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Cultural Education & Promotion

afikpo culture

(L-R) Njenje masquerade, women performing Nkwa Umuagbogho dance, two men re-enact Mgba (traditional wrestling), Okpaa masquerade

Cultural education, especially for youths, is one of AOI’s key priorities. To underscore its importance, AOI’s cultural committee is tasked with developing and delivering cultural education lectures, presentations, games and other youth oriented content year round, and especially at the annual Iriji (New Yam) festival that takes place the first Saturday of August each year. The event starts from the preceding Thursday to the following Sunday.


Children’s dance presentation during 2014 AOI Iriji festival

The Iriji festival is one of the most exciting programs organized by AOI. The event features a variety of cultural activities designed to educate, entertain and strengthen ties to the Afikpo community in the homeland and in Diaspora. The event brings together Afikpo people in the United State, those visiting from other countries, guests and AOI supporters. The event also doubles as a fundraiser for the annual medical missions to Afikpo each year.

Before and during the event, youths are encouraged to actively participate in cultural performances, lectures, games, etc. and many of them eagerly take up the call. In the 2014 Iriji festival, for instance, about a dozen boys and girls (ages 5 to 16) from the state of Maryland delivered a cultural presentation (preceded by weeks of rehearsals) to the delight of the audience.

AOI’s cultural education program is anchored in the belief that our children benefit from well rounded and diverse education no matter where they reside

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