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The Maiden Akwa Ibom Ukapisua Street Groove

The Akwa Ibom #UkapisuaStreetGroove was a success. Launched by Gov. Emmanuel Udom, the Ukapisua Street Groove is a carnival with a difference. Far from other carnivals with Caribbean undertones and foreign costumes, the carnival derives its themes from Akwa Ibom arts, history and culture. The various bands represent specific tourist hotspots in the state.
The trans Atlantic slave trade was thematised by the bands as part of the dark history that the Akwa Ibom people suffered. Costumed in slave clothing and whip wounds, the enactors brought to life, the experience before the famous Bridge of No Return at Ikot Abasi, Akwa Ibom State. The famous fattening room tradition of the AkwaCross region, especially among the Anaangs, was also depicted through the use of fattened female troupes. The early Akwa Akpa and Qua Iboe missionaries were also represented, alongside their roles in stopping the killing of twins in the region. The influence of Nsibidi, Ekpo, Ekpe, and other indigenous forms were visible in the costumes of the dancers. Shades of Akwacross history were also presented in the representation of Efik-Ibibio Kings, Queens, Princesses and Princes, among other royalties. It was a total theatre!

Apart from the many artistic theatrics, there were also other popular forms such as horse riding, skating, stunts, and above all, live performances from such popular musicians as Wizkid, 2baba, Tiwa Savage, Tekno, Runtown, among others, each representing a band. It was a serious fanfare!

The need for the event was justified in its uniqueness. Though at its infancy, #UkapisuaStreetGroove has all the potentials to match the best of street parties in Africa. #Ukapisua continues today with the Mega Beach Party at Ibeno.
- Iroro Orhero

Photos below:

Photos were taken by Epic Plaza, by Uniuyo roundabout, Uyo. That was where the groove started and it terminated at Unity Park (Christmas Village), Udo Udoma avenue, Uyo. Because of the traffic and lack of space, I was constrained to this position. I'm sure others may have better pictures of the event to upload