life does not ends up in city.

“Our job in the NTDC is to support any group or state government in projecting the beautiful cultural heritage that we have in this country. This is one of the ways to promote and project our culture and our country,” she said.

Speaking in an interview with Journalists after the unveiling, a former senator, Senator Osita Izunaso said; “the festival is a struggle to promote our culture, the (Igbo) language, because you found out young people don’t even speak their language again, this day we have lost what should be our mother tongue.

“What we now have is first language acquisition, which is the language that you acquire as you grow up. Ordinarily, your mother tongue supposes to be your first language acquisition, but we are mixing it up now; people acquire firth language different from their mother tongue. So, we have to go back to our mother tongue as our first language of acquisition before any other language.”

The Director of Bongo Festival, Mr. Iyke Ekeoma explained that the three days festival, coming up on 21 – 23 December was designed to reawaking the cultural consciousness of Igbo people.

The Director of Logistics for the festival disclosed that top Bongo artists, Nigeria top hip hop, rap and R ‘n B acts will treat an audience of over 30,000 people to live performances of their most popular songs and rendition of old school music. He added that the target audience cuts across all age groups

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