Embracing Tradition: The Kabowei Seigbein Cultural Festival Takes Center Stage

The Kabowei Seigbein Cultural Festival holds a significant place in the hearts of the Kabo people of Delta and Bayelsa states. Rooted in ancient traditions, this annual celebration serves as a symbol of unity and cultural pride for all Kabowei communities. The parts of the kingdom in Delta State include Aven, Koloware, Taware, Akoware, Ogeinware, Ekise, Osou-ware, Orou-ware, Afenaware, Okruware. Additionally, areas known as Patani (Opu-Kabu), Asedeni, and Pereware are found in Abare, Aruke, and Orgor, all within the Patani Local Government areas of Delta State. In Bayelsa State, areas such as Asamabiri, Ekperi-ware, Elemebiri, Trofani, Aduku-abare, Aduku-Trofani, Kabokiri, and Adagbabiri are located in the Sagbama Local Government Area.

Programme of Activities for 2024 Kabowei Seigbein Festival

Historical Background:
The festival pays homage to the esteemed father of Kabowei, Oprozaowei, who migrated from the Gbaramatu creeks and settled in present-day Kabuo Bulu, Patani Local Government Area. Dating back to time immemorial, this ancient festival predates the establishment of the kingdom itself.

Purpose and Significance:
Today, the festival serves as a cultural feast to unite and strengthen the unique identity of the Kabowei kingdom. With a duration of 20 days, it comprises two distinct periods: the solemn 12-day period known as Amateri, followed by eight days of intense cultural showcases.

The Pere of Kabowei Kingdom leading the Pere Ogele (King’s Procession) during the 2023 Seigbein Festival.

Event Highlights
From April 3rd to April 15th, a diverse range of activities is lined up to celebrate Kabowei culture. Highlights include the “Azo Masquerade and the Opuobori” displays, “Apia Ogele,” Swimming and Canoe competitions, Omenjor dance, War boat regatta display, Pere football competition Finals, Payment of Homage by Non-Indigenes in Kabowei Kingdom, Conferment of Chieftaincy titles to deserving Sons and Daughters of the Kingdom, and the Awigiri and Ragaea Love Boat Cruise events. These events make the Annual Seigbein Cultural Festival a globally renowned event.

The Pere of Kabowei leading the historical Ogele procession, during the 2023 Seigbein Festival.

New Initiative:
In a groundbreaking move, this year’s edition of the festival will unveil the Skill Acquisition and Empowerment Programme, generously sponsored by Chief Mrs. Enebi Jennifer Borel, the Izon Ebidou – Ara of Kabowei Kingdom. This initiative aims to empower selected beneficiaries across the kingdom, promoting sustainable development and community empowerment.

The Pere of Kabowei, accompanied by his wife, the Queen, leads the procession of men and women during the 2023 Seigbein Festival.

Educational Aspect:
Beyond its cultural significance, the Kabowei Seigbein Cultural Festival serves as an educational platform for others to learn about the rich heritage and traditions of the Great Kabowei Kingdom of Delta/Bayelsa States. Visitors and participants alike have the opportunity to immerse themselves in Kabowei culture and gain a deeper understanding of its history and customs.

In conclusion, the Kabowei Seigbein Cultural Festival embodies the spirit of unity, heritage, and progress. It is a celebration of tradition, community, and resilience, ensuring the preservation and promotion of Kabowei culture for generations to come.

By Jacob Brakere Abai, Publisher, GbaramatuVoice

Support Quality Journalism in the Niger Delta Region

Join us in our mission to bring development journalism, cultural preservation, and environmental awareness to the forefront. Your contribution makes a difference in the lives of the people of the Niger Delta. Donate today and be a part of the change!