Archive for the ‘CROSS RIVERS STATE’ Category


April 20, 2013

Modern babes in fattening room

2013-04-17 00:15:03

In a fresh and ambitious re-enactment of the Efik pre-marriage tradition, Fattening Room, six ladies drawn from different parts of Africa land in seclusion, writes AKEEM LASISI

 At a time many people fear that the country’s many cultural practices are on the extinction plane, Fattening Room, a major bridal practice of the Efik People of Cross River, appears to have got a new lease of life. It will soon become a spectacle to be watched on the screen, through the acts of six modern ladies who have just experienced it.

The producer, EbonyLife, which has come up with some powerful reality shows in recent times, describes  Fattening Room as an authentic experience set in the historically significant city of Calabar, also home to the famous Calabar Cultural Festival.

“The Fattening Room is unique to the Efik culture of Nigeria and is practised when young women enter a house of seclusion to learn everything a woman needs to know about running an honourable home, raising children that are as good as gold and managing to keep her husband happy and at home,” the company’s Director of Reality Programmes, Pamela Ofoegbu, notes.

The organisation believes that the time has come to discover the inner chambers of tradition that have always been reserved for women only, when six young ladies from across Africa enter the Fattening Room for the very first time.

She adds, “The ladies start the series in the strict Efik tradition and journey towards modern invention while always honouring their African roots.  It has been an incredible journey back to time as we celebrate our rich African heritage on a beautiful trado-modern backdrop. Our ladies from Botswana, South Africa, Zambia, Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya emerged from the Fattening Room with a better appreciation of the Efik culture and tradition and also of themselves as strong African women full of value and worth.”

Just ‘escaping’ from the room are Roselyn Ashkar, a fashion model and journalist from Ghana; Sally Berold, an adventurer and freelance experiential marketing specialist from South Africa; Stephanie Unachukwu, a Nigerian designer and Patricia Kihoto, a singer, actress and radio personality from Kenya.

Others are Thsepo Maphanyanye,  a publicity and public relations executive from Botswana,  and Limpo Funjika, a business development manager and aspiring TV presenter from Zambia.

While the Series Producer at EbonyLife, founded by Mo Abudu,  Priscilia Nzimiro, says producing the Fattening Room has been a wonderful and enlightening experience,  with Content Director, Kenneth Gyang, lauding the treat as being engaging, the cast generally say the experience has been revealing.

Says Tshepo, “Participating in the fattening room has certainly been a surge of all kinds of emotions but best of all it has been without a doubt an incredible journey of discovery and a once in a lifetime opportunity of exposure to such a rich culture experienced alongside an amazing circle of young women from nations across Africa.Certainly one of my best experiences.”

For Limpo, it has provided her an opportunity to learn; and for Patricia, it has been a lot of fun although she concedes she has learnt a lot, even about herself.

Also says Stephanie, “I have had the opportunity to learn new skills in the short amount of time I’ve been here and look forward to the rest of the show and what it holds.”

Abudu congratulates all the participants and salutes the crew for the feat at producing Fattening Room. She notes, “It is a true testimony of ‘If you can think it, you can do it.’ As a team, during one of our strategy sessions about a year ago inTinapa, we wanted to develop and produce a reality show that showcased the rich culture of Calabar that is now home to EbonyLife TV and we thought what better way to do that, than the Efik tradition of The Fattening Room! And with the genius minds of the EbonyLifeTV team at work, we gave it a treatment that will simply wow everyone when it airs! We simply took an old Efik culture and gave it a modern twist. “


September 3, 2010


Women protest naked in C’River over LG election
By Mike Odiegwu, Calabar  
Wednesday, 1 Sep 2010  
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Aged women from Erei, Biase Local Government Area of Cross River State on Monday stormed Calabar half-naked to protest what they called ‘disenfranchisement and illegal arrest of their sons’ during the local government election held in the state on Saturday.

The women, whose ages ranged between 50 and 80, arrived the state capital shortly after the Cross River State Independent Electoral Commission announced the results of the election, in which the Peoples Democratic Party won all the 18 chairmanship seats.

Announcing the results, the chairman of CROISEC, Mr. Patrick Otu, said his commission derived its powers to conduct the election and release the results from section 10 of the state’s electoral laws.

Seven parties that contested against the PDP did not present candidates in 75 councillorship wards and nine chairmanship positions. Thus, CROSIEC declared that most PDP candidates won unopposed.

CROSIEC also declared that the PDP won in all the wards, apart from three wards which were each won by Labour Party, Action Congress of Nigeria and All Nigeria Peoples Party.

But the aggrieved women, who were said to have travelled over 10 hours to get to the state capital at 6pm, complained that there was no election in their area.

The angry mothers arrived the state capital in three 14-seater buses, lamenting that the election in their area was marred by violence, intimidation and indiscriminate arrest of youths.

The Erei women, who were led by Mrs. Glory Owali, took their complaint to the headquarters of CROSIEC, the Governor’s Office and the headquarters of the state police command in Calabar.

