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Mbe Festival

If you can afford to be in Afikpo during the Mbe Festival, you should make plans to attend.

Mbe or Ebu Mbe (literal translation: the tortoise’s song) is a festival that combines great music and dance with social satire. The songs contain lyrics that criticize individuals and groups who committed offenses or violated community norms in recent memory. The intent is to name and shame evil doers to serve as deterrence to others.

The songs and dance steps are rehearsed weeks and months in advance by groups of men and women who meet after work to practice. The result is great entertainment that also serves to reinforce community norms by “naming and shaming” those who violate those  norms.

Mbe festival is held every two years and features the Okpaa masquerade, colorfully dressed women’s dance groups and spirited male drummers.

One comment

  1. chiamaka Eze /

    when is the festival coming up again.

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