During her tenure as the Dean of the Faculty of Humanities (2016-2018), Prof G.M.T Emezue initiated the Igbo Day Festival. This occasion provides ample opportunity for Igbo cultural celebration, re-assertion and re-affirmation. It affords the students and members of staff of the University, the opportunity to participate and become immersed in some aspects of Igbo culture. Part of cultural immersion activities that participants excitedly engage in, include the speaking of Igbo language, which is usually used as the official language of the day, as well as the adornment of Igbo cultural attire. The celebration further provides opportunity for the University to invite well-meaning citizens of this country to collaborate with AE-FUNAI in many of her developmental projects.
The event, which holds every 1st June of each year, usually witnesses large turn-out of members of staff and students of the university as well as invited guests. The 2017 Igbo Cultural Day Festival had its theme as “Mmụta na Mahadum: Ndiigbo taa na ọdịnihu.” The Metropolitan Archbishop of Owerri, His Grace, Most Reverend Anthony J.V. Obinna, was the guest speaker for the 2017 edition of the Igbo day festival.
While the 2018 edition of the Igbo Cultural Day Festival also held on 1st June 2018, the theme for that year’s was “Omenala Igbo na nkwalite aku na uba nke ala Naijiria.” The special speakers for the 2018 edition were Prof Anezi Okoro (pioneer Professor of Dermatology and a novelist) and Chief Gary Enwo Igariwey (2nd President-General of Ohaneze Ndi Igbo) and Mr Ikeogu Oke (2017 LNG Prize winner for Poetry).
Part of the highlights of the Igbo day festival included traditional dance competitions amongst students, rendition of news in Igbo language, debating in Igbo language, display of oratorical skills, Traditional wrestling competition, just to mention but a few. Prizes are usually given to successful students and participating groups at the end of the festival. All these events encourage the students (some who have been privileged to witness and participate in these events as first timers) to participate and share in some positive aspects of the cultural life of the Igbo.