The Kwete Cultural Festival, an annual event, which serves as a prayer for the people of Bachama Kingdom for bountiful harvest, has been celebrated in the bid to revive and promote their rich cultural heritage.
It is a common belief, among the Bachama people, that if the Kwete cultural festival does not take place, nobody would be allowed to cultivate their farm lands; therefore, the festival is aimed at marking the commencement of the new farming season in Bachama Kingdom.
The festival gives the youth an opportunity to demonstrate their strength in a wrestling competition, just as the women also compete in traditional dances, showcasing their rich cultural attires; and all these activities are of importance to the Bachama people, because they do not want their rich cultural heritage to go into extinction.
This is also a period where the traditional monarch, the Hama Bachama, associates with the custodians of the ritual houses (sacred palace); the Hama Bachama uses the festival to acknowledge the achievements of his sons and daughters, wherever they are, and also to sanction those that had violated the laws of the land.
The Kwete festival, which draws attention of people from far and near, is divided in to two parts: the first day is for the women to exhibit their cultural artefacts, in a way, demonstrating that women are not relegated in the affairs of the kingdom.
To further highlight the significant role of women this year, the First Lady of Adamawa State, Her Excellency Justice Binta Nyako, was the Special Guest of Honour, and she was supported by the wife of the Hama Bachama, Her Majesty Mrs. Queen Stephen.
Two special advisers to the Governor, Messrs. Hanatu Kadalla and Patricia Garka, the Executive Secretary, Scholarship Trust Fund, Hajiya Maria Adamu, former Clerk, Adamawa State House of Assembly, Hajiya Asma’u Salihu, and the chairperson, Lamurde Local Government Council, Mrs. Hilda Eneas, were also in attendance.
The festival also witnessed the turbanning of Honourable Mrs. Olvadi Zakaria, as the “Tikulti Bachama,” and the exhibition of Bachama antiquities, which Her Excellency Binta Nyako confessed, reminded her of her hometown in Katsina State, saying that the Bwatiye culture is one to be shared with the rest of the world.
The second day of the cultural festival witnessed the turbanning of new title-holders, and it had in attendance the Executive Governor of Adamawa State, Admiral Murtala H. Nyako (rtd.), who was represented by the Honourable Commissioner of Commerce, Alhaji Ahmed Garko, PDP Chieftain, Mijinyawa Kugama, former chairman, Mubi-South Local Government Council, Hon. Kevin Peter, Chairman, Lamurde Local Government Council, Mrs. Hilda Eneas, and the Dan Madamin Adamawa, Alhaji Dahiru Babbo.
The Kwete wrestling competition also drew contestants from across Bachama kingdom, who came to show their strength, and to prove the importance of raw strength in the business of farming.
In line with the Institute’s set objective to revive and promote our tangible and intangible cultural heritage, NICO North-East Zonal office participated in the festival, with the Zonal Coordinator, Mallam Ismaila Ahmad and three other staff from Research and Documentation, Corporate Affairs, and Orientation & Cultural Affairs Units, in attendance.
Abdullahi Yusuf Naguto
NICO North-Zast Zone, Yola