Original Research

The octogenarian cultural festival (Ito-ogbo at 80) and the COVID-19 pandemic in Obosi, Anambra State

Christopher N. Ibenwa, Favour Uroko
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 78, No 1 | a7503 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v78i1.7503 | © 2022 Christopher N. Ibenwa, Favour Uroko | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 02 March 2022 | Published: 13 June 2022

About the author(s)

Christopher N. Ibenwa, Department of Religion and Cultural Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria; Department of New Testament and Related Literature, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Favour Uroko, Department of Religion and Cultural Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria; Department of New Testament and Related Literature, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

The octogenarian (Ito-ogbo at 80) festival in Obosi is a festival that is celebrated with a huge fanfare of pumps and pageantries. It is celebrated every three years in March to rejoice with fathers and mothers on the attainment of the age of 80. The worry of the researchers now is how this festival will be handled amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in the absence of curative drugs. This article examines the octogenarian cultural festival during the COVID-19 pandemic in Obosi, Anambra State, Nigeria. The article aims at narrating the history of octogenarians in Obosi, discussing the functions of age grades, and discussing its relevance and a discourse on this celebration amid the coronavirus. Historical and phenomenological methods were adopted for analytical purposes. The article found that the longevity of life among Obosi people has been strongly threatened by the delta variant and also that celebrants do not feel safe in sustaining the festival for fear of contracting the delta variant.

Contribution: The Obosi’s Ito-ogbo celebration is a good one and it has become a homecoming for all. It has sparked a desire to provide more care to elderly parents, resulting in increased life expectancy. African traditional religion was implicated in this study.


Keywords

Ito-ogbo; octogenarian; festival; coronavirus; Nigeria

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