Ndi-Igbo North East England (NINEE)
Ndi Igbo North East England (NINEE) was established in 2011. It is an association of the Igbo people (Ndi-Igbo) who live in the North East of England. NINEE was established with the aim of providing opportunities for social interaction of its members; giving back to the North East community through celebrating and sharing of Igbo cultural values towards a cohesive society.
The organisation was also created to promote mutual support for members through common difficulties presented by living as migrants in diaspora, who have limited extended family support.
NINEE has over 250 members including adults and young ones. Although, it could be perceived as an association comprising of only people of Igbo origin, NINEE is very diverse as membership is based on not just origin but also affiliation through birth, marriage or adoption. This means that NINEE’s members could be from any nationality or ethnic background regardless of gender, sexual orientation, disability, religion or belief. The Executive Committee membership is achieved through free and fair democratic bi-annual election. These arrangements make NINEE an association that embraces the key principles of equality, diversity and inclusion. NINEE accommodates members of all ages; young people as well as adults in the group have different roles to play within the organisation.
Customary to Igbo culture, NINEE celebrates New Yam Festival every first Saturday in August. Yam is a widely cultivated tuber that is consumed as staple food across Igbo land. In the olden days it was believed that a man whose yam harvest lasts until the following harvest was considered a wealthy man. Yam is usually cultivated at the beginning of the year and harvested in August, hence the celebration of New Yam festival in August. This annual event is an opportunity to invite people from all works life to share in the rich and colourful Igbo cultural heritage as well as enjoy the occasion through food, music and dance from the Igbo culture.