The struggle is at the forefront among the declining cultures of the people. In the good old days, almost every community in Rivers State could boast of producing wrestling champions. But today, it is even difficult to hear about it.
Its revival has been a serious issue for some communities within the state while others have yet to decide whether to revive it or not.
The impending death of wrestling culture is blamed on Westernization, as are other cultural activities such as Owu dance, etc.
Wrestling is also one of the local games which does not require much organization as all the necessary instruments as well as human resources are available in the locality.
Additionally, the revival of the wrestling game has become a major issue in some communities in Rivers State today. It has been learned that the game of wrestling is one of the main sources of recreation and entertainment in rural communities, even in some towns where it is still practiced.
The game (wrestling) that The Tide On Sunday has put together, does not involve much risk as it is a battle between two men of equal body size or in the same age range.
Only in a few cases are men of different age brackets or sizes allowed to wrestle. Sometimes they do this to produce a champion who will represent the community in an external wrestling championship or even in inter-communal disputes.
In some regions, champion wrestlers are used as bodyguards for their rulers and traditional chiefs who are seen as guardians of the people.
They (champion wrestlers) were used for nearly every risky job and race in the community, due to the common notion that they possessed extraordinary prowess.
In cases like marriage, every parent would in their hearts prefer their future son-in-law to be a champion wrestler, not even an ordinary wrestler. The reason being that he will be of great importance to the family both in the fields of family work and defense.
The Tide On Sunday has learned that in the recent past some parents would give their daughters to any available champion wrestler at almost no cost, as they want their family to be respected.
Today, Rumuogba community in Obio/Akpor local government area of Rivers state said they have finalized plans to revive the culture of wrestling.
Supreme Ruler/Nye Nwe-Eli Rumogba, HRH Eze (Barr) Temple N. Ejekwu (JP), Eze Ogba Iji Nu Ede felt that wrestling remained the main source of popularity in the communities.
Eze Ejekwu, noted that it also brings peace and unity to communities where it is best practiced.
The monarch stressed that wrestling is one of the notable cultures of the Ikwerre people and should not be allowed to disappear along with other cultures which he says have almost disappeared.
In his community (Rumuogba), he argued that plans were up to snuff to revive the culture of wrestling.
According to him, the drums and drummers are intact, saying that in the near future, wrestling activity will start to flourish again in the community.
He also told the culture and tourism sector that on its current first anniversary, the wrestling match will top other activities as part of the community’s effort to ensure that younger generations do not completely forget it.
The Eze Ogba Nu Iji Nu Ede, hinted that the community also plans to invite other communities for a wrestling championship to bring back the lost glory of wrestling culture.
According to him, wrestling is the easiest way that locals can find out who is who, adding that it also brings out the best in man.
The Supreme Ruler of Rumuogba maintained that the struggle promotes unity and friendship between communities, adding that his impending death has wreaked havoc on rural communities.
In case champions emerge at the community wrestling championship, he said they will be projected to the state level, just as the Worji people took their cultural dance to the state level.
About its economic importance, he argued that since the struggle promotes peace and unity, the community will always experience a huge change in various aspects of its trade due to the friendly environment.
He also told The Tide On Sunday that wrestling culture has no fetish practice, wondering why people are turning away from it.
The young monarch regretted that the culture of wrestling, which is a huge tourist attraction for the people, is disappearing at high speed.
He also called on the organizers of CARNIRIV to include the fight among the cultural activities of the residents.
This, he said, will do the long-awaited magic to revive the people’s struggle activity.