Go-go to the Igbo: a show at Dalston in Hackney

IGBO people from what is now Nigeria have been coming to this country for centuries yet many Hackneyites know little about them. Next month a fun-sounding event will help to remedy that.

The Iri-ji, or New Yam, Festival, will be held at the Petchey Academy in Shacklewell, Hackney E8 2EY.

Organiser the Igbo Cultural Support Network (ICSN) is encouraging attenders to wear traditional outfits, which is the kind of invitation young Hackneyites, ever keen to dress up, love.

This is what you will get for your ticket (which is  undeniably expensive; see italic, below):

* rice, meat and fish dishes “will be served” (that usually means “not included with ticket” — Loving Dalston will clarify). And — offering vegetarians hope of a feed — yam, of course.

* masquerades, yam auctions and Igbo traditional dances by ICSN Dance School students

* Afrobeats, RnB, funky house, hip-hop and gospel singer Kelechi Ify.

Chigbo Ibe, of ICSN, said: “The Iri-ji (New Yam) festival is a wonderful celebration of the most beautiful aspects of our rich Igbo heritage and culture.”

The Igbo have a distinguished history in England. One of the best-known is Olaudah Equiano (died 1797), right, a slavery abolitionist whose autobiography still sells. A daughter, Joanna Vassa (1795-1857), lived in De Beauvoir and is buried in Abney Park cemetery.

In 1967 the Igbo attempt to form a state independent of Nigeria led to war. It lasted two years before the mostly Igbo-populated region was taken back into the Nigerian federation, in January 1970. More than a million civilians had been killed.

* Iri-ji Festival, Petchey Academy, crnr Shacklewell Lane and Cecilia Road, Hackney E8 2EY, Sat 13 Oct 2012, 5pm-midnight; £15 in advance, £20 on the door. For concessions see ICSN site.

David Altheer 230912

* For yam recipes, try this site.

* Colour photographs on this page supplied by ICSN.

* Emboldened underscored words in most cases indicate a hyperlink, a reader service rare among websites. If a link does not work, it is probably because the site to which the URL refers has not been maintained.

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