Mattie Stepanek an American Poet asserts that “unity is strength…when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved”. This was obvious when members of Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio in United Kingdom converged on the Airport Inn, Manchester, to raise funds for the building of Ibibio Language Research Centre for Mboho Unity Schools, Idu Uruan
The event organized by the Manchester Chapter of Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio recently, was full of doses of excitement and display of oneness of purpose.
Declaring the event open, the 11th International President of the Socio-Cultural Organization, Akparawa James Edet, NPOM, described the initiative as laudable, noting that language remains a key component of a people’s culture, enhances the diversity of thoughts and promotes innovation which is a major strand in the socio-economic matrix of development. Akparawa Edet said the establishment of an Ibibio Language Research Centre is apt and very significant to the promotion and preservation of the Ibibio language from extinction.
He applauded the leadership and entire members of the Manchester Chapter of Mboho for initiating the project and acknowledged the commitment and patriotic disposition of the chapter to the course of Ibibio race and the preservation of the language.
Speaking, the International Vice President 11, Akparawa Jemima Essien said the Centre, which will be located at Mboho Unity School, Idu Uruan, Akwa Ibom State will house a 200 capacity Hall, Classrooms, Offices, Library, Kitchen, Boardroom, among other facilities. He enjoined members and friends of the organization to contribute towards the laudable project, thereby enshrining their names in the Hall of Fame of the project.
The Chairman on the occasion, Princess Emem Essien, a Councillor in Manor Park Rushmoor Borough County in London hailed the Manchester Chapter of Mboho for the initiative and pledged her support for the project.
Also speaking, the Chief launcher, Mr. Andem Edem, Managing Director of Sedem Pharmacy, United Kingdom, while describing Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio as a worldwide socio-cultural organization assured of greater achievements ahead.
In a goodwill message, a member of the Advisory Council and 3rd International President of the Mboho, Akparawa Okon Imerh saluted the courage and zeal of members of Mboho in the diaspora and urged them to continue in their selfless services for the good of the organization and the Mboho Unity School in particular.
The Mboho High Commissioner in the UK, Akparawa-Anwan Grace Akpan, in her remarks commended the International President, Akparawa James Edet for his policy of inclusiveness and support for Mboho in the diaspora.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Chairman, Manchester Chapter, Akparawa (Dr) Maurice Asuquo stated that Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio was established to uphold the cultural heritage and tradition of Ibibio people, hence its interest in promoting the Ibibio language.
Akparawa Asuquo said that the Chapter in 2006 created a virtual environment for Ibibio children to learn how to read and write the language and now is set to build a Language Research Centre at the Unity School at an estimated cost of 35,000 Pounds.
Apart from fund raising, the event also featured the induction of 22 new members from Manchester, London, Heathrow and Essex chapters as well as a demonstration by children in Ibibio language and the investiture of the 11th International President of the Mboho, Akparawa James Edet as Manchester United fan with a symbolic jersey number eleven.
The event also featured a health talk on “Menopause” on what menopause entails. The resource person, Dr. Idorenyin Nkanta, a specialist in Family Medicine spoke on the causes, effects and treatment options for the health conditions.
Present at the event included former High Commissioner UK, Deputy High Commission Europe and London, Chairmen and members of London, Heathrow and Eussex chapters among other dignitaries.