Nigerians in Ghana on Sunday, September 17, 2023, thronged the Efua Sunderland Park in Accra to celebrate the  Igbo Annual Yam Festival, a traditional festival inherited from their fathers.

The Festival which is celebrated to thank the gods for a bumper harvest witnessed some Ghanaian Chiefs and Queen mothers as well as high government officials join the Igbo King in Ghana, HRM Dr Ambassador Chukwudi Ihenetu Eze Ohazurume I, to celebrate the 2023 Igbo new yam festival.

Notable Ghanaian Chiefs were representatives of the Ga Mantse, the Okyehene, and the Osu Mantse, among other local Chiefs.

Igbo is one of Nigeria’s major ethnic groups and strategic and influential sub-nationalities in the larger Nigerian community in Ghana.

The Igbo yam festival is celebrated annually to showcase the Igbo culture and to highlight the economic importance of the yam crop in the affairs of the Igbo community across the world.

The 2023 celebration witness featured the best of Igbo and Ghanaian cultural displays, attires and regalia.

PALACE CHIEFS OF HRM Dr Ambassador Chukwudi Ihenetu Eze Ohazurume I

Many of the Nigerians also see the festival as a time to meet friends and relatives and well as celebrate the country’s relationship between Ghana and Nigeria, the Igbo Monarch in Accra.

Addressing the Nigerians, the Igbo Chief, HRM Dr Ambassador Chukwudi Ihenetu Eze Ohazurume I, said apart from thanking the gods for the successful and good harvest, the new yam festival is also used to strengthen the traditions and cultures of Nigeria and Ghana.

“The Ghanaian chiefs and queen mothers that joined us today are the unique way of celebrating our festivals. This festival is not only to showcase Nigeria or Igbo tradition but also the African tradition. This is what we Africans cherish a lot. And through tradition, we build serious bridges”.

“We are not just celebrating yam, we are also celebrating the relationship between the two countries, Ghana and Nigeria. So today, you have seen a lot of things. The number of Ghanaian royalties, government officials and other guests that joined us for this singular and unique culture.

According to him, “The Igbo New Yam festival is virtually the same every year and everywhere. It’s all about yam, yam, yam. What makes one different from the other is the kind of people you invite from one event to the next and the kind of display you put up. So, more these are some of the new things you are going to see next year and beyond,” he noted.

Dr Eze Ihenetu explained the significance of the festival to his people and the underlying reason why they celebrate the crop on a special occasion, stating that, “among the Igbos, yam is a crop that our forefathers respected a lot. And among all the crops that they planted, they had so much love for yam. They saw yam as a saviour that could be turned into various menus: pounded yam, or Utara ji; yam porridge, among others. Yam could also be used to bless other families, by giving them, maybe, twenty or thirty tubers of yams to plant during the next planting season.

In the Igbo tradition, when you give somebody twenty tubers of yam and he cuts them to plant, that twenty tubers could give him multiples of tubers of yam in the future and the quantity of yam in one man ban indicates the level of richness of that person.

The Igbo Chief said the festival is also used to teach their children the value of culture and to remind them of the forefather’s legacy and urged them never to depart from their tradition.

“Our children are watching us as we celebrate yam. Think about it: as they are growing up with it, and we are also getting old; in the next twenty, thirty, fifty years, or whatever, this our generation will fly out. And the following generation will then take it up from there,” he explained.

He commended the government and people of Ghana for the unique hospitality and the peaceful co-existence they enjoyed with Ghanaians over the years, stressing that the majority of Nigerians in Ghana are law-abiding, acknowledging, however, that there is a minority whose troubles in Ghana are largely ‘self-inflicted.

“Nigerians in Ghana are ok. We are comfortable, and the people (of Ghana) love us. Which is why more of us are still coming to the country. So, I don’t see Nigerians in Ghana as having problems. The problems some of us encounter are self-inflicted. So I urged my brothers and sisters from Nigerians in Ghana to continue to respect the laws so we all live in peace and promote African culture,” he added.

Some distinguished Igbos in Ghana were conferred with Chieftaincy Title to help promote the unique culture of the Igbos and  Africa in their respective communities, while others including some Ghanaians were also given the titles as honour for their benevolent and humanitarian services to society.



Notable attractions at the 2023 Igbo yam festival were the display of masquerades, traditional dances by Igbo women dance groups as well as Igbo youth groups; display of yams; parade of models in Igbo farming attires; and, also display of Igbo foods and menu.

The celebration new yam festival began with the breaking of the Kola-nut which is shared among all sub-chiefs and elders present, before other activities followed to climax the day.






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