‘Humanity’ is the theme for the 2019 Carnival Calabar also known as Africa’s biggest street party in Cross River State.
The Governor of Cross River State, Professor Ben Ayade unveiled the theme when he made a declaration to flag off the 2019 Carnival Calabar preparations.
Devoid of the fanfare, which characterised previous unveilings, Ayade urged the five competing carnival bands such as Seagull, Passion 4, Masta Blasta, Bayside and Freedom to play out the theme as it’s been the custom.
“I charge the bands to ensure that the intellectual content of the carnival theme transcends the dance to the task of encouraging the world to be better for all humanity”.
“Animals are becoming more human, while humans are becoming more animalistic. It is the animal in some people that denies them the sensibility to their neighbour, who cannot send his child to school. Do not be a source of pain to another person’s life,” Ayade charged.
Mrs. Onari Duke, wife of former Governor of Cross River Donald Duke and one of the leaders of the blue colour clad Bayside band, described the theme as insightful and most challenging.
She promised that the message would be made to resonate across the world and expressed appreciation to the governor for his commitment at sustaining the carnival, which was started in 2004.
It would be recalled that in 2018, the five carnival bands interpreted the theme ‘Africanism’ and were judged by the five criteria: Acrobatics; Philosophy, which is the thematic contents; Costuming; Carnival spirit; and Best-band-on-the-move.
This year the bands would also be judged using the same criteria as nearly 25 thousand revellers would take to the 12 kilometre carnival routes through five adjudication points.