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Culture And Fanfare, As Unizik Students Celebrate 2019 Oji Ọfọr Festival

By Emeka Odogwu And Izunna Okafor
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In what was clearly an exhibition of rich Igbo culture and tradition, glamour and pageantry, as the students of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka over the weekend celebrated their 2019 annual cultural festival amidst pomp and ceremony.

The festival tagged Unizik Oji Ọfọr Cultural Festival 2019 was part of SPINE Communications and the Student Union Government's desire to inculcate Igbo culture and tradition to the Igbo youths as well as promote the cultural heritage of Ndi Igbo.

The event which was part of Unizik's SUG week 2019 held at Unizik's Library field was graced by dignitaries including the Managing Director, Spine Communications, Dr. Emeka Okeke, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of ABS, Chief Uche Nworah, Director of UNIZIK Confuscius Institute, Professor You Zhargbao, the Public Relations Officer of the Unizik, Dr. Emma Ojukwu as well as Dean Students Affairs, Unizik, Prof Stanley Udedi, among others.

The key sponsor of the Unizik Oji Ọfọr festival Dr. Emeka Okeke while speaking to newsmen at the event said that Spine Communication is a brand development and management company that helps deliver the value proposition of partner brands directly to right customers to ensure maximum publicity while boosting sales for them.

He said that the company works with public and private institutions to identify, highlight and promote their "Unique Selling Points" through digital advertising on social media and electronic bill boards.

Dr Okeke said further: "Oji Ọfọr Festival is a branded event organized by Spine Communications Limited in local communities to get citizens together to stimulate and drive local economic growth while promoting cultural values.

"At the festival, multiple micro and small businesses get the opportunities to showcase their products and services to a large crowd of potential customers in one location.

"In line with the vision of the Vice Chancellor, Professor Charles Esimone to have Unizik ranking in top 200 universities globally, Spine Communications Limited has designed and developed multiple projects to create a clear path to success.

"Oji Ọfọr Festival allows the university community to come together to celebrate one another while being encouraged to be the primary brand ambassadors of Unizik. To achieve the Vision 200 best in ranking, a lot of quality research as well as infrastructure development is required.

"We plan to amplify publicity of the Unizik brand and attract the right strategic partners and resources to make Vision 200 a reality.

"Previous festivals have been organized in local communities like Adazi-Ani in Anaocha Local Government Area of Anambra State. This is our first time in a university community. Once we deliver the anticipated level academic, research and economic growth we will explore expanding to other university communities.

Dr. Okeke who is also the CEO RICE Clinic, Adazi Ani noted the company is currently developing a social media platform to connect ideas from students and faculty to the right resources (human, financial and physical) required to bring these ideas to life.

Speaking at the occasion, the UNIZK SUG President, Comrade Joseph Okafor said that the union extended hands for partnership to Spine Communications MD, Dr. Okeke as they could not achieve the desired result alone, adding that the company was readily there to help out.

He maintained that the festival was considered necessary as it will help the growing youths keep in mind that there is somewhere they came from as well as help youths especially students keep in touch and in line with Igbo culture.

Highlight of the event was the confernmnt of Ezi Ọyi title to the Director of Unizik Chinese/Confucius institute, Prof. Yu Zhangbao and the raffle draw that drew winners from the Unizik students present at the occasion.

Among others, the winners included Shedrack Chinedu, Chiamaka Okafor, Stella and Anthony Chidi, who won plasma TV, Rechargeable fan and Generators respectively.

The event also featured cultural and masquerade displays, wrestling contest, native food sampling, eating of new yam and a friendly football match in which Aspire FC defeated Unizik selected eleven to 2 goals to nil.

Aside Spine Communications, and Unizik SUG, SIMS Nig limited, Aspire FC Adazi Ani, New Age and GUO Transport Company participated actively at the Unizik Oji Ọfọr cultural festival and gave out prizes to winners of different raffle draw including free transport tickets.

In an interview, the Manager of SPINE communications, Mr Emeka Okoye described the event as unique in all ramifications as it has empowered so many students.

On his own, the branch manager of the GUO Transport, Nweke Bernard Chinwendu decried that youths are beginning to sway away from the proper Igbo culture and tradition sequel to heavy influence of Technology and western culture but gathering like the Unizik Oji Ọfọr festival would remind youths that there was culture before any other thing.

He reiterated that GUO transport will always show massive support for culture and tradition and that the support for the festival is to let students know that the company is also a lover of tradition.