…Read the significance of the Amafini festival
…Alfred Izon-ebi to perform live
By Binebai Princewill
In what has been anticipated by traditional pundits as a celebration galore, Delta State will be witnessing traditional festivity at its highest echelon as the people of Ogbe-Ijoh Warri Kingdom concludes arrangements to celebrate its yearly ancient Amafini Festival.
According to an information made available to newsmen in Warri recently, signed by the Olori-In- Council on behalf of the people of Ogbe-Ijoh Warri Kingdom, Chief Hitler Koridigha, a copy of which was sent to The Liberator Newspapers, the the Olori-In- Council had explained that the ancient festival will be celebrated in two days (8th to 9th of January 2021) by 10am prompt.
The statement had noted that the duo of His Excellencies, Sen. Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, Governor of Delta State and his colleague, the Bayelsa State Governor, Sen. Douye Diri will be gracing the epoch making occasion as special guests of honour.
Chief Hitler Koridigha had maintained that the 1001 (One thousand one year) old festival tagged Amafini (Opening of town) will be having special features in the 2021 edition like Chief Tunuwei cultural troupe of Isaba Kingdom, Cultural dance competition, Ogele dance (dance procession) and many more interesting events.
However, the people of Ogbe-Ijoh had invited all lovers of tradition, Niger Deltans, sons and daughters of the Kingdom and Ijaws worldwide to grace the historic Amafini festival.
Nevertheless, Chief Koridigha had further explained that the event will be taking place at the Ogbe-Ijoh main town hall, Headquaters of Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta.
On entertainment, the statement had maintained that Ijaw music luminary, Alfred Izon-ebi, popularly known as Jking have been billed to perform live at the ceremony.
Meanwhile, when The Liberator Newspapers dig deep on the significance of the Amafini festival, a source who prefers his name not to be mentioned noted that the ancient Amafini Festival is governed by a deity known as “Ofoniokine”.
The source stressed that Ofoniokine which is the mother deity governing the Amafini festival is an ancient marine deity, explaining that the deity is one of prosperity to all sons and daughters of Ogbe-Ijoh Warri Kingdom.
He particularly stated that beside the economic and social activities witnessed during the period of the festival, the Amafini festival which is usually done January was to fortify sons and daughters of the kingdom spiritually for prosperity ahead of the year.
He continued that after the festival, sons and daughters of the Kingdom who turned out for the event will continue to prosper in whatever they do and even if they got drawn in the rivers of Ogbe-Ijoh Warri Kingdom by the mention of Ofoniokine, the deity may appear as a big fish or any other aquatic creature to save the life of any son or daughter of the Kingdom to a safe place.
Like a drama, the wonderfully decorated masquerades for the Amafini festival always dances on top of water for minutes and will later vanishes into the water, a situation that always keeps watchers wondering on what is really behind such display.
It was further learnt that no camera has been able to capture when these masquerades are displaying on top of the water, maybe probably because of its spirituality.