Some state delegates at the National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST), which opened on Monday in Benin City, have unveiled some of the cultural assets to be showcased during the week long event.In separate interviews with the Nigeria News Agency at the University of Benin Sports Complex, venue of the opening ceremony, the delegates said NAFEST had fulfilled its main aim of fostering peace and unity amongst Nigerians.Mrs Roseline Mere, Head of Administration, Imo State Council for Arts and Culture, said the state would be showcasing their local cuisines – ” Ofe-Owerri” and “Ofe-Nsala”.She said there was need for people to realise the nutritional value of local cuisines, urging Nigerians to minimise the consumption of processed foods which were dangerous to human health.“Am excited to be here for this all-important festival in Nigeria, we are showcasing our art works depicting royalty.“We are also teaching people how to make our local palm wine known as “Mmamya-ngwo,” likewise our Imo traditional cake made from bread fruit which can last for three to four months without preservatives.“We need to realise that our local cuisines made from natural foods are better for us than the processed ones,” she said.Also, Mr Wale Ojo-Lanre, Director General, Ekiti State Council for Arts and Culture, said that the state would be showcasing the peculiarities of the state royalty.He said the state was known for its local cuisine – pounded yam – and the state delegates would be teaching other states how to prepare the cuisines peculiar to the state.He commended the Director General, National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) for upholding the ancient festival and improving on it by introducing other cultural programmes.“This is the best event any country can engage in because at the end of the event, this would have improved the economy of the state.“Before the end of the festival, we all would have been better informed of other states’ culture and history,” he said.Similarly, Mr Bisi Oyewale, Director, Kwara State Council for Arts and Culture, said that the state would be participating in essay writing, drama competition and exhibition of artefacts peculiar to the state.He said the state local cuisine would also be on exhibition while the audience would be educated on the essence of embracing nation’s rich culture.He urged the Federal Government to create special fund for each state specifically for the festival to enable states plan properly and ensure full participation of all states.Mrs Monica Shanyo, Deputy Director, Benue State Council for Arts and Culture, said the state was participating to get familiarised with other cultures.She said this would further foster harmony and peace among the citizenry.“This is a good platform which had encouraged inter-ethnic marriages among people of different tribes, it has strengthened relationships,” she said.Mr Emmanuel Udoma, Secretary, Delta State Council for Arts and Culture, said that NAFEST had fulfilled the main aim of its establishment, urging federal government to continue to improve on it.He commended government for involving the youths in different cultural competitions which would enable them propagate nation’s culture.He urged the youths to imbibe nation’s culture of respect, hospitality, and uphold the spirit of been one’s brother’s keeper.The Nigeria News Agency reports that 26 states, including the Federal Capital Territory, had arrived for the cultural festival.Some of the states present were: Bauchi, Lagos, Delta, Nasarawa, Benue, Bayelsa, Borno, Ebonyi, Ekiti, Enugu, Imo, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kwara, Oyo, Rivers, Taraba, Edo, FCT.PTB/WOJEdited by Wale Ojetimi
The legendary Septuagenarian Musician, Prof. Victor Uwiafo, joined by 2Face Idibia and other local musicians, on Monday thrilled participants and guests at the opening ceremony of the 2019 edition of the National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFES), in Benin.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that the colourful ceremony had in attendance dignitaries from various walks of life, including the host, Gov. Godwin Obaseki and his deputy, Mr Philip Shaibu.
The State Commissioner for Arts, Culture and Tourism, Mr Osemwengie Ero, in his welcome address, said the festival would provide further cultural integration among the states of the federation.
He commended Gov. Godwin Obaseki for making culture one of the six cardinal points of his administration.
According to him, he did this because of the emphasis he (Governor) placed on the culture of the state. This has led to the re-awakening of culture in the state.
“Hosting of the 32nd edition of the festival that has been in existence for 40 years, marks the first time Edo State will be playing host to the rest of Nigeria.”
He said the festival with the theme: “Our Royalty, Our Pride” signifies the pride and dignity of Benin, saying “culture have come back home to stay”.
NAN reports that the occasion saw the participating states in their traditional attire and display of various traditional dances during the match past.
The display was culminated in thrilling performance by the combatant team of the Nigerian Army Women Corp, Silent Drill Platoon and the Guard Brigade Band, all of the Nigerian Army.
