Andy Essiet, Calabar
Guinness Plc, a premium beer brand is partnering 13 communities in Cross River state to promote culture and boost agriculture in Nigeria.Guinness Brand Manager, Cynthia
Ufele who said this on Saturday during the celebration of this year’s Mbube New Yam Festival celebration by the 13 communities that make up Mbube in Ogoja local government area of the state, explained that, “the partnership between Guinness and the New Yam Festival in Cross River seeks to emphasize the importance of celebrating key cultural moments in the state and Nigeria” .
Ufele said, “the celebration seeks to celebrate with the people of Cross River, Benkpe specifically in moments that come most natural to them and Guinness is a brand immersed in local culture, celebrating the magic that inspires experiences that encourage our audience, the dance, the culture, the people the men, women and their experiences to shine bright, together.”
The Mbube people said the festival has been on for over 50 years and they are pleased that Guinness came to identify with them and share in the values the festivals bring to them.
Addressing the people of Mbube nation, the chairman Mbube Chiefs Council, Chief Mathias Odey Abua remarked that, “this is Mbube New Yam Festival celebration has existed right from our origin. It’s as old as Mbube and for up to 15 years now, we have been rotating this annual event within us in the 13 communities to ensure love, peace togetherness and oneness.
While hoping for “more acceptance of our culture outside this environment”, he
urged that the state government to encourage farming and agriculture as well as promote cultural heritage.
A participant at the celebration and an indigene of Mbube, Grace Onam said, “we are made up of 13 autonomous communities in Mbube and this year’s edition is organized by Benkpe autonomous community and the festival holds every year in turns within the Mbube nation. This new yam brings peace and unity. Yam farmers, palm wine trappers, young beauty queens, and cultural enthusiasts are encouraged to increase their effort in their farming and other endeavours”.
She said her “people are happy for Guinness brand’s sponsorship; it a good thing. We are happy seeing Guinness brand here. The aim of this celebration is to promote culture and agriculture.”
Another respondent, Mr Josephat Modey said, “I am surprised that Guinness, a nationally recognized brand can venture into a rural community like this to celebrate with the locals; I am baffled, in fact this is something to be happy about and to celebrate, I hope to see improvement in our next farming season as a result of this event.”
The event was climaxed with the live performance by one of the popular Nigerian Music artist, Onoyom Mbuka, popularly known as Inyanya.