By Ekene Okafor, Lagos
The Edo State capital, southern Nigeria will be agog with festivities come October 19 to 26, as countries including; Senegal, Mali, France, Ghana and many more are billed to thrill audience at the National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST).
This was announced at the opening of the 49th National Stakeholders meeting on NAFEST presently holding in Benin.
Speaking during the opening ceremony, the Executive Governor of Edo state, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, represented by the Commissioner for Arts, Culture, Tourism and Diaspora Affairs, Osazee Osemwegie-Ero said the state has secured the commitment of several countries towards NAFEST in a bid to project the ancient cultural endowments of Benin.
The Director General, National Council for Arts and Culture and chief host Otunba Segun Runsewe, observed in his address that NAFEST will not only serve as a unity forum, but will also provide a major economic boost for Edo state.
Runsewe added that the platform will offer the opportunity to promote globally, the rich, undiluted culture of Edo which is at least one thousand years old.
He solicited for continuous unity among Nigerians which NAFEST seeks to promote stating that unity is a precursor to economic prosperity; as he cited the Dubai tourism sector as an example which can be replicated in Nigeria, if the country harnesses the rich culture of Edo as an economic product.
The opening followed a technical session convened by the NCAC and had several stakeholders in the industry participating to brainstorm and develop concepts to ensure the 2019 NAFEST is truly memorable.
As Benin comes into limelight following grand plans for NAFEST 2019, the NCAC DG may have set the ball rolling with the new name, “Otunba Edoma Runsewe” collectively given to him by Edo Stakeholders.
imDirector-General, National Council for Arts and Culture Otunba Segun Runsewe adorned in the rich traditional regalia symbolic of Benin royalty