This week the Organization for the Advancement of Nigerians Inc. will be hosting a three-day event in celebration of the 59th anniversary of Nigeria’s Independence Day. Nigeria claimed independence from Great Britain on Oct. 1, 1960. It was then declared a republic in 1963. This independence day became a national holiday for the country shortly after and is one of the most commemorated holidays for Nigerians.
In 1989, a group of Nigerians founded the Organization for the Advancement of Nigerians Inc. The founders of this coalition wanted to encouraged unity and pride for their culture and accomplishments. For more than 30 years, people have traveled all over the country to attend the parade in New York to celebrate the holiday. Some of the biggest names in Afrobeat, reggae and soca perform at the parade and the after-parties.
Along with hosting one of the biggest celebrations of the holiday in New York City, the organization also focuses on religion, business and civic groups committed to preserving Nigerian pride and culture.
The weekend celebration will begin with a Nigerian Cultural Night on Oct. 4 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. The annual family friendly cultural night will take place at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center in Queens. Attendees can expect fun activities, traditional foods and music by their favorite Afrobeat artists. It is recommended that attendees wear traditional clothing. They will also be hosting their Nigerian pageant and be crowning Mr. and Mrs. Naija of 2019.
The 28th annual NYC Nigerian Independence Day Parade will take place on Saturday, Oct. 5, from 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. The parade will start at Second Avenue and East 54th Street and procced to the Nigerian House on East 44th Street. It is expected that thousands of people will be attending once again.
For more information about the 2019 Nigerian Independence Day events, visit oanweb.org.