Sunday, October 10, 2010


Nigeria at 50: Feast fever at FCT
By Ozolua Uhakheme
Assistant Editor (Arts)

One week before Independence Day, October 1, the artists’ community in the city of Abuja never had it so bountiful. After the Centre for Black and African Art and Civilisation (CBAAC), in collaboration with Pan African Strategic and Policy Research Group (PANASTRAG) held its four-day international conference at the Abuja International Conference Centre, it has been one cultural event or another at major events venues across the federal capital territory.
Other subsequent events included Sponsors Forum organised by Abuja Carnival for the organised private sector at the African Hall, International Conference Centre, Abuja on September 23, a solo photo exhibition, 1979 : A peep into history and culture by Tam Fiofori, at Thought Pyramid Gallery, Abuja on the same day, Naija @50 festival tagged Celebrating Nigeria’s uniqueness at 50 at the International Conference Centre, on Friday September 24, an art exhibition/award night organised by the Society of Nigerian Artists (SNA) at the National Centre for Women Development, Abuja, on September 27, Songs of Gold, an art exhibition organised by the Abuja Chapter of SNA at Transcorp Hilton, Abuja on September 28 and a photo exhibition organised by the National Gallery of Art, at NICON Luxury Hotel, Abuja on the same day. The following day, Chevron held its fourth National Art Competition and exhibition/awards at the NICON Luxury Hotel, Abuja.
Penultimate Saturday, the big drums were rolled out at the Eagles Square, Abuja as the Federal Ministry of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation hosted the Durbar and masqueraders performances featuring contingents from Borno and Bida Emirates. About seven floats decorated with green and white colour ribbons conveying some dancers and drummers, set the tone for the colourful parade, which was part of activities heralding the nation’s 50th independence anniversary celebration.
In attendance were the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abba Kyari Umar Garbai and the Etsu Nupe Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar, the Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Alhaji Abubakar Sadiq Mohammed, the director-general of Nigeria @50, Dr. K.B Kalgama, director of culture, Mr. George Ufot and some chief executives of parastatals in the ministry among others.
Borno Emirate contingent was the larger and more colourful in their turnout. They featured horse-riders both young and old, warriors, trumpeters, dancers and hunters who showcased some of their unique cultural heritage with elegance and royalty. The high point of every outing of the contingents is the special performance at the front of the two traditional rulers (Shehu of Borno and Etsu Nupe), which involved horse-riders’ demonstration and gun shots salute. Minster of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Alhaji Mohammed said at he Durbar that culture ministry has decided to use the nation’s creative abilities to further ‘build the bridges of understanding, harmony and peace that would strengthen and bind us as one strong and indivisible nation. It is evident that much of our past efforts are yielding good results to improve our infrastructures and fast track our plans to contribute through tourism and culture to improve the economy".

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