A Festival In Search Of Promotion – Uhola Festival in Zuru Division, Kebbi State

Uhola festival is a traditional/cultural festival, which is staged in Zuru Local Government Area of Kebbi State. The Zuru people, mostly of Dakarkari ethnic groups, have a unique culture different from the main ethnic group of central Kebbi State, who are mostly Hausa Fulani and Kabawas (Kebbi) people. While the eastern part of the area is dominated by Arewas, a fraction of Hausa tribes; the Zuru people mostly dominate southern part of Kebbi State.

Uhola festival used to be an annual event in the whole of Zuru division. It is a spectacular event especially in Waje community in Danko Wasagu Local Government Area. During the event, communities and areas within the division showcase their potentials in agricultural production by displaying products of different varieties. They also have high yield and other crops that have different adaptations which are also displayed.

The event also features cultural dances, traditional wrestling, traditional crafts and several others. It also features display of traditional wears of Dararkaris.

The southern people of Zuru division in Kebbi State operate Golmo system, a tradition where young boys till the farms of their fiancés parents and marriages are solemnized at the end of farming period of 2-5 years. Usually, such marriages are normally concluded during the Uhola festival of the year.

Competitive activities are normally instituted and winners of annual events are given prizes by the community; while the boys go away with their finances and conclude the marriage affairs. Serving the duration of Golmo was seen as the bride-price of their brides.

Lately, the Kebbi State government has made efforts to promote the event by making financial commitment. This made Uhola to attract great personalities, including the Kebbi State Deputy Governor, Col. Samaila Yombe, the Local Government Administrator, Engr. Saleh Dan Yaro, and traditional title-holders of Zuru Emirate Council, as well as top officials of Kebbi State Government.

As a popular cultural activity, second only to the famous Argungu Fishing Festival, efforts can be made to promote the event by projecting the activities and creating more awareness on the festival. This way, the event can develop to a point where it will generate revenue for the state.

The potential of this festival is tremendous as that part of the state is a popular part and can generate a lot of interest in both local and international tourists. This is because there are many prominent indigenes of Zuru division who have national pedigree. Added to this is the fact that Zuru division attract a lot of interest as an important element in the political and historical development of Nigeria.

Ibrahim A. Hussaini 

nico footer logoYou are welcome to the Website of the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO). The National Institute for Cultural Orientation, a parastatal of the Federal Ministry of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation was established by Act 93 of 1993.