By Juliet Ogbodu
KWALE/Nigeria: The people of Utagba-Ogbe celebrated one of their long standing traditional feasts called the IKENGA festival. This festival is celebrated by all the communities which make up Utagba-Ogbe namely Umusadege, Umuseti, Umusedeli, Umusam, Isumpe and Ogbe-ani.
During the festival, all the able-bodied men are expected to come out and display their physical and spiritual strength reminiscent of what use to obtain during war periods in the times of old. Sometimes, the men go as far as using matchet on themselves to show the efficacy of their powers from their gods of war.
Aside the aforementioned, it also unites all and sundry with other social and recreational activities aimed at spicing up the festival. Sons and daughters of Utagba-Ogbe community who still uphold traditional values come from far and near to be part of the fun. Social organisations also use this period to do outing for their members. However, the covid-19 situation did not help the course of recreational activities due to restrictions placed by government on public gathering.
One good thing about the IKENGA festival of this year was that there were no casualties as were the case with some of the past celebrations. The people look forward to the next festival with hope of something better than what they had this year