The agency further reports that the seven-day cultural show will hold at four different venues in the city; Oba’s Palace, UNIBEN Sports Complex, Benin Golf Club and Oba Akenzua Cultural Centre.
Only 26 states participated in the opening ceremony, with other states still being expected.
Edited by Jane-Frances Oraka/Ifeyinwa Omowole
Edited by Jane-Frances Oraka/Ifeyinwa Omowole
Chairmen of Local Government Areas of Edo, have expressed readiness to use the opportunity of the 2019 National Festival for Arts and Culture (NAFEST) being hosted in Edo, to harness the tourism potentials of their various council areas.The chairmen spoke on the sidelines of the opening ceremony of this year’s NAFEST in Benin on Monday.While commending the state government for hosting NAFEST, they stressed the advantage of showcasing the culture in the state to the world.They noted that hosting the cultural festival by the government was not misplaced priority, as the state was known to be the cradle of civilisation as well as home of art and culture.Mr Destiny Enabulele, Chairman of Ovia South West Local Government Area (LGA), described the hosting of the festival as the right step to take at this time.He said Ovia LGA would build on whatever would be the outcome of the festival.According to him, this hosting has further demonstrated that Edo is the home of arts and culture and also the cradle of civilisation.He concluded by saying that the hosting would impact positively on the economy of the state.Mr Scott Ogbemudia, Ovia North East LGA council boss, while commending the people and government of Edo, said it had provided an opportunity for the council to harness its tourism potential.“You can see the desire in all of us to celebrate our culture; we are using this to show the world about the uniqueness of our culture.“In Ovia North East, we have a unique story and tourism potential that we will be showcasing. The council area is home to where Oba Ovonramwen was taken to Calabar and many more.“All these are what we will be showcasing to the world,” he said.The 18 council areas of the state were present at opening ceremony with their cultural troupes.The Nigeria News Agency reports that the seven-day cultural show would be held at four different venues in the ancient city; Oba’s Palace, UNIBEN Sports Complex, Benin Golf Club and Oba Akenzua Cultural Centre.The State Commissioner for Arts, Culture and Tourism, Mr Osemwengie Ero, said that the festival would provide further cultural integration among the states of the federation.He said festival with the theme: “Our Royalty, Our Pride” signifies the pride and dignity of Benin.NAN also reports that 500, 000 visitors from the 36 states of the federation, including the Federal Capital Territory(FCT) and six counties, are expected to participate in this year’s edition of the NAFEST.As at Sunday Oct. 21, only 16 states had arrived Benin for the festival with others expected to arrive on Monday. ESI/GOM/IFY Edited by Gregg Mmaduakolam/Ifeyinwa Omowole
Security has been beefed up at the University of Benin (UNIBEN) Sports Complex, venue of the opening ceremony of the 2019 National Festival of Arts and Culture, hosted by Edo.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that men of the Nigeria Police, Nigerian Army, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and the Department of State Service (DSS), were strategically positioned within and around the sports complex.
The festival, which is expected to be declared opened by Gov. Godwin Obaseki, also has officers of the Federal Road Safety Corprs (FRSC), and the state-owned Edo State Traffic Management Agency (EDSTMA), working to ensure orderliness in vehicular and human movements around the venue.
Similarly, some volunteer organisations, such as Peace Corps of Nigeria and the Edo Government owned Public Works Volunteer (PUWOV), were also seen working to maintain orderliness inside the sport complex.
NAN reports that the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), organiser of NAFEST, started welcoming some of the participating states on Saturday.
NAN reports that the seven-day cultural show will hold at four different venues in the ancient city, namely, Oba’s Palace, UNIBEN Sports Complex, Benin Golf Club and Oba Akenzua Cultural Centre.
The State Commissioner for Arts, Culture and Tourism, Mr Osemwengie Ero, who was at the venue working to ensure success of the opening ceremony, said the festival would provide further cultural integration among the states of the federation.
He said that the festival with the theme: “Our Royalty, Our Pride” signifies the pride and dignity of Benin.
NAN reports that 500,000 visitors from the 36 states of the federation, including the FCT and six countries are expected to participate in this year’s edition of NAFEST.
Edited by Remi Koleoso/Ifeyinwa Omowole
Mr Osazee Osemwingie-Ero, the Commissioner for Arts, Culture, Tourism and Diaspora Affairs in Edo, has assured delegates and prospective guests at the 32nd edition of 2019 National Festival for Arts and Culture (NAFEST) in Benin of memorable and colourful event.
