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Why Yauri Regatta only holds in Yelwan Yauri

  The annual Yauri Regatta is one unique festival that is held dearly by people of Yelwan Yauri and as such, do everything to ensure…


The annual Yauri Regatta is one unique festival that is held dearly by people of Yelwan Yauri and as such, do everything to ensure its success.

The 200-year-old festival started as a purely marine hunting event. People used the festival to showcase their dexterity in the hunting of marine creatures, especially hippopotamus. However, when that aspect was stopped by the British colonialists, who feared it would make the animal go extinct, the indigenes retained the festival by introducing cultural displays and agricultural show.

Yauri Regatta came into being after one of the earliest emirs of the emirate saw a plain expanse of land some kilometres away from Birnin Yauri and asked his subjects to settle there to expand his territory. He was reported to have directed his subjects in Hausa thus: ‘kuje ku yelwata’, meaning go and multiply (increase in population) and hence the name Yelwan Yauri.

Thus, over the years, the festival only holds in Yelwan Yauri but not in Yauri itself which is a distance of just 14 kilometres and the seat of the emirate.

The Galadiman Yauri, Mu’azu Danmallam, said the festival was not held in Birnin Yauri because it was purely a marine event at the initial stage and Yelwan Yauri was at the bank of the River Niger.

He said the agricultural shows and other cultural events were added to the fiesta later on.

“The two towns, Birnin Yauri and Yelwan Yauri are of the same origin. The fundamental reason why Birnin Yauri, despite being the seat power of the emirate, does not host the famous Yauri Regatta is that it is not as close to the water, as Yelwan Yauri is.

“Birnin Yauri is the original town of the people of Yauri but the fifth emir of Yauri founded Yelwan Yauri during his reign. This is how Yelwan Yauri came into being and since then it has remained host to the Yauri Regatta Festival,” Galadiman Yauri, said.

Marine prowess, agricultural show and cultural displays are expected to form part of the major events to spice this year’s annual cultural festival, he said.

This year’s edition of the festival is expected to hold from February 20 to 22.

The chairman of the organizing committee for the festival, Umar Babale Yauri, said while fielding questions from newsmen on the preparation for this year’s event, that it had since been adopted by the state government and elevated to the status of an international festival.

The chairman, who is also the Secretary to the State Government, said the festival was funded partly by the state government and partly by the people of the emirate.

He said some innovations have been introduced to make this year’s event more attractive and enjoyable.


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