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Festivals like the Sukur National Yawal Festival connect to bring a group of people into a community. It also affirms how human rituals of creation and participation contribute significant public value in times of adversity.

The Sukur Yawal national festival celebrated by the Sakun people has been an integral part of the people for ages. The Yawal national festival is celebrated to appreciate the almighty creator, the gods and their ancestors for a successful year and prayers made hoping for a good new year and hope for a bumper harvest.

The Yawal festival which held from Wednesday 23rd through Saturday 27th February 2022, was packed with a lot of activities and witnessed a great turnout and attendance especially from government agencies National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM) Nigerian Tourism Development Commission (NTDC) National Television Authority (NTA), a reporter from the London Times Newspaper, non-governmental organisation and well-meaning members of the society. The festival also had in attendance chieftains from the neighboring Cameroonian communities.

AFIDFF, the festival committee, the Hidi (traditional head) and the Sukur title holders jointly organized and mobilized for the event reaching out to different stakeholders and partners to ensure a hitch free and successful festival for the Sukur people and in turn boost the cultural landscape. The first day (Yawal Dubba), sacrifices were offered at the local shrines marking the official commencement of the celebrations. The second day (Yawal Paltha), the sakun people appreciated the creator for the traditional head known as the Hidi, celebrating the royalty and his palace. Yawal Matuhidi being the third day marked celebrations in honour of the sakun queen. The final day of the festival known as the Yawal Nduli also featured a lot of activities ranging from mountain climbing competition sponsored by the North East Development Commission(NEDC) as Winners were presented with cash prizes and medals while other participants received consolation prizes, the dance of the Hidi and Titleholders, cultural displays and exhibitions of locally made arts and crafts and goodwill messages from supporting institutions.

The festival which has not been celebrated for the past six years because of the invasion of the Boko haram insurgents but with the intervention of the Adamawa state government, the Sukur traditional council, the National Commission for museum and monuments (NCMM), African International Documentary Festival Foundation (AFIDFF) through the World Heritage Initiative geared towards the restoration of the Sukur cultural landscape in collaboration with some stakeholders and the North East Development Commission (NEDC), the Yawal National Festival was celebrated raising hopes and marking a new era for the people Sukur.

Speaking at the Festival. The Director General AFIDFF, Malame Mangzha, expressed her gratitude to supporting partners especially the North East Development Commission(NEDC), National commission for museum and monuments (NCMM) and the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) as most of the festival would not have been possible without the astonishing support of these organization. She reiterated AFIDFF’s commitment to celebrating and promoting the Yawal festival which has led to adopting it as one of her programmes and exploring new and better ways of enriching the festival and bringing it to global prominence and with a 5-year lead plan and significant resources and expectations from the support and involvement of organizations especially the North East Development Commission, it is hoped that the festival  which has been celebrated for over 600 years will ultimately become a sustainable international cultural brand.

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