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Los Angeles Igbo Heritage Festival 2018-The Story and 50 Photos

Umuada Di Igbo Mma LA Entry Dance

The Los Angeles Igbo Heritage Festival marks the second time in History that Ndigbo have come together not only to celebrate the rich Igbo Cultural Heritage but also to address the issue of how to stop the decline of Igbo Language and culture. The first time such gathering took place was in Maryland last year 2017 in a similar festival organized by Nwannedinamba USA in Partnership with Igbo Diaspora Cultural Heritage Festival Committee. The third installment of the growing festival will take place in Atlanta Ga in 2019 under a partnership alliance between the great Anaedo Social Club International Atlanta and Igbo Heritage Festival also based in Atlanta.

Members of the High Table Donating for the cause of Preservation of Igbo Language and Culture

The LA Festival was organized by Umuada Di Igbo Mma of Los Angeles California in Partnership with Igbo Heritage Festival Atlanta Ga. On Friday August 17, a reception Party and ceremony was organized for early arrival guests, at the Holiday Inn Express at the LAX airport. Food, and drinks were served. Representatives of ANOG (Nze na Ozo ) led by their President Ichie (Ogbuefi Ezeugo) (ANOG) Nze na Ozo Los Angeles being escorted to the High Table

were also present at the reception ceremony. The WW President General of Umuada Di Igbo Mma LA Chief Mrs Ezinne Helen Duruhesie (Oputaozuo) and Chief Okechukwu Oranika (Odezuligbo 1) representing Igbo Heritage Festival declared the Friday ceremonies open and traditional cola nut were blessed and served as Igbo Culture demands. Delitious food prepared by UDIM women was served along with drinks. Young Igbo children also attended the Friday opening ceremonies

Chief Ezinne Helen Duruhesie (Oputaozuo)

The Saturday event took place at the Proud Bird Center a historic 2nd World war Museum near the Los Angeles Airport. For the first time a Catering/Banquet Style format was used where the Proud Bird Restaurant Management was hired to Cater for the event. Indeed it was a wrong move because of time constraints. Initially we were told that the Saturday event would last up till 2am, but the signed contract specified 11pm instead  Igbo Community in LA as well as other Igbo Communities in the United States often start coming out to similar events around 11 pm. The LA event according to the contract was supposed to end at 11PM-12AM. Many of the guests were still arriving at the Hall when the event was wrapping up. Either way and despite the shortfall the LA event achieved all of the goals set by the organizers.

Historic Proud Bird Center at LAX Airport Los Angeles

Guests began arriving at the Historic Proud Bird venue as early as 7pm, all dressed in beautiful Igbo traditional outfits. It was a colorful event as Igbo Children accompanied their parents to the festival as well. Red Carpet started around 8 pm as the organizers decided to push things along in light of the time constraints. Guests were ushered to the high table by UDIM LA women. Once everything settled down the evening activities started. Opening Prayers was presented by Pastor Abraham…..Traditional breaking of Cola nuts was performed by Nze na Ozo President and members who were also seated at the High table.The singing of Anthems was presented by young Igbo Children who were coached by Model Anayo Ntukogu founder of PILA Igbo School in Baltimore Maryland.

The keynote speech was presented by Ichie Jones Okeke ( Ogbuefi Ezeugo) President of  ANOG organization of Los Angeles. It was a great message for Ndigbo focusing on the theme of the event on issues of the demise of the usage of Igbo Language and what Ndigbo must do to keep our language alive. Banquet dinner style was served by the Caterers of Proud Bird Restaurant.

Ichie (Ogbuefi Ezeugo) and Lolo Okeke

Performances soon took the center stage beginning with Umuada Di Igbo Mma dance. It was a great dance and the guests showed their appreciation by spraying the women with money.

Young Igbo Children also danced along with their coach Model Anayo Ntukogu. Next was the masquerade dance which shook the hall. Four masquerades appeared at the stage and put up an incredible performance. Masquerades are very important aspect of Igbo traditional ceremonies all across Igbo Land.

Umuada Di Igbo Mma Dance

The Igbo Masquerades soon appeared in the hall with their incredible danceA total of four Masquerades appeared at the Los Angeles Igbo Heritage Festival

Then the founder of Miss Igbo America Pageant Miss Chidinma Emenike along with the new Miss Igbo America 2018 winner, Chisom were introduced and  ushered to the stage by Lolo Chi Chi Nnamah (Nwanyimanari) President of UDIM Washington DC Chapter.

Chi Chi Nnamah

The new queen was incredible in her Igbo Cultural outfit and crown and she spoke very eloquently in English and Igbo Languageon the need to preserve Igbo Language and Culture. One key aspect of what the 2nd Igbo Cultural Heritage Festival in LA wanted to accomplish is involving the next and young generation of Igbo kids born outside Igboland in Igbo language Cultural programs and initiatives.

Founder Chidinma Emenike

MC Introduces Miss Igbo America

The new Miss Igbo America Pageant although born here in the United States is able to speak and understand Igbo Language. We like these young Igbo boys and girls to carry on the touch being passed to them from our older Igbo generations. The new Miss Igbo America 2018 fits and serves as a very good role model because when she speaks Igbo the interest of other young Igbo Children could be inspired to do the same.

