By Emmanuel Gandu
(1) The months of December and January are special in the life of the Gworok people. So special that it is comparable to the Gworok clarion call when every son and daughter of Kagoro answers his or her father’s name.
The Gworok clarion call is a wake-up call to indigeneship.
The Gworok clarion call is: “Nnuan Oegwaza nyin shio’aa” – just like the Igbo man would say – “Igbo Kwenu.”
(2) While December is the month of stock-taking, of completion/wholesomeness, and accomplishment when the people appreciate God for seeing them through from the beginning of the outgoing year, January is for prayers of thanksgiving for protection, blessings, deliverance, and guidance in the coming year.
(3) These are the months of harvesting from the abundance of God’s benevolence.
(4) It is the months of spiritual and sacrificial cleansing of the Kagoro hill (Buwok Afan)
(5) January is the month for the formal declaration of the beginning of the hunting season.
(6) The first day of January is the Afan National Festival – a celebration that draws the attention of the entire country to the Middle Belt, a homecoming of not only Kagoro but every son and daughter of Southern Kaduna.
The Afan Festival is a celebration comparable to the Argungu Fishing Festival, the Eyo Festival Lagos, the New Yam Festival of the Igbos, the Calabar Carnival, and the Durbar in Northern Nigeria.
(7) December and January are the months for:
(a) Preparation, screening, and selection of young boys in readiness for the April/May age group ceremonies of initiation into the “Oeboi” (cult) system.
(b) Preparation of betrothed maidens (like the fattening rooms) for their suitors.
(8) The month of January marks the beginning of settling of land disputes between individuals, families, and communities, and the negotiation for new farmlands prior to the beginning of the farming season from April/May.
(9) January is the month of strategic planning by the Oegwam Zwang (Chief Warrior) on the defense of the town from external aggression.
Nnuan Oegwaza nyin shio’aa