Osemwingie-Ero gave the assurance in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Benin on Monday, ahead of the opening ceremony of NAFEST at the University of Benin (Uniben) Sports Complex.
He said that majority of the the participating states’ delegates had arrived Benin.
According to him, Edo has friendly environment as exemplified by the colourful ambience of the the city and its environs.
NAN reports that the podium at the Uniben sports complex has beautifully been decorated with the logo of NAFEST, while major roads in the city now wear new looks.
Different cultural troupes from the various local government areas of the state and neighbouring Delta are on ground.
Meanwhile, operatives of the Nigeria Peace Corps and members of the Edo Public Works Volunteers were seen complementing security agencies in the control of human and vehicular movements in and around the sports complex.
NAN recalls that the Commissioner of Police, DanMallam Mohammed, had said that 730 officers and men of the command were deployed to provide security for the festival.
(Edited by Kevin Okunzuwa/Sam Oditah)
Mr Olusegun Runsewe, Director-General (DG), National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) on Sunday appealed to residents of Benin City to be hospitable to tourists during the 2019 National Festival of Arts and Culture, holding in the city.
Runsewe made the appeal while addressing newsmen at the Akenzua Cultural Centre in Benin, Edo State.
According to him, no less than 500,000 tourists and culture ambassadors are expected to grace this year’s festival.
He urged the indigenes of the state to leave a positive and lasting impression in the mind of tourists.
“I invite Edo State indigenes to come out en-mass and I appeal to them to warmly welcome tourists into the state, make them feel at home, so that at the end of the day, there will be positive stories to be told.
“Benin is truly a culturally friendly state, let people leave with good impression that Benin people love visitors,’’ he said.
Runsewe commended the indigenes for their peaceful co-existence, adding that the 2019 edition of NAFEST would be used to strengthen the nation’s co-existence, as delegates from different states exchange cultural ideas.
He said that the economic activities of the state had improved since delegates started arriving as all hotels in Benin had been fully booked.
“This is a huge platform to empower the people of the state through job creation.
“As you can see, commercial activities are ongoing, all hotels are booked.’’
The DG said that Edo, with a population of over 3.6 million, would experience economic growth as 500,000 tourists were expected at NAFEST.
According to him, the festival will project the state as a state of royalty, just as the theme of the festival “Our Royalty, Our Pride”. stated.
He said Edo was known for royalty as well as the cradle of culture, right from the colonial era till date, due to its rich culture.
“Edo is truly known for royalty, this is the only state where people greet in a royal way,’’ he said.
He identified two important sectors, which are important to nation building, as agriculture and culture.
Runsewe added that when these sectors are properly developed, the nation would be successful.
He said with this consciousness, NCAC had prioritised the promotion of culture over the years through various platforms and NAFEST was one of such platforms.
Edited by Abdulfatah Babatunde/Ifeyinwa Omowole
Edited by Abdulfatah Babatunde/Ifeyinwa Omowole
The ancient city of Benin is agog with festivities as delegates from 16 states had arrived in the Edo State capital ahead of the 2019 National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST) which will open at Oba Akenzua Cultural Centre on Monday.A correspondent of the Nigeria News Agency who visited the venue on Sunday reports that accreditation of delegates had started while participating groups were busy mounting exhibition tents and arranging their wares in preparation for the festival.Chief Olusegun Runsewe, Director General, National Council for Art and Culture (NCAC), organiser of NAFEST, told NAN that all the participating states would arrive for the opening ceremony on Monday.NAN reports that the seven-day cultural show, organised by National Council for Arts and Culture will hold at four different venues in the ancient city, namely: Oba’s Palace, UNIBEN Sports Complex, Benin Golf Club and Oba Akenzua Cultural Centre (main venue).One of the delegates, Mrs Ngulyaro Simon-Zaro from Adamawa State Council for Art and Culture, said the festival would provide further cultural integration amongst delegates from various states of the country.According to her, the festival will give hope for future cultural exchange programmes which is needed to unite the nation.“We are here to participate in traditional wrestling, drama and local cuisine competitions; we are engaging the younger ones in order to familiarise them with our culture,” she said.Also, Dr Priscilla Aletor, a Lecturer of Painting, University of Benin, said she was excited that Benin was hosting this year’s festival, adding that the theme: “Our Royalty, Our Pride” signified the pride and dignity of Benin City.Aletor, who would also be exhibiting her paintings during the festival, said she expected to connect with art lovers across the country through the platform.Oba Akenzua Cultural Centre, Beenin City, main venue of NAFEST 2019The week long festival will end on Saturday.PTB/WOJEdited by Wale Ojettimi
The Edo Commissioner for Art and Culture, Mr Osazee Osemwegie-Ero, made the disclosure on Saturday at the Oba Akenzua Cultural Centre, the major venue for the festival.
