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The Role Of Nzeh Mada Cultural Festivals In The Development Of Tourism In Nasarawa State

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ABSTRACT

This research focuses on the role of Nzeh Mada cultural festival in the development of tourism in Nasarawa State. The word Nzeh is a term in Mada language which means “beauty” or “our pride”. The objective of this research work is to sensitize the people and local community on the benefit of festivals, and the need to provide adequate information on Nzeh Mada cultural festival. In the process of writing this project, the researcher used survey research design which facilitated the application of questionnaire and interview to sample the opinion of people on the subject matter in a very systematic way; total number of 100 questionnaires were administered, but only 80 were received, the remaining 20 were not returned.

This project work has identified some basic elements of Nzeh Mada cultural festival in Nasarawa state; as well as its contribution to the development of tourism industry both on social, cultural, political, economical and environment impacts.

In regard to the findings realized in the research work encouraging Nzeh Mada festival, to boost tourism development, recommendation is considered worthwhile; the government, professionals, financial institution and other private individuals should put more effort in financial and development of cultural tourism such as Nzeh Mada festival.

Conclusively, there should be conscious attempt by all stakeholders to implement the tourism master plan which has indeed addressed a number of vital issues and provided strategic recommendation in the area of tourism policy, governance, development of tourism product, marketing approach etc.

TABLE OF CONTENT

Title page

Declaration

Approval page

Dedication

Acknowledgement

Abstract

Table of content

 

CHAPTER I: INTRODUCTION

1.1     Background of the Study

1.2     statement of research problem

1.3     aim and objectives

1.4     significance of the study

1.5     scope of the study

1.6     research question

CHAPTER II: REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE  

2.1     subject review

2.2     Sub Heading

2.3     Summary of review of related literature

CHAPTER III: METHODOLOGY

3.1     Research Design

3.2     Area of the study

3.3     Population of the study

3.4     Sample size and sample techniques

3.5     Instrument for Data Collection

3.6     Validity of the instrument

3.7     Reliability of the instrument

3.8     Method of data connection

3.9     Method of data analysis

CHAPTER IV: DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS      

4.1     presentation and interpretation of data

4.2     discussion based on data presentation

CHAPTER V

5.0     Summary of finding, recommendation and conclusion

5.1     Summary of Finding

5.2     Implication of the study

5.3     Limitation of the study

5.4     Recommendation

5.5     conclusion

5.6     Suggestion for further study

References

Appendix

 

CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTION

            1.1     Background of the Study

Since the beginning of time, man’s existence is a struggle for survival between him and nature, in the process of which man leaves behind traces of his achievements at various levels of his development; and the cumulative acquisition of his various achievements constitutes what is often referred to as culture. It goes without saying that from the ages of primitively and barbarism to modernity, man has come a long way.

The word culture came from the latin word cultural, derived from Colere; which means to cultivate or form. This implies that the way the mind or thinking of any people inhabiting a particular place is cultivated determines their culture. Culture therefore is the product of the thought pattern or world view of a society; culture determines the direction and rate of development of any society.

There is a close relationship between heritage resources and tourism. Tourism is about people staying away from home to a place of interest has become a popular global leisure activity.

Tourism attractions include archaeological sites, historic structures and monuments, resorts, beaches, picnic spots, forest and wild life; Nuryanti (1996) explained that heritage in it broader meaning is generally associated with the word “inheritance” that is something transferred from generation to another owing to its role as a carried of historical values from the past.

Heritage is viewed as part of the cultural tradition of a society. According to Walker (2006), culture and heritage are our legacies from the past, what we live with today and what we pass on to future generations, explaining further Walker said that our cultural heritage are irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration.

Nigeria has some of the richest and diversified collection of tourist sites; cultural industries, products and services. From pre-colonial era, these cultural industries have continued to shape the economic growth and provide sustenance for a large number of people across the various social and economic strata. Even in modern times, these industries provide more opportunities for investment, wealth creation and employment compared to another sectors.

However, the Nigeria economy is yet to reap full benefits of the abundant tourism potentials and diversified cultural industries found in every state due to the huge gap in the availability of accurate information, particularly from the hinterland. There is little synergy within the various sub-sets that make up the tourism or cultural industries as the sector operates in a largely disconnected, informal manner.

Key players in the sector, often operate independent of each other, only occasionally synergizing their functions under the auspice of national festivals, carnivals and cultural expos.

What has come to be known as Nasarawa State can be traced to the creation Nasarawa province under colonialism, which then comprised Lafia, Keffi, Jama’a emirate and the present federal capital territory (FCT). The state is situated in the middle belt region of Nigeria and surrounded by Plateau, Kogi, Benue, Taraba, Kaduna and the F.C.T.

