National telecommunications operator and leading corporate promoter of Nigerian arts and culture, Globacom, has announced its readiness to sponsor the prestigious Ofala festival of Onitsha, Anambra State, for another three years.
This followed the signing, on Wednesday, of a new Memorandum of Understanding between Globacom and the palace of the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe. The new deal will see the telecom firm sponsoring the festival from 2017 to 2020. Globacom’s support for Ofala began in 2011, when it signed a three-year sponsorship deal with the Obi’s palace.
When the contract expired in 2013, the company renewed it for another three years, which ended with the 2016 Ofala festival celebrations. The new MoU was signed on behalf of Onitsha Kingdom by the Ogene Onira of Onitsha, Chief Ngozi E. Okafor, while Globacom’s National Sales Coordinator, South-East, Mr. Mike Ehumadu, signed on behalf of the company. Igwe Achebe thanked Globacom for its support for Ofala in the last seven years, noting that the sponsorship had lifted the profile of the ceremony tremendously.
He expressed gratitude to the Chairman of Globacom, Dr. Mike Adenuga Jr., for his contributions to the promotion of indigenous arts and culture. On his part, Mr Ehumadu said: “Globacom has renewed the sponsorship of Ofala festival to demonstrate the company’s commitment to the promotion of the culture, customs and traditions of the Nigerian people.” He restated Globacom’s resolve to give international dimension to Ofala festival and help make it a global tourist attraction and most revered ceremony among black people.
The signing of the new sponsorship deal happened the same time as the commencement of the 2017 edition, which began with the Umatu festival. Umatu is a mini festival where the Obi performs the rites marking the end of the planting season and the beginning of the period of harvest and plenty for the people of the kingdom. Immediately after, the monarch goes into seclusion