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Anambra State Library Marks 2019 World African Heritage Day

By Izunna Okafor

The need for the preservation and promotion of the traditions and the cultural heritage of Ndi Igbo has been harped on.

The Acting Director of the Anambra State Library Services, Dr. Nkechi Udeze made the call during the 2019 World African Heritage Day recently marked by the library. According to her, it should be an earnest desire and the primary responsibility of every society as a people to preserve and promote their traditions and cultural heritages, given that the rate at which certain cultures and traditions are currently fading into extinction is so alarming and increases on daily basis.

Noting that the day is celebrated on 5th May of every year as created by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), she further called on Igbo parents, Igbo school teachers and Ndi Igbo in general to join hand in preserving their cultural heritage, especially the Igbo Language, through teaching and handing it down to the upcoming generation, in order to save it from going extinct, as the UNESCO predicted in 2012. She further eulogized governor Willie Obiano, the National Light and the Ka Ọ Dị Taa newspapers, as well as the Anambra Broadcasting Service for their great feats in championing the cause of promoting the Igbo Language and culture.

Earlier in his opening remarks, the Chairman of the occasion, Mr. Dike Ndulue who decried the rueful state of the Igbo Language, noted that most Africans have not measured up to the minimum standard in Globalization of their cultural heritage, unlike the Whites who leverage and take maximum advantage of every opportunity at their disposal to project and globalize theirs. He then advised the participants to key into the great mission of projecting the Igbo language and culture, which according to him should be taken more serious, if the language must not die off like others, as predicted by the UNESCO.

On her own part, the head of Administration in the state's Ministry of Information and Public Enlightenment, Mrs. Uju Uzor extolled the State's Library for keying into such a great celebration, and for observing other relevant national and international days over the years, which she noted, has gone a long way and still plays great roles in promoting the cultural heritage and values of Ndi Igbo.

Also speaking, the founder of Save Our Indigenous Language (SOIL) Movement and presenter of 'Ozioma Odinani' (Odinani Radio Show) on Anambra Broadcast Service, Mr. Chukwu-budike Ugbaja, who shared a personal experience of how Igbo Language has helped make him prominent in the society charged the students and Igbo youths in general to develop keen interest and passion for Igbo Language, as so many great opportunities now abound for anyone who can write and speak the Ianguage.

The event which took place at premises of the Prof. Kenneth Dike Central E-Library, Awka featured cultural displays by students of various participating schools and the staff of the Anambra State Library, ogene cultural dance, Ịma Mbem (Igbo Libation), Igbo Poetry performance, display and explanations of various crafts, tools and other items which Ndi Igbo are known for, as well as Ịzụ Nchọ game, among others.