Students of the Post Graduate Diploma in Cultural Administration (PGDCA) National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Training School, Abuja Study Centre joined several other tourists with Mada indigenes of Akwanga Local Government Council, Nasarawa State in the 2018 Nzeh Mada festival, which was celebrated in grand style at Rinze Dam, with the theme: Peace, Perseverance and Partnership. The event which took place on Wednesday the 28th of March, had in attendance Chun Mada, His Royal Highness, Chief Dr Samson Gamu Yare; the Deputy Governor, Nasarawa State, His Excellency, Silas Ali Agara; the Chunga, His Royal Highness, Yusufu Amwe; the Director General of NIHOTOUR, Mrs Chika Balogun; President, Hospitality and Tourism Management of Nigeria, Alhaji Aliyu Badaki; President, Federation of Tourism Association of Nigeria, Alhaji Rabo Sale Kareem; the Commandant, Army Command Technical School, Rinze, Major Jafaru, and a host of others.

Speaking at the occasion, the Deputy Governor of Nasarawa state, His Excellency Silas Ali Agara, congratulated the Chun Mada, His Royal Highness, Chief Dr Samson Gamu Yare, the Chunga, His Royal Highness, Yusufu Amwe and the Chief Promoter of Mada Cultural activities, Prof. Emmanuel Dandaura for sustaining the cultural activities for the past five years with tremendous improvement. He said he deemed it appropriate to attend , not only to celebrate the festival but to also draw attention to the tourism potentials in Mada Cultural activities, Mada land, Akwanga and by extension, Nasarawa state which in turn will fast track economic activities in these areas. He described this year’s event at the Rinze Dam a welcome development especially with the introduction of water sports and the support of Rowing Federation to Mada cultural programme. Moreover, he gave his full assurance to continually promote and support the Mada cultural activities.

He therefore, appreciated and congratulated the new Yaa Nzeh in the person of Mrs Chika Balogun, DG, National Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR). While welcoming her to the Mada family, he assured her of the support of the Mada sons and daughters adding that her presence was a blessing to Mada nation which wil,l of course, bring glory to Mada land. Prof. Emmanuel Dandaura, Chairman of the Nze Mada Festival, earlier in his opening remark, while welcoming guests, said that the cultural festival is geared towards exposing the tourism potentials of the land, and for guests to see the leisure activities in the place. It is also to the beautiful lifestyle of the people.  

In her contributions, the Director General of NIHOTOUR, Mrs Chika Balogun, who was the chairperson of the occasion, said she was pleased to be associated with the Nze Mada festival which promotes high cultural values and esteemed tradition of the Mada people. She stressed that the significance of the various activities in celebration of the festival is a step in the right direction to uplift the Mada people as an ethnic nationality and to boost the tourism values associated with it. She added that the event which projects the people’s identity also enhances their socio-economic development attributes as it exhibits the cultural heritage and strengthens friendships among the Mada indigenes in Nasarawa, State and other Nigerians. Mrs Balogun who was earlier honoured and installed with a traditional title as the ‘Yaa  Nzeh Mada’ which means mother of Nzeh Mada festival, gave her institute’s commitment to offer training opportunities which include tour guides, event managers and other aspects that will help to  enhance the quality of the Nzeh Mada festival in subsequent years

Earlier, the Chun Mada, His Royal Highness, Chief Dr Samson Gamu Yare, welcomed everyone to the event and appreciated God for journey mercies. He highlighted the activities to mark the Nzeh Mada festival 2018 as follows; special prayer, dances, music, masquerade display, cooking competition, wrestling, debate, Mada heritage exhibition, novelty match and beauty pageant. 

Other activities that took place at the Rinze Dam were recitation of the National anthem in Mada dialect, dancing by the Lalle and Rinze cultural groups dressed in traditional leopard skin attire, wrestling and swimming competition, archery by the chuntazu, fishing and Kayak competition by the Nigerian Canoe, Rowings and Sailing Federation, Lagos.

The climax of the occasion was the installation of the DG, NIHOTOUR as the Yaa Nze Mada of Mada Festival by the Chun Mada His Royal Highness which took place much earlier. 

In his vote of thanks, His Royal Highnes, Yusufu Amwe, appreciated the eminent dignitaries and all the other tourists as he extolled the virtues of Prof Emmanuel Dandaura, who is the brain behind the rebranding of the new Nzeh Mada festival. 

Sandra .O. Kingsley-Omogiade & 

Mustapha Alfanla. 

PGDCA 2018 Class,

NICO Training School, Abuja Study Centre.