It was a wonderful celebration of Nigeria’s rich and diverse cultural heritage as parishioners of Agnes Parish Wuye came out in large numbers attired in their various traditional outfits to celebrate the 2018 St Agnes Cultural Day and End of Year Party on the second Sunday of Advent. To show off their various cultures, parishioners, in addition to the traditional outfits also prepared traditional delicacies, which were served during the party.
The day began with celebration of mass and thanksgiving. Speaking after the mass, the parish priest, Rev Fr. Richard Gberikon, urged parishioners to identify with their places of origin and feel proud of their traditional background, saying we all come from a village. He capped up by announcing to parishioners that the Zumunta Mata Choir, which had earlier thrilled parishioners with various beautiful renditions, would now be officially part of the St Agnes Choir. The news was received with a loud applause and excitement.
The mass was followed immediately by a reception where all parishioners were hosted to a wonderful display of culture by various dance troupes, including the St Augustine Tiv Dance troupe, as well as the Akwa Ibom dance troupe and the Nigeria Police Band who entertained everyone with music from all the major tribes in Nigeria.
Giving the welcome address at the reception on behalf of the St Agnes Parish Catholic Men Organization (CMO) President, Bro Joseph Dashe, the Vice President, Bro Chris Tion, thanked the parish priest for introducing the Culture Day celebration to the parish as well as adding the Zumunta Mata Choir to the English Choir. He described it as a welcome development that would further cement the unity in diversity we enjoy as Nigerians. He urged the parish priest to also allow parishioners who have long wished to meet under the auspices of various state and tribal associations to do so as it would further strengthen the bond among parishioners in the parish. Bro Tion also used the opportunity to thank parishioners for their generous contributions to the church mission house project, which he said would be dedicated by His Lordship, Most Rev. Dr Anselm Umoren, the Auxillary Bishop of the Abuja Archdiocese, on 17thDecember 2018, following its completion.
Various groups spiced the event with an array of traditional foods. A visibly excited chairman of the organizing committee, HRH Etinyin (Engr) Idim Ita Idim, in his vote of thanks informed parishioners that the parish priest has made him the permanent chairman of the St Agnes Cultural Day and End of Year Party celebrations going forward. He also said this year’s celebration was a just a tip of the iceberg compared to the subsequent ones to follow. He thanked parishioners for coming out to support the event.