The Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Alfred Achebe, will today perform the traditional Umato festival to signify the beginning of this year’s Ofala Festival, which is the sixth to be sponsored by Globacom.
The Umato ceremony marks the end of the planting season and the beginning of the period of harvest by the people of the kingdom, according to Onitsha tradition.
The Obi will perform the traditional rite of declaring that the harvest season has started while the period of dryness has ended.
The Umato will be performed at the Ime Obi, where Igwe Achebe will personally serve the traditional corn meal to all the palace chiefs and those who came to witness the ceremony.
This denotes the beginning of a clement harvest season. The Umato will also be performed by key families of Onitsha in their private homes after this.
Onitsha people celebrate the Ofala festival yearly to commemorate their victory over the Yam crop known as Ofala. The feast is also known as the New Yam Festival.
Globacom has been major sponsor of the Ofala Festival since 2010.