By Fidelia Femi-Adedoyin
It was a colorful sight to behold as usual, as all the states present at the 2021 NAFEST opening ceremony engaged in a Cultural parade showcasing their rich and diverse cultural heritage.
The saying in our local parlance, “Delta no dey carry last” was evident as the Delta State delegation regally paraded the pavilion in a sparkly variety of colours and a true display of culture led by the Honourable Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Lawrence Ejiofor and the Permanent Secretary, Angalaere Umukoro-Prest to the viewing and admiration of all present.
The 34th edition of the National Festival of Art and Culture (NAFEST) themed; Celebrating National Unity in Diversity, officially kicked off at the Ekiti Parapo Pavilion, Ado-Ekiti.
His Excellency the Governor of Ekiti State, and Chairman Nigerian Governors Forum, Kayode Fayemi in his opening speech, expressed joy at being the host State. He said that culture is the glue for uniting people and that NAFEST presents a unique platform to foster this unity and prosperity among Nigerians.
Stating that culture is one of the pillars of development, he emphasized the need for our Country to intensify efforts to revive our diverse culture and enhance the potential of our arts, thereby ensuring sociopolitical stability and economic viability.
The governor said, “as a country with diverse cultures, it is imperative for us to take advantage of the innate strength in our diversity and our human and natural resources, to build a united, just and prosperous country for the present and future generations”.
He encouraged his guests from sister states to relax and enjoy the peace and generousity of the Ekiti people as he wished them a beautiful experience all through their stay.
High point of the event was the colorful performance of a dance drama by some of the Ekiti State contingents titled “Children of the rolling hills” which featured the first lady of Ekiti State, Bisi Fayemi as the poet, gracefully conveying the message behind the actions.
The Director General for the National Council for Arts and Culture, Olusegun Runsewe OON, who gave the vote of thanks, commended the Governor for throwing his weight fully behind this year’s NAFEST.
He disclosed that the activities of this year will feature various competitions such as traditional board games, children essay writing, drama, tales by moonlight’, traditional cuisines and more.
The Director encouraged visitors from sister states to seize the opportunity to visit some of the legendary tourist sites in Ekiti state including the Ikogosi warm springs and Arinta water fall.