The 117th edition of Neville’s Day celebration was held on August 12, 2023, at the Nanna Living History Museum, situated within the historical Nanna Palace in Koko, Nanna Town, Warri North Local Government Area. This event is a significant annual commemoration of Chief Nanna Olomu’s return from British-imposed exile in 1906 to the former Gold Coast (now Ghana). The celebration holds great cultural and historical importance for the Nanna family of Koko, serving as a reminder of their resilience, strength, and the preservation of their heritage.
Activities and Programs:
The Neville’s Day 2023 Celebration was marked by a series of engaging activities and programs that aimed to honor Chief Nanna Olomu’s legacy and educate attendees about the historical significance of the event. The highlight of the event included:
- Exhibition at Nanna Living History Museum:
The Nanna Living History Museum showcased an exhibition that provided attendees with detailed insight into the life, achievements, and challenges faced by Chief Nanna Olomu during his time. The exhibits included artifacts, documents, and memorabilia related to his life and impact on the Niger Delta.
- Unveiling of Grandchildren’s Photographs:
As a way to connect the past with the present, a touching moment occurred during the event when photographs of the grandchildren of Chief Nanna Olomu were unveiled at the museum. This gesture aimed to emphasize the ongoing legacy of Chief Nanna Olomu through his descendants.
- Cultural Dance Display:
An integral part of the celebration was the cultural dance display that showcased traditional Itsekiri dance steps. A dance group, along with descendants of Chief Nanna Olomu, performed these dances, infusing the event with vibrant energy and cultural significance.
- Speeches by Distinguished Guests:
Several notable personalities delivered speeches that underscored the importance of Chief Nanna Olomu’s legacy. Speeches were made by Chief Oma Eyewuoma, the Ologbogbotsere of Warri Kingdom, Mr. Henry Erikowa, the Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Museum, Mrs. Amejuma Pemu, the Chairperson of the Planning Committee, Commissioner Oritseweyinmi Agbateyiniro, and Curator Ikhuehi Omonkhua. These speeches highlighted the historical context, cultural importance, and significance of Chief Nanna Olomu’s return.
Educational and Cultural Significance:
By participating in the 117th Neville’s Day Celebration, attendees gained a deeper understanding of the rich history and cultural heritage of Chief Nanna Olomu. The event succeeded in conveying the enduring impact of Chief Nanna Olomu’s actions and the sacrifices he made for his community. The celebration also served as a platform for the younger generation to connect with their roots and appreciate the resilience and heritage of their forebears.
The grandeur of the Nanna/Neville’s Day celebration was elevated by the presence of distinguished personalities including Warri Kingdom Palace Chiefs, community leaders, and guests of honor. Among those who graced the occasion were:
- Chief (Engr) Oma Eyewuoma – The Ologbotsere of Warri Kingdom.
- Chief Prest Udueyin – The Akwinotsokan of Warri Kingdom
- Chief Anthony Ede – The Uwa Olu Etan of Warri Kingdom
- Comr. Oritseweyinmi Isaac Agbateyiniro – Commissioner Designate
- Mr Henry Erikowa – Chairman, Nanna Living History Museum Advisory Board
The 117th edition of Neville’s Day Celebration was a remarkable event that paid homage to Chief Nanna Olomu’s legacy and the historical significance of his return from exile. Through exhibitions, cultural displays, speeches, and the unveiling of photographs, the event successfully highlighted the enduring impact of Chief Nanna Olomu on the world. The celebration effectively achieved its goal of preserving and promoting cultural heritage while reinforcing the values of resilience and strength among the attendees.