Last held over 24 years ago, the 60 years old Bade fishing festival in Yobe State has came to fruition amidst a mammoth crowd and funfair at ancient Gogaram village of old Bade headquarters.
In the past time the festival was solely financed by the traditional ruler of bade, the Mai of Bade, but with the establishment of Bade Native Authority small grants were provided.
Prior to the event, each village perform it separate fishing and other festivities. History has it that organized fishing festival began in 1956 tagged “Mauyi-Ganga” at Alkamaram River.
Illustrating the meaning of the term “Mauyi-Ganga”, a traditional holder, “Maji Dadi of Bade” who is also Secretary, Bade Emirate Council, Alhaji Mamman Suleiman, said that Mauyi-Ganga were ideas originated from a drummer in time immemorial.
According to him, there was a huge tamarind tree at the bank of the river where rural dwellers usually gathered and played. “It happened that after having some moments of fun, a drummer had forgotten his drum and was asked by his colleagues as he entered into the village as to the it whereabouts, as a drum was among the valuable items because it has been used to entertain and pass powerful messages among communities,” the scribe said.
He said the drummer replied that he was not sure whether he left it at the bank of the river. The villagers were overwhelmed and approached the river in search for a missing drum.
He said as they got there they saw the drum hanged on a tamarind tree and they called out “Mauyi-Ganga.” “Mauyi” means to hang while “Ganga” is drum therefore “Mauyi-Ganga” means the drum was hanged.
Since then the place was named as Mauyi-Ganga and has been utilized to host annual fishing festival that attracted tourists from within and outside the state.
The 38th edition since inception, this year’s festival lasted for two days and involved exhibitions of traditional dances, hunters’ display, spear throwing, swimming on calabash and fishing competition among others. The person with the biggest fish catch was rewarded with a KEKE-NAPEP.