Miss Igbo America on Stage with Chi Chi Nnamah

Indeed the LA Igbo Heritage Festival inspired many young Igbos of LA to identify more with their rich Igbo Cultural Heritage. I was informed by Model Anayo Ntukogu that many of these young kids wanted very much to wear and be seen in Igbo Cultural clothing and beads in LA, but unfortunately the number of Igbo clothes flown in from Maryland were not enough to go round to these young kids who want to wear them, some were disappointed not being seen in such Igbo traditional garments.

Chi Chi Nnamah (Nwanyimanari) also brought out on stage the Miss Igbo America 2018 first runner up also born in USA but speaks and understands Igbo Language as well. She did her Igbo dance very well and the guests appreciated and liked her presentation.

Miss Igbo America First Runner up doing her Igbo Dance

The Night’s activities wrapped up with a Raffle Draw presented by Chi Chi Nnamah and three winning tickets of prizes including Laptop Computer, Flat screen TV and portable Refrigerator were awarded to the winners

The event drew to a close, Chief Okechukwu Oranika (Odezuligbo 1), and Chief Helen Ezinne Duruhesie (Oputaozuo) offered vote of thanks to all the guests. and bade everyone safe return to their various home destinations.

If you missed the LA event start planning for Atlanta 2019 to be hosted by Anaedo Social Club International of Atlanta. Details will be published as soon as planning commences.

Appreciation to Festival Planning Committee Members

Umuada Di Igbo Mma of LA and Igbo Heritage Festival of Atlanta are indebted to all the members of the Festival Planning Committee who have dedicated their time and effort towards the actualization of this Festival. First our deep appreciation and gratitude goes to the Worldwide President General of Umuada Di Igbo Mma of Los Angeles, Chief Helen Ezinne Duruhesie (Oputaozuo Gburugburu) without her efforts, and dedication, this LA event would not have happened. We are very grateful for her insights she is indeed a great leader for Umuada Digbo Mma association of LA.

Special appreciation to Lolo Chi Chi Nnamah,(Nwanyimanaria) President of Umuada Digbo Mma Washingto DC Metro Chapter/Secretary General UDIM who also served as the Secretary General for UDIM/IDCHF Planning Committee  whose dedication to this project is also instrumental to its actualization. It is on record that she attended all Planning Committee meetings, and raised significant revenues for this project and took part in many aspects of Program implementation on both Friday and Saturday Festivities.

Special appreciation to Model Anayo Ntukogu PILA Igbo School founder and Cultural Director of Igbo Diaspora Cultural Heritage Festival working from Baltimore Maryland, she put in countless hours coaching and teaching Hollywood Igbo Children of Los Angeles aspects of Igbo Culture and Language enabling and motivating the Igbo Kids to fully take part in the Festival. We thank her for flying in Igbo Cultural wears and ornaments and beads used to dress the Hollywood Igbo Kids.

Special thanks to Pastor Abraham for contributions in Flyer and Letters of invitations and countless hours he spent in preparing and designing festival materials, email setup, and picking and dropping off many guests to and from Los Angeles Airport. We are indebted to him for such sacrifice.

We are indebted for the services of UDIM Treasurer for putting up with us and our constant demands of bank account balances leading to her regular trips to the bank in addition to other efforts she put into the project.

We thank UDIM Social Director Miss IFY Kaba for her efforts in getting the hall ready and she put in time arranging the reception hall at Holiday Inn Express for the Friday Reception ceremony and her other efforts

Special thanks to Iyke and his wonderful wife Grace (Hollywood) the new President of UDIM LA for all their efforts. Iyke is still grieving for the loss of his dad (May his soul Rest in Peace who recently passed away) and was able to help us in many different logistical work. We thank you and your wife we know that UDIM LA is in good hands.

Special thanks to Uzoma Nekes for his help. Despite his tedious work schedule and demands, he still was able to assist us as much as he can. He also worked with his Kids and Anayo to help facilitate their participation in the LA Program.

Special appreciation to Miss Igbo America founder, Chidinma Emenike, and her organization, she was able to fulfill all her promises including financial commitment. We thank Miss Igbo America 2018 Miss Sandra Chisom Oforah for being there for us in different ways. You are a great role model for keeping Igbo Language and culture alive. She will continue assisting us in motivating the young in our efforts to get them interested in learning Igbo language and Cultural. We also thank Miss Igbo America First Runner up Miss. Chibuenyim Onyema what an incredible dance performance in LA !

Special Appreciation to all the young Igbo boys and girls who participated in the LA event You are the best and sooner or later you will begin to speak and teach Igbo Language to other Igbo kids.

We thank UDIM Nigeria for the Audio Promo presentation, and we specially thank their members who traveled to LA for the festival.

Special Appreciation to our Partners, Igbo Network Television of Gainsville Florida, we love the video Presentation which is a sign of more good things to come in future as a result of our partnership.

Special Appreciation to Chief Chike Nweke and his LA Life and Times Magazine coverage and weekly announcements of our event

Special thanks to Ichie Jones Okeke (Ogbuefi Ezeugo) and ANOG LA  members who attended both Friday and Saturday ceremonies.

Special thanks to our guests and donors Mr and Mrs Okey Agurd and others some traveled long distances to be a part of the festival

Finally we have to thank UDIM women for their hospitality and generosity We will never forget the delicious Ofe onugbu na okporoko, or Ukwa we enjoyed all traditional Igbo dishes  in LA you guys are great

Signed: Okechukwu P. Oranika (Odezuligbo 1) Chairman of the Festival Planning Committee

LA Igbo Heritage Festival 2018 Photo Gallery

 

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