Anambra Cultural Day 2023

Anambra state is located in south eastern Nigeria.  Anambra is the anglicized version of the original name – Oma Mbala, the native name of the Anambra River.  According to Nigeria’s National Population Commission, Anambra’s 2023 projected population is 6.1 million with a split of 49.9% male and 50.1% female. Anambra is the first son of the Igbo family and possesses a history that stretches back to the 9th century AD, as revealed by archaeological excavations at Igbo-Ukwu and Ezira.

The Igbo people are a major ethnic group indigenous to south eastern Nigeria. The ancestral home of the Igbos is Anambra. Other Igbo states are Abia, Ebonyi, Enugu, and Imo. Indigenous Igbos can also be found in other states like Rivers, Edo, Delta, Bayelsa, Cross River, Akwa Ibom , Benue, Kogi and other parts of Yorubaland like Ife, according to the Ooni of Ife; in April 2019. Significant ethnic Igbo populations can also be found in Cameroon, Gabon, and Equatorial Guinea. Igbos are well travelled and can easily be found in distant parts of the world. A significant population of the Caribbean countries trace their lineage to the Igbo, which they spell as Eboe. The maiden Anambra Cultural Day was organised to bring ndi Igbo (Igbo people) together to celebrate our culture and mark the coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla in style. The elegantly decorated hall was adorned with Nigerian and British (Union Jack) flags to mark both occasions.

The Anambra Cultural day 2023 was a spectacular event that showcased our culture and language enwrapped in entertainment demonstrated by breaking of the kola nut (iwa oji Igbo), food, music, dance, mesmerising masquerade (mmonwu), the razzmatazz of spraying égō; and so much more.

Our children joyously demonstrated their keen interest in cultural diversity and the need to integrate and assimilate both British and Igbo cultures and identities as they joined in the celebration of the coronation of King Charles III. It was also an opportunity for guests to interact and build relationships, ask questions, learn more about both cultures, destress, be imbued with a sense of belonging to a large community and improve mental health and general social wellbeing.

The event which was substantially sponsored by the National Lottery Community Fund, was graced by many eminent Igbo sons and daughters, other Igbo cultural and state based associations, as well as broader community associations like the Central Association of Nigerians in the UK (CANUK) and the Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO).  Similar culturally enlightening events will be organised over the near future particularly in the form of seminars. They will be designed to explore British culture, being black British and how both Igbo and British cultures can be integrated for a better future.

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