Upata Wrestling Festival Comes On Stream
As part of efforts to sustain the rich cultures of Upata Kingdom, the Nye Udu Upata III of Upata Kingdom, HRM, Nye Udu Felix Enene Otuwarikpo has flagged off the annual Upata Wrestling Festival.
The event which kicked off on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 at the Edeoha Community play ground, attracted the cream of Upata society, including Eze Ekpeye Logbo III, HM, Eze Ngozi Kelvin Anugwo, as they were thrilled with the best of traditional wrestling displays by both old and young.
Speaking at the event, King Otuwarikpo said wrestling is one of their ancient cultural events which have been maintained till date in spite of modalities and globalization, adding that wrestling is one culture they would not do away with because of its importance in unifying the people.
The monarch maintained that the wrestling festival which forms part of the culture of the people of Upata, is rotated among the 21 communities that made up Upata Kingdom.
He said wrestling is very significant because it makes the young men happy, adding that sports in Nigeria can promote tourism and that they intend to use most of their cultural activities like wrestling to promote tourism.
According to him, the wrestling also offers the opportunity to harness the potentials of youths who could become professional wrestlers that could represent the state in wrestling competitions, and that there is no spiritual attachment adding to it, culture is a way of life and should be embraced by all.
Former Deputy Speaker in the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Prince Chibudom Nwuche in his speech, described wrestling as a veritable source of unification, even as he thanked the King for keeping the legacy and custom alive.
He also urged the youths to embrace sports which he says will keep them away from crime and other social vices.
The wrestling fiesta was declared open by the Chairman of Ahoada East Local Government Area, Chief Ben Eke.
Highlight of the occasion was when the defeat of a renown international wrestler by an Upata wrestling champion.