The state is made up of 13local government areas and each of these L.G.A’s consists of groups such as Alagoa, Agetu, Afo, Eggon, Gbagyi, Gwandara, Hausa, Mada, Migile, Rindre, Kwara, TIV, Yaskwa just to mention a few. Each of these ethnic groups has an enduring history that dates back to pre-colonial time.

The heterogeneous nature of the cultures and ways of lives of these groups form a matrix of cultural beliefs and festivals that makes Nasarawa state the melting pot of cultural cosmogony.

Nzeh mada festival which is an age long annual traditional festival among the mada people of central Nigeria. Usually the festival was celebrated at designated seasons when all sons and daughters of Mada land returned home to jointly thank God for a prosperous year through dances, songs and other cultural expressions.

Since the Mada did not originally have a centralized authority, every clan organized and celebrated its festival, so the clans took turns in hosting each other. However, following the establishment and democratization of the Chun Mada stool in 1980, the first occupant of the stool, his highness Iliya Rini provided  a common plat form where all Mada clans converged on the palace to celebrate Nzeh Mada annually.

This continued until his demise in 1990. Sadly, the protracted legal tussle that attended the reign of his highness Gamu Yare as Iliya Riru successor from 1992 did not allow for the sustenance of this common celebration of the festival by all clans. Consequently, in the last twenty two years, the celebration of the Nzeh Mada festival reverted to its pro-colonial clan level.

However, with the successful resolution in 2013 of the imbroglio surrounding the Chun Mada stool and the subsequent selection of Samson Gamu Yare as the third democratically elected Chun Mada, the congress of the Mada development association (MDA) on the 29th December 2013 constituted a broad based committee to revive the celebration of Nzeh Mada in Akwanga as a national event that would draw the participation of all Mada clans.

Nzeh Mada celebrations, taking into consideration the existing rich cultural heritages of the various Mada clans; decide on the appropriate position of the festival as a component of the national and world tourism calendar; as well as introduce innovation that could elevate the status of the festival as a tourist event.

The first edition of the rebranded Nzeh Mada festival from 14-17th April 2014 in Akwanga is designed to establish and re-enforce the identity of the Mada as hospitable, united, progressive and highly industries people. As a cultural diplomatic tool, Nzeh Mada aim to market the beauty of the history, geographical spread, cultural diversity, economic potentials, traditional values and unique endowments of the Mada nation in terms of its abundant human and material resources. The overall aim is to endear local and international tourist and development partners to the land and people.

Nzeh Mada festivals provide the ordinary citizen ample opportunities to express and actualize some of his/her social, psychological, political and economic aspirations. The basis of human need is self-actualization.

Poverty since robbed most people of the inner craving for shared identity, self-esteem and self-actualization which empowers individuals to become productive drivers of community development. A recent review established that Nzeh Mada festival 2014 re-established the Mada nation as a strong united ethnic group within the Nasarawa polity; the bwar Mada which is a special carnival round the major streets in Akwanga is a unique platform to reinforce the shared Mada identity, share its unique heritages with the generality of the Akwanga residents and promote the needed sense of ownership, citizenship and identity which had hitherto been challenged by the protracted Chun Mada tussle that took its toll on the development of the land and people.

The 2014 edition of the festival boosted micro economic activities in Akwanga. Take for instance, those who sell cold drinks, transport operators, events planners who rent out canopies, chairs, hoteliers, food vendors and sellers of other consumables. They all enjoyed a boost in their income during the one week of the festival.

            

            1.2 Statement of Research Problem              

Nzeh Mada cultural festival; no doubt has abundant potentials, if harnessed and conserved are capable of facilitating support for a viable tourism industry in Nasarawa state. But a number of reasons which have to do with the huge gap in the availability of accurate information, particularly on cultural materials. There is little synergy within the various clans of Mada that make-up the Nzeh Mada festival and also poor orientation people have towards the cultural festivals.

Some of the problems suffered by cultural festival in Nasarawa state; key players in the sector often operate independent of each other, only occasionally synergizing their functions under the auspices of national festivals, carnivals and cultural expos.

The government however, has not play a key role in organization of these cultural festivals; so as the local indigene who don’t know much about tourism and its benefit to the state, will be enlightened.


1.3     Objectives 

The objectives of the research work are:-

  1. To identify the natural and cultural resources available in Mada land (Akwanga local government area) and its contribution toward development of tourism in Nasarawa state.
  2. To sensitize the people and local community on the benefit of festivals, and the need to provide adequate information on Nzeh Mada culture festivals, and its impact on tourism.

iii. To harmonize and conserve Nzeh Mada festival among the different cultural values in Nasarawa state.

  1. To ascertain the problems and challenges facing the development of Nzeh Mada festival in Nasarawa state.

To assess the need for partnering with other local and international stakeholders in developing of Nzeh Mada festival; as a diplomatic tool aims to market the beauty of the history, cultural diversity and traditional values in Nasarawa state

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