As part of the activities to celebrate the Niger Delta Hero on his golden jubilee on Easter day (Sunday 4 April 2021) various cultural dance troupes from some communities in the Gbaramatu Kingdom were on ground to thrill the celebrant, High Chief Government Oweizide Ekpemupolo alias Tompolo, the Ebidouwei of Ijaw Nation, as well as other guests in attendance, and in addition competing for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes of N700,000k, N500,000k and N300,000k.
The various cultural dance troupes that participated in the competition were from the communities of Benikrukru, Igoba, Inikorogha, Tebujor, Oporoza, Kurutie, Okerenkoko, Ubefan, Kokodiagbene, and Kunukunuma, all putting up a wowing performance.
Other cultural dance troupes that also entertained at the Oporoza playground include Sokebolou dance troupe from Burutu, Ibolomobo-ere dance troupe and the dance troupe of Hon. George Ekpemupolo, former Warri South West Local Government Chairman.
The dancing competition kicked off by 2:55pm with cultural dancers from the oil-rich Benikrukru. They were followed by those from Igoba, Inikorogha, Tebujor, Oporoza, Kurutie, Okerenkoko, Ubefan, Kokodiagbene, and Kunukunuma, who took their turns to do what they know best.
Though, aware there are prizes to be won, all the same each cultural dance troupe deemed it a honour to entertain the celebrant, a man most of them had never seen before but only heard of. And so, they all put up sizzling performances to spice up his day.
However, the Kokodiagbene dance troupe set off a firework in the venue by their wowing performance, causing even His Royal Majesty’s demeanor to brighten in delight of their superb and creative performance.
An Asian man, by his looks, in excitement stormed the field armed with his smartphone as he took video of one of the youth dancers within the age bracket of three to four years doing the Ijaw acrobatic dance steps. Also stunning to all was the organisational style of the Kokodiagbene dance troupe which was unique. Unlike other dancers, the they made their entry in three different angles, an act that threw most of the camera men off balance as they try to get a capture of all their entry point.
The Benikrukru and Oporoza dance troupes were also astounding in their performance as they manoeuvred in their display of the Ijaw awigiri dance style as they satisfy the eyes of guests at the event.
The judges, led by Chief Vero Emmanuel Tangbowei (JP), the Ibe-Benimo-ere of Gbaramatu Kingdom and accompanied by Deaconess Justina Timiyan (JP) and Mrs. Saghana Bubor AKA Ologbo 1, informed the audience that some factors were considered in arriving at their judgment, some of which include their style of dressing, their manner of dancing including recognising the Pere whom they were also entertaining.
On that note, the cultural dance troupes from Oporoza, Benikrukru and Kokodiagbene clinched the 1st, 2nd and 3rd positions, respectively.
For the Kokodiagbene dance troupe which put up a sizzling performance, they could not clinch the 1st prize as they failed to honour His Royal Majesty like other dance troupes in their attempt to meet up with the three minutes time allotted to each troupe.
The winners were awarded their 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes of N700,000k, N500,000k and N300,000k respectively by the President of Gbaramatu Youth Council, GYC, Comrade Shadrach Onitsha Ebikeme, courtesy of Engr. Matthew Tonlagha, the Niger Delta Philanthropist and business mogul.
Masquerades were also on ground to entertain guests. In addition, comedians notably among who are MC Collabo, MC Abioka and Mr. Right thrilled the audience with funny jokes, harvesting abundant laughter in the process.
A significant defining moment came, during the dancing competition, when Mr. Right dazzled the audience when he unexpectedly against their expectations embarked on a fishing expedition on land, showcasing the Ijaw rich traditional fishing skill as he threw his net wide but caught nothing, symbolising the dearth of fishes in the creeks as a result of the contamination of the Niger Delta creeks by crude oil and other pollutants.