By Stanley Onyekwere
The Gwandara Educational and Cultural Association (GWADECA), has identified cultural festival as key to reawakening the consciousness of the youth on embracing cultural heritage of the ethnic nationalities in the FCT and beyond.
This advocacy dominated talks at a two-day Gwandara cultural festival, organised by GWADECA at the weekend, at Dusten-Alhaji Community, in Bwari Area Council of Abuja.
Our correspondent reports that the third edition of the festival, which kicked off with a visit to the ancient cave in Dusten-Alhaji, with lectures on: Gwandara Girls Child education; Gwandara, history, tradition and culture, climaxed with rich cultural parade and dances.
Chairman, GWADECA FCT Chapter, Alhaji Jibril Imam Karshi, said the essence of the festival is simply to showcase their cultural heritage.
He added that by organising the festival, the Association has demonstrated a very clear determination towards the promotion of cultures of the Gwandara people, which will help revive other indigenous cultures in the Territory.
Similarly, the Secretary of GWADECA FCT, Comrade Abdullahi Musa Gwagwa, noted that the annual celebration was not only reawakening the Gwandara people, but also reawakening other ethnic nationalities in Abuja especially the indigenous inhabitants.
“If we fail to be doing what we are doing now, our younger ones will forget about our history.
“This festival will indeed promote unity, because we invited all other ethnic groups to come and see our culture.
“We are doing this, so the younger ones can know and understand more about our history and culture,” he stressed
Also speaking, representative of the Chairman, Bwari Area Council, Hon. Yawo Zakari, Supervisory Councillor for Works, housing and planning in the Council, reiterated that the festival will enhance the promotion of the Gwandara cultural heritage especially among the youth.
He said as a Council, it is doing a lot to encourage the promotion of indigenous cultures in the area.
On his part, Deputy Chief of Staff to AMAC Chairman, Hon. Hasimu Angama, who expressed delight with the festival, said Hon Abdullahi Adamu Candido has helped to expose the traditions of the Gwandara people to other ethnic nationalities and the world.
Angama opined that before now, nobody knows much about the existence of the Gwandara traditions especially their younger ones.
He adds: “We want to make sure that all our tradition is well known to the younger ones, because most don’t know. But we should keep it and make sure it stands very firm.
Not left out, Hakimi (District Head) of Dusten-Alhaji, Alhaji Abubakar Bako, who delivered a brief lecture on culture as an instrument of unity, reiterated that when it comes to the promotion of peaceful coexistence in the society, there is no greater tool than culture.
According to him, “the Gwandara cultural activities of unity are numerous, part of them include; agriculture, commerce, traditional education initiation and local boxing.”