Ofala Events

Inye Ukwu Na Nlo Eze Onicha (Spiritual Retreat)

This is the annual seclusion of the monarch, during which period he  negotiates  the fortunes of the kingdom. Considered to be the most sacred in Onitsha ceremonial cycle, the monarch remains incommunicado during the following native week: Oye, Afor, Nkwo, and Eke. This is to enable him to concentrate all his energies on securing from the spiritual powers the best for himself and his subjects.2


A feast of atonement by brave men -Ndichie (redcap chiefs) and big game hunters, it  is also a period for these warlords to rejuvenate themselves. Furthermore, Ogbalido provides each of the three senior redcap chiefs with an opportunity to review the redcap chiefs under their command.

Inyepu Ukwu na Nlo Eze Onicha

When the  task of the monarch is completed after one native week, the spiritual retreat ends. The monarch  then emerges from seclusion on the evening of  Eke  after a  successful negotiation. He then gets ready for his Ofala, which is due to come up the next day which is the fourth Oye in the Owuwaji season

Iru Ofala

This first day,  Iru  Ofala  is primarily for the monarch. Attended by the Ndichie, the monarch wearing his full regalia parades the arena of his palace on three different occasions, in full view of all present, and dances to the war drums. In between the rounds, his subjects, visitors, and  stakeholders  in  the  greater  cosmopolitan  city, pay him their respects.

Azu Ofala

Azu Ofala which on the second day of the Ofala, is an elaborate display by the monarch’s   subjects usually made up of age grade societies in their very colourful uniforms.  Each society dances past the throne room paying homage to the monarch.  All these  leads to entertainment which give expression to a rich cultural heritage based on sacred values

Ofala Lecture Series

Promoted by the  Nigerian Institute of Public Relations and the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu University, it is named the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations / Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu Obi  Nnaemeka Achebe Annual Lecture. This is in recognition of His Majesty’s  contributions to the advancement of Public Relations in Nigeria, and his service to the Institute in which he is a fellow. The promoters also note that  His  Majesty has made great impact on the advancement of effective communication for sustainable grassroots development through value creation in community relations.

Oreze  Art Exhibition

The Beginnings 

A group exhibition,  titled Orakwue  (The Voice of the People)  held in honour of  His Majesty Nnaemeka Achebe, Agbogidi, Obi of Onitsha in recognition of  his  support for Nigerian and African Artist in general , sowed the seeds that has now germinated into Oreze. The exhibition of paintings, sculptures , and ceramics  which opened on the 6th of April 2013 at the Alexis Galleries in Victoria Island Lagos  featured 17  Artists. In September of the same year His Majesty invited the artists  to replicate the show on a large scale at the Ofala. So Orakwue became Oreze.

The  Concept

Oreze,   Ora Eze in full,  refers to the collective will of  the people under the leadership of the king.  The monarch  therefore becomes  the embodiment of that resolve  and the binding force  of the people.  Oreze is also the name of  the second Onitsha sovereign, who ruled in the 16th -17th century and was in fact the first monarch following the founding of the Onitsha city state on the eastern bank of the River Niger.

Drawing from this, His Majesty  is in essence  a  rallying point for creative minds like fine artists as they seek to bring about transformation of the people through the works they produce. He  is thus a patron of these artists . Furthermore, as a major supporter of the visual arts, His Majesty   has developed a relationship with  quite a number of these artists. The result is the  King’s Guild of Artists who present their works in the annual exhibition during the period of the Ofala.

The Chimedie Museum

The Oreze Art Exhibition  has been conceptualised and promoted under the auspices of Chimedie Museum Trust Foundation. The Chimedie Museum Trust Foundation has been established by His Majesty Nnaemeka Achebe, Obi of Onitsha.  The foundation seeks to help create a future in which African art achieves greater visibility, appreciation, relevance, and sustainability. The Chimedie Museum Trust Foundation is a centre of excellence for the development and promotion of African art as a vehicle for community transformation. In this regard, it has decided to establish the Chimedie Museum in Onitsha.  Construction of the museum building is under way.

The Exhibition

Oreze 1  opened on  Monday, October 7, 2013, which was the eve of that year’s   Ofala .  70 Artist from Nigeria and the west coast of Africa participated in the maiden edition.  Since this first edition, Oreze has continued to grow in leaps and bounds. Oreze  has had some of  the largest collection of works in a  group show in Africa  and has  featured artists from the United States  of America,  Cuba, Belgium, United Kingdom, France, South Africa, and the west coast of Africa. The works of  several old African masters,  well-established ones including the leading emerging masters  on the continent have been exhibited at Oreze.  In the drive to serve as an avenue for promoting up and coming artists,  well over 100   artists  resident  in the southeast region have made their exhibition debuts at Oreze.  Master artists  Bruce Onobrakpeya and Demas Nwoko, including art academics  such as Ola Oloide,   Chike Aniako,  Jerry Buhari, and Peju Layiwola  have been special guests at the opening of various editions of Oreze

Ofala Youth Carnival     


The Ofala Youth  Carnival has evolved to become the biggest cultural street funfair in the Southeast region  of Nigeria.  The carnival owes its origin to the   parade Igba Ilo Ofala organised by the National Association of Onicha Ado Students as  a herald to the Ofala.

It was usually held on the morning of Iru Ofala which is the first day of the Ofala. In 2010, the Igba Ilo Ofala  was re-structured from a  mere awareness creation activity to become  a full-fledged carnival and  integrated to the Ofala as a major component of the festival. In order  to ensure that the carnival  aligns properly with other aspects  of the Ofala,  it became necessary to create a separate day for the carnival. Thus in 2016, His Majesty Nnaemeka Achebe, Agbogidi, Obi of Onitsha gave recognition to the day preceding Iru Ofala to be designated as Ofala Carnival Day.

The Essence

The carnival which is organised  by the Onitsha Ado Youth Council   showcases the rich cultural heritage of Onitsha indigenes.  It is   a colourful moving train of various  Onitsha cultural outfits and dances along the major streets of the metropolis. In this regard, it provides  entertainment for both the youth participants and the spectators that cut across various age categories . In addition, it   ensures sustainability of the customs and traditions of Onicha Ado N’Idu (Onitsha),   by inculcating in the  youths, a sense of pride and love for the   heritage of their hometown . Furthermore, the winning groups receive  financial rewards.

Innovations continue to be introduced in the carnival with a view to improving on  the enjoyment and entertainment.  Drawing from the connections which Onitsha has with the Edo and Igala people, participants in the  costumes from these ethnic groups featured  in the 2018 edition. Another innovation was the appearance  of  the Ofala Models.

Ofala Banquet

This Banquet is held   in honour of  His Majesty, Nnaemeka Alfred Achebe, mni, CFR, Agbogidi, Obi of Onitsha. Globacom, a major sponsor of the Ofala organises the event which also provides an opportunity for His Majesty to interact with various persons who have been involved in organising the Ofala.

Ofala Thanksgiving Service  

A thanksgiving service usually rounds up the Ofala. The service is rotated amongst the churches in the Onitsha metropolis.