The women, in a thumb-printed statement, made available to our correspondent, appealed to the police to release 18 of their children, whom they alleged were framed up and arrested for trying to protect their votes.

They insisted that the youths were simply escorting electoral materials to polling units when 37 soldiers in pick-up vans arrested them.

They alleged that the incident took place because the youths had vowed not to support a PDP candidate sponsored by a top politician in their area.

The Chief Security Adviser to Imoke, Mr. Bassey Okim, who received the women, appealed to them to return home.

He promised that the state government would look into their complaints. The women, who broke down in tears on reaching the headquarters of the state police command, demanded to see the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Ahmed, and their detained sons.

They were, however, addressed by Inspector Yohanna, who told them that the commissioner had closed for the day. But he promised to convey their demands to Ahmed.

Comments :  

  • Women protest naked and all they came is a small appeal to go home by the authorities! Disgusting and great abomination!
    Posted by: Pwaveno H. Bamaiyi , on Wednesday, September 01, 2010 

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  • when women protest naked, it is not disrespectful, this is Africa. it only tell u the seriousness of the issues
    Posted by: osifo lee , on Wednesday, September 01, 2010 

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  • The Erei people have been living like slaves in thire own country. Not because government is not willing to help them, but because those who should represent them in government are only they for their own interest. The major road that links the poor farmers to the outside world is the AfikpoOhafia Road. Several contracts have been awarded on it yet nothing is done. I want government to please intervain in the plit of the people, especially as it regards road.
    Posted by: Emmanuel Ukam , on Wednesday, September 01, 2010 

    Naked women protest soldiers’ brutality in Calabar

    IT was a pathetic sight when a group of women under the aegis of Women of Erei in Biase council took to the streets in Calabar, the Cross River State capital.
    The women were protesting the alleged use of armed soldiers by a member of the House of Representatives from the area to intimidate and rig the council polls.
    In a letter to Governor Liyel Imoke entitled: “A Case of Electoral Rights Violation and Continuous Intimidation of Erei People,” the protesting women alleged that Mr Alex Ukam, who represents Akamkpa/Biase in the House of Representatives, drafted a military contingent to Erei, “to harass, brutalise and rig elections and to detain opposition party members who were appointed party agents.”
    The election for the position of chairman in the area was contested by the incumbent, Dr Emil Inyang of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Bishop Frank Owali of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), but Inyang emerged winner. APGA also lost all the wards in the area.
    According to the women, the soldiers in three Operation MESA pick-up vans brought in by Ukam and Inyang were used, in addition to many other mobile policemen, to escort election materials to Erei North and South wards only.
    The statement reads in part: “We are equally embarrassed that our son, Alex Ukam, an indigene of Erei who we have thought should attract development to Erei community, has since 2003 turned the entire Biase council and Erei in particular to a war zone. It has been war, war, war.
    “Our children have suffered so much, in his efforts to conquer politically. We do not want to witness another war. We suffered the Nigerian Civil War, we have suffered the excesses of our Igbo neighbours, particularly the Okon Ohafia people.
    “We have accepted the untold and unfathomable marginalisation of Erei people from both the state and federal governments; we do not want to involve any unconstitutional means to resolve these contradictions, and we do not want to be compelled to.”
    But when our reporter got in touch with Ukam, he said, “They had to bring in Operation MESA as a result of petitions from the clans of Erei community alleging threat to public peace.”
    According to him, they got the information that APGA in collaboration with some PDP stalwarts who lost out at the party primaries hired their war enemies from Okorn community in Abia State to come and unleash mayhem on the community and disrupt the local government elections.
    “Based on that I had to act as the representative of my community. That is why they (Operation MESA) were brought. About 16 of the boys were arrested and they have been charged to court and remanded in custody. The hiring of the women is a disgrace to the culture of the Erei community. It is a pity that an aspirant who wants to rule the people should resort to this kind of behaviour,” he said.
    By Nicholas Kalu, Calabar

    Nigeria: Naked Women Protest Cross River LG Elections

    Edem Edem
    2 September 2010

    Calabar — About 100 women and 10 men age 60 years and above from Erei South and Erei North in Biase local government area and members of Labour Party walked round major streets in Calabar, the Cross River State capital protesting the conduct of the Saturday August 28th local government elections in the state.
    The election was conducted by the state Independence Electoral Commission (CROSIEC).

    The protesting women who appeared nude exposing their breasts carried walking sticks of the same sizes and refused to talk to people. The women carried placards with various inscriptions walking round streets leading to CROSIEC office at Bishop Monia Avenue, Governors’ office and Commissioner of Police office at Diamond Hill, Calabar.
    Government functionaries received the demonstrators and adviced them to go back to their villages as their grievances would be looked into. Speaking with our correspondent, the APGA Chairmanship candidate for Biase local government council, Bishop Frank Owali lamented the level of atrocities carried out by 68 fully armed military men and Mobile Police drafted to the Erei South and Erei North in the local government by Hon. Alex Ukam.

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