On March 25th 2020, the Kuteb people, a tribe in Taraba state of Nigeria celebrated the kuchecheb festival.
The festival was celebrated in low key as a result of fear of Contacting the pandemic coronavirus.
WHAT IS KUCHECHEB FESTIVAL
The Kuchicheb festival is a thanksgiving festival for good harvest done annually by the Kuteb people of Taraba state of Nigeria. It is celebrated yearly on the 25th day of March.
However, the festival begins by a pilgrimage to the Ussa Hill to receive fire from the gods. This is followed by a procession back to Takum with different traditional dances known as Sae.
SIGNIFICANCE OF KUCHCHEB FESTIVAL
The Kuchecheb festival shows the Kutebs behavior and culture before the colonial era.
It includes their mode of dressing, respect for law and order as commanded by the ancestors and passed on by elders (Kukwen and the Ukwe).
Also it includes the love for education through the strong participation of the younger ones in the festival to receive words of wisdom from the Ukwe, etc.
However, this festival attracts participants and spectators from near and far.
THE PROCESS OF THE FESTIVAL
Very early in the morning, the sound of kutubum, a local musical instrument wake up the people especially those living around Takum metropolist.
The kutubum signifies the beginning of the festival.
2020 KUCHECHEB FESTIVAL AND CORONAVIRUS
With the advent of civilization, the kuchecheb festival is being gradually modified.
Moreover, the 2020 kuchecheb festival is the worst affected since the history of the festival.
The celebration was mild in Takum as residents were seen moving in groups of four to five persons.
But the Kuteb people living around Ada Army Barracks Takum, celebrated the festival in a higher spirit. Here, children, men and woman dance around in their cultural attire.
Furthermore, at Ussa Local government area, the event was in another level as the people were filled with joy. Residents were seen on the roads moving to and fro in high celebration of the festival.
Both youths and adults were seen in groups singing and proceeding from Kostine to Kaduna Lissam and up to Kwesati area.
The 2020 festival was not fully celebrated as a result of coronavirus.
Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku, has directed civil servants from level 1-12 in the state to remain at home for two weeks. This is as a result of the recent pandemic of coronavirus.
The total lockdown is to enable the control and check the spread of the Covid 19 virus.
The governor in a letter through his Chief Press Secretary directed that, those on essential service are exempted from the directive.
Furthermore, the safety measure handed to Nigerians to maintain social distance and observe good hygiene is another slight on the festival.