Tinkoriko Calabar Heritage Celebrates 30 Years, Rounds up Carnival Calabar 2023

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In a vibrant display of culture and tradition, Tinkoriko Calabar Heritage marked its 30th anniversary on January 1st, 2024, with a procession through the streets of Calabar. The celebration, themed “Season of Sweetness,” resonated with the essence of joy, continuity, and the impact the cultural heritage has had on the community over the past three decades NEGROIDHAVEN has garnered.

Interviewed during the anniversary event, Prof. Emmanuel Eyo, President of Tinkoriko Calabar Heritage, highlighted the significance of the occasion. “Tinkoriko, as a Calabar cultural heritage, has been in existence for 30 years, and since the inception of the new administration, we decided to showcase today’s display as a season of sweetness,” he said. The theme, coined by His Excellency, Senator Prince Bassey Edet Otu, reflects a commitment to joy and positive engagement within the community.

The achievements of Tinkoriko go beyond mere entertainment, as Prof. Eyo explained, “Outside entertainment of our people and indigenes of Cross River state, we have been awarding scholarships to registered members. We also contribute to the well-being of the less privileged and vulnerable individuals, visiting motherless baby homes to provide support.”

In a separate interview with Orok Duke, a key figure during the 30th Tinkoriko procession, he expressed gratitude for the inclusion of Tinkoriko in the Carnival Calabar calendar. “We were included in the calendar for the first time since 1999,” he stated, emphasizing the importance of the community’s support for Senator Bassey Edet Otu, who secured victory in the recent election.

Duke highlighted Tinkoriko’s role as a platform for social advocacy, stating, “We are still using the platform to canvass against certain social ills and also using it to serve as a platform for the youths to ventilate their feelings.” Tinkoriko’s consistency in advocating for social issues over the years demonstrates its commitment to being a voice for the community.

Reflecting on the 30-year journey, Duke explained, “Tinkoriko is a provision of a platform for people who fly different colors to ventilate. The simplicity of Tinkoriko is such that you don’t get initiated. You don’t wear costumes. It’s just your pair of canvas shoes, your jean trousers, and then we give you T-shirts.”

However, he acknowledged the financial challenges faced in organizing such events, stating, “Unfortunately, T-shirts have been so expensive. This year each T-shirt costs N5,000. We printed 5,000 T-shirts, that’s N25 million. So that’s how expensive it is.”

Regarding the absence of politicians during this year’s celebration, Duke remarked, “It’s because they use us and dump us. But we still stay on and do what we do. That’s the essence of what we do – consistency.”

Duke concluded the interviews by discussing the positive impact of Tinkoriko on youths. “If a young man plays Tinkoriko and sees another young man, it will be difficult for you to go on a hit and kill that man the next day. We need more platforms for us to be meeting ourselves. Haven’t you seen the reduction of crime rate during the 32 days carnival?”

As Tinkoriko draws the curtain on the 2023 carnival, it remains an integral part of the Calabar Carnival calendar, continuing to engage and empower the youth while spreading the message of joy and cultural heritage.