ECHOES OF IBOM CHRISTMAS VILLAGE 2021 REACHES THE WORLD, AS EVENT SETS ALL TIME RECORD | Ibomplaza News

ECHOES OF IBOM CHRISTMAS VILLAGE 2021 REACHES THE WORLD, AS EVENT SETS ALL TIME RECORD | Ibomplaza News

Nelson NseAbasi

Recognition awards, launch of new social networking mobile app, iFlex, raffle draws and donation of items to the audience and less privileged spiced up the closing ceremony of Ibom Christmas Celebration 2021, as this year’s edition served rich contents, enjoying an increased number of partners and visitors, both from nearby states and outside the country.

The closing ceremony show was tagged SHOW SOME LOVE Concert and witnessed lots of giveaways by NGOs, brands and individuals at the Ibom Christmas Celebration 2021; Guinness Nigeria, MTN, Ibom Air, AMITEC, Bet King, 33 lager, Mercy Me Foundation was at the front burner with their partnership support and gift items.

Performing the closing ceremonies and official launch of the iFlex App, the Honorable Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Akwa Ibom State, Rt. Hon. Orman Esin, said searching for products, making purchases, and getting items delivered will be a great experience on iFlex, he was accompanied by the Special Assistant to Governor on New Media, Mr Aniekeme Finbarr and his Entertainment Industry counterpart, Mr David Sergeant.

iFlex is a global e-commerce platform and social network for businesses and independent professionals. The iFlex Mobile App presents users with an opportunity to flex with our local emojis, business listings, cooking lessons, language tutor, and e-commerce, with an integrated section where users can learn about our local Nigerian dialects and can also learn about our local dishes too.

The award of recognition presented to the pioneer Special Assistant to Akwa Ibom State Governor on Entertainment Industry, Mr. David Sergeant ( Utang Akwa Ibom ) for his ontribution towards the success of Ibom Christmas Celebration and the growth of the Entertainment Industry in Akwa Ibom State opened the floor for a series of recognition and honours done on some selected key players and partners.

The youth leaders of the host communities that make up the Ibom Christmas Village (Aka-Uyo and Afaha – Ibesikpo) were also given Certificates of Recognition for their peaceful demeanor and contribution to the success of Ibom Christmas Celebration 2021. The award has received several commendations from various quarters, many say this is indeed thoughtful of the Commissioner, Hon. Esin and his team.

The highpoint of the evening for some may have been the performance of the Ibom Christmas Celebration theme song by the UNIK Brodaz, but the presentation of a live goat to a lucky winner by 33 lager stole the show.

In all, from reviews and analysis, the Ibom Christmas Celebration 2021 can be said to have made a distinctive mark and set several records in the state, country and region, as the closing ceremony draws the curtain on the 32 Days of Non-Stop Fun & Entertainment on a high note.

The 30th day was a night full of emotions and nostalgia, with the theme ‘Veteran’s Night’, veteran musicians of Akwa Ibom origin took the center stage featuring 11 veteran musicians; Sir Etubom Rex Williams, Chief John Okon Inim (Inim Eto), Chief Ubang Akpanette(Uncle JB), Chief Edet Essien Akpan (E.E Akpan), Chief Anietie Etuk-Udo Ekpo (Unity Star), Mr. Patrick Peter Udo (The Doves), Mr. Etuk Willie Bassey (leematex), Mr. Lemmy Jackson Otu, late Chief Emmanuel Ette Ntia, late Chief Okon Etuk Ibok (Udo-Abianga) and Tex Ubong Henry, all of whom were honoured with an endowed Lifetime Achievement Award.

The governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr Udom Emmanuel who was represented by his deputy, Mr Moses Ekpo (MFR) at the opening ceremony and veterans night, commended the Orman Esin led Ministry of Culture & Tourism for the initiative and stressed the need to continually and frequently interface with the music icons and other great entertainers in the state.

The Veterans Night has become a constant feature in the schedule of the state’s events, as it parades great musicians of yesteryears who had thrilled the older generation of music lovers with their hit songs. The night helps the older ones to relish those good old days, just as it seeks to recognize and celebrate the music icons, some of whom may have been forgotten or abandoned to fate and ill health.

‘It is pertinent to celebrate our living legends’, the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Culture & Tourism, Rt. Hon. Orman Esin had said during a chat at the Ibom Christmas Village, while emphasizing the importance of a night as such, he explained the need to curate contents that appeal to all demography in the 32-Day Ibom Christmas Celebration event calendar; from the games arena, to the children park and the daily event activities designed to ensure that Akwa Ibom people of all age brackets find something amusing at the Ibom Christmas Village.

The Ibom Christmas Village is set up in a conducive environment, home to the Ibibio Unity Museum and Park, which is serene and refreshing with lush green grasses spread across the vast, 11-acre beautiful landscape. The venue is very much accessible even by first-time visitors to the state, as it has always been a melting point for tourists and people from across the country, who want to enjoy the friendly climate and air that come with the last month of the year.

The village, which is set on a huge spread of land at the expansive Unity Park, allows for effective social distancing and respect of COVID-19 restrictions opens on the 1st of December each year “is a statement to show that Akwa Ibom is ready for the business of tourism”. It is reputed to be the biggest Christmas event of its kind in Africa with the size of its location and potential for growth. With over 300 vendors this year and attracting thousands of visitors every evening, the village has become a must-visit place in Nigeria every December, and with lots of musical events, drama, games, and outdoor catering services, the village has been keeping the bustling spirit of Christmas high in Uyo.

The Culture and Tourism Ministry has always put everything in place to provide maximum security for the teeming number of fun seekers to the Ibibio Unity Park (home of Ibom Christmas Village). Security agencies are on standby to ensure lives and properties are safe and protected. The commissioner stated, “It has always been a lovely and engaging experience for Akwa Ibom people, and there is no point considering travelling outside the state for the celebrations, as we always have lots of amazing activities lined up to entertain guests, while keeping the place busy for 32 days non-stop”.

One area that featured prominently on every speaker or visitor’s lips was the need to sustain the annual Akwa Ibom Christmas Village celebration, which to many, is an emerging force in the country’s tourism calendar.

Nelson NseAbasi writes from Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

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