The youth of Gurara Local Government Area of Niger State found it necessary to contribute their quota to the development of the area; and so, the maiden edition of the Gurara Cultural Festival, tagged, “GURAFEST 2015/2016”, was organized at the Lambata Primary School and Gurara Waterfalls, from Thursday, 31st December, 2015 to Saturday, 2nd January, 2016.

The Local Government derived her name from the popular Gurara Waterfalls, located about 3km off Suleija-Minna Road (the junction being about an hour drive from both towns); and the waterfall was reportedly discovered in 1745 by a Gwari hunter, called, Buba, who was on hunting expedition.

Gurara is a combination of the name of two gods that the Gwari people worship and consult: “Gura” and “Rara,” and which they make sacrifices to whenever they had problems.

According to reports, some Europeans discovered the waterfalls in 1925 and turned it to a recreational centre and this put an end to worship and sacrifices to the gods at that place.

The fall is at its peak between April and November and at its lowest ebb January and March; it is safer to swim in the river during the dry season when the water is clean and calm.

NICO Minna State Coordinator, Mrs. Funke Ndukwe, in her goodwill message, commended the organizers for a job well done, noting that culture is our pride and called on the Gbagyi people and indeed Nigerians to be committed to culture by putting efforts to promote it.

Mrs. Ndukwe, who was represented by Mallam Sidi Aliyu Galadima, opined that the festival has indeed opened a new chapter in the history of Gurara Local Government Council of Niger State.

GURAFEST 2015/2016 featured many fascinating and remarkable events, part of which were cultural procession, cultural display and masquerade performances, traditional music and dance, craft display, swimming competition, food fair and farm produce exhibition, traditional wrestling and boxing competition, as well as contemporary music and dance.

The occasion was graced by dignitaries including, the District head of Izom, Alhaji Garba Yakubu, who represented the Emir of Zazzau Suleija, HRH Awwal Ibrahim; Honourable Commissioner of Water Resources, Alhaji Abubakar Idris Azozo; Alhaji Abdullahi Ibrahim of the Deputy Governor’s Office; Director-General, Niger State Project Monitoring Office, Alhaji Baba Barau; Executive Director, Niger State Council for Arts and Culture, Comrade Kabiru Dan’Asabe; Caretaker Chairman of Gurara Local Government Council, represented by Hashimu Musa Yahaya, his Council Members, as well as village heads and community leaders.

Suleiman Usman

NICO Minna