Zebis Prince | Calabar

The lines that defines cultural exclusiveness of one place from another are tide to values preferences attributed to those people's way of life and how these values have shaped the essence of their livelihood. No one in the real sense of imagination can fathom the depth of inclination a people allude to their ancestry just like it would not be easy to throw away the marks of pride that molded the plot of their history.

Like king Solomon, my eyes have seen something under the sun in Okwa village. My curiosity about Nigeria’s independence day celebration in Okwa was demystified with avalanche of awesomeness and mind-blowing concepts  by the chiefs and entire families of Okwa. This is a community in Cross River State without a trace of cultism or violence. A community where the hierarchy of custom and tradition is still respected and upheld. This is a community united in purpose and is driven by the belief associated with this purpose. A peaceful and hospitable people with a strong will that is knitted for community building.

My eyes have seen values blended with creativity and hospitality. OKWA is a community that is disadvantaged in every respect of development, with disparaging survival ends, living without hope for development in spotlight, though in dare need for help yet heart-sunken to dare to ask. In their donjon the people have resigned to the fate of their existence wondering if someday somehow light will surge their way too.

The most alarming puzzle is the faith and love this abandoned community has in this country Nigeria. I’m dropped in wonder where their intrinsic vibes is coming from and where they are sourcing the zest to celebrate a country that millions are giving up on daily. OKWA is now the premier  premonitory example significant of Nigeria’s Independence Day celebration in the whole country and is deserving of a national recognition and reciprocation.

 Okwa community has preserved the lanky pride and legacy of Nigeria’s Independence Day to the extent it has become enshrined in their long standing culture and heritage. The 2019 independent day celebration conveyed a strong patriotic attachment for the day the green white green flag was first hoisted to mark the 59th anniversary freedom day from the British colonial rule.

I saw in that forest how the people reeled out a program of event that showcased the 1960’s air-renting feeling of Independence. The colors of joy, the travails from bond and servitude and the atmosphere that never stops to announce a departure from the stakes of imperial colonialism in one’s own land. Indeed, Okwa is the only Nigerian community that still blazes the independence Day with trials of climbing ovation. This unalloyed patriotism to Nigeria’s freedom day is reviving a new orientation to our generation about the true feeling of national sovereignty.

1st October has been idolized in Okwa. It is about the most important day for the people. The planning, preparations, activities and reception of the day says everything about what Nigeria means to this village. The hospitality to visitors befits of a place the world can converge for natural tourism. The Nigerian Government and Cross River State Government needs to leverage on the example set by Okwa community and initiate a new orientation of citizens empathy for the nation’s independence day across the country.

Rural Impact Initiative is calling on the Ministry of Tourism through the Cross River State Bureau of Tourism to adopt the Independence Day Festival celebrated in Okwa as a model brand that will revive the lost patriotism that once characterized 1st October celebration in the country.

Okwa is richly endowed with natural tourism sites that will provide a rich tale of adventure for a National and State tourism Fiesta in addition to the Independence Day Festival. There are mini waterfalls, crystal pools, confluences, a tributary, mountaineering, untainted Virgin forest expedition, a visit to the devils cave in their ancestral forest and a 2 hours tour round a massive body of rocks where it is believed to be housing some mineral resources. The best things of life are found in forsaken places. All these pristine gifts the Rural Impact Initiative Team on expedition discovered in Okwa.

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