Osemwegie-Ero said the delegates from 15 states were already going through the process of accreditation ahead of the opening ceremony at the University of Benin Sports Complex, one of the venues for the event.
“The long-waited date is here. I’m glad that we are here at the Oba Akenzua Cultural Center; all preparations have been put in place.
“We have received delegates from about 15 states already and we are making arrangements to settle them in the various hotels while accreditation is ongoing.
“I am very happy that the state is ready and by the grace of God, there won’t be any hitch of any kind throughout the period. Edo people should be expecting to give out lots of love to our guests.
“We have over 3,000 delegates on ground; our people should expect colourful event as the programme progresses.
“States like Delta, Enugu, Lagos, Imo, Osun and Abia are here while we await others to arrive later,” he said.
Edited by Kevin Okunzuwa/Ejike Obeta
Edited by Kevin Okunzuwa/Ejike Obeta
Edo Government says no fewer than 500,000 delegates from the 36 states of the federation are expected to participate in the 2019 National Festival For Arts and Culture (NAFEST), to be hosted by Edo.
Edo Commissioner for Arts, Culture and Tourism, Mr Osemwengie Ero, who made the disclosure on Friday in Benin, said that delegates from five countries, Cameroun, Ghana, France, Togo and Cote d’ Voire, had indicated interest to be part of this year’s NAFEST.
The commissioner said that the state would play host to 35 states of the federation, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), adding that the venues and accommodation for delegates were ready for the event.
He listed the venues to include, the Cultural Centre, which had undergone renovation, Igun Street and University of Benin Sports Complex.
He added that many hotels, designated to accommodate delegates and visitors had been inspected and certified ready ahead of the festival.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that students of the Federal Government Girls College, Benin, vacated the hostels on Friday, to make room for delegates, who will be accommodated in the school.
According to him, we are expecting a lot of visitors to come into Edo. People from the 35 states and FCT will be in Edo and six countries have also indicated interest to join us.
“This time the Oba of Bénin will be celebrating his third year anniversary, so Edo will be a beehive of activities. When the visitors come in they stay in hotels.
“The more hotels we have the better for us. That is what Gov. Godwin Obaseki is doing by creating enabling environment for businesses to thrive, for entrepreneurs to thrive.”
Edited by Saidu Adamu/Ifeyinwa Omowole
Edited by Saidu Adamu/Ifeyinwa Omowole
2face to perform at 2019 NAFEST in Edo
Edo Government has said that popular Nigeria music artist, Innocent Idibia, a.k.a, 2face Idibia, will lead some Nigerian artists to the National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST), holding in the state from Oct. 19 to 26.A statement, issued in Benin on Sunday by Mr Crusoe Osagie, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, said all was set for a successful hosting of the culture fiesta by the state.He said “We are set for the NAFEST holding in the state. If you go around Benin City, you will observe that the city is bubbling.“It has taken a colourful turn of branding, posters and billboards regarding the festival is everywhere for tourists to obtain necessary information.“This year’s festival is going to have a Benin flavour, as it coincides with the celebration of the coronation of the Oba of Benin, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Ewuare II.“So, we have the preparations for all of that covered,” he said.Osagie said that a longlist of Nigerian artists would be in Benin for the festival, which would feature local and international arts, assuring that the festival would be a world-class outing.He added, “We are very certain that we will put up a good show. Edo is the cradle of culture and arts in the country and we will ensure that tourists get a feel of our assets.“Artists in Igun Street are already prepared for the festival, as they have promised to give discounts to those who patronise them during the festival.“The Society of Nigerian Artists has also planned an exhibition to showcase the artwork of its members. So, we have a full bouquet of activities lined up.”(NAN)OOJ/DE/IFYEdited by Dorcas Jonah/Ifeyinwa Omowole