It is no longer in doubt that Lagos, Nigeria’s most celebrated city-state, will host the 2022 edition of the National Festival of Arts and Culture. There are also no controversies that NAFEST is Nigeria’s biggest cultural tourism export, and definer of the values and strengths of what unifies Nigerians than those things that tend to lubricate socioeconomic and political dislocations.
From Kaduna to Rivers, Edo to Plateau and Ekiti, NAFEST runs on the gasoline of Nigeria’s banquet of festivals, dances, indigenous culinary expressions, history, artefacts, tongues and humongous display of infinite energy and patriotism which propels endless research about the richness and unbelievable attitude of the people.
Each festival theme births the prosperity and profiles of our subculture and tradition highlights the intrinsic values and attractive inclusiveness and opens vistas to togetherness, unity, love and connectivity.
The Director-General, National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Otunba Segun Runsewe, sets the tone for each of the festival outings, powering evangelical cultural awareness, loves Nigeria to bone-deep, and is appreciated by many Nigerians who are amazed at our gift of nature, culture and hospitality. In the past six years, Nigeria’s cultural vehicle has enviably traversed the nooks and crannies of Nigeria with the innovative promotional energy invested by the NCAC boss.
His cultural focal message, centres on the change narratives, and the power to fuse our faith and trust in our way of life. At each dining table of our cultural gastronomy, the massive display of our food culture, from soups to snacks, beverages and peacocks of swallows endemic to each geopolitical zones, unveils amazing hospitality wonder, unseen and unimaginable.
For a time, waiting for the push for our cultural tourism wonders, it was credited to Runsewe that Nigeria, and to everything certainly bestowed on us by God, from Hills, mountains, rivers, landscapes, groves and forests ecosystems, fauna resources, festivals and dances, indigenous Culinary expressions, there lies a trajectory of a wonderful gifted tourism nation.
To Runsewe, to understand the uniqueness and richness of Nigerian cultural advantage, students and observers of our strategic evolving cultural renaissance through NAFEST, must admit that beyond our festivals, Nigeria has a new song on natural resources and environmental conservation.
“I want to showcase beyond our dances and food culture, the 37 wonders of Nigeria and there is no better place to do so than at Eko NAFEST,” Runsewe says to the prospect of a refreshing discovery, which governor Babajide Sanwo-0lu will unveil in November.
Indeed, our indigenous arts and crafts position this reality, and undeniably a bankable economy, tailed with prosperity and a funnel to attracting international tourism spending, creating rural jobs.
Last week in Lagos and in conversation with governor Sanwo-0lu on Eko NAFEST, Runsewe made the point known, that Lagos, must strategically reposition its socioeconomic reach and acceptance as Africa’s destination for commerce and tourism trade, through the eyes of NAFEST, and the unveiling of 37 wonders of Nigeria.
Governor Sanwo-0lu, indeed as a veritable partner and champion of ‘new Lagos infrastructure’, gains on the NAFEST developmental template, raving up the community to community development which has endeared him to indigenes, residents and foreigners.
On this belt, the ongoing Lagos rail lines, community theatres halls, road renewals and connectivities, and mapping of water transportation routes, all most likely ready for use and unveiling during Eko NAFEST in November, certainly propels the visionary leadership of governor Sanwo-0lu, who assured Runsewe and his team who paid him a pre Eko NAFEST visit, that his government will not leave stones and bricks unturned to showcase a truly Nigerian Festival of Arts and Culture.
Upbeat about a new approach to Eko NAFEST, Runsewe further assures of digging up buried historical and traditional cultural and historical information about Lagos.
Significantly, Eko NAFEST, will help power new tourism traffic arrivals, and showcase the city culture, nightlife, hospitality, commerce and the wonders of Lagos nay Nigeria, all in one full cultural tourism plate on governor Sanwo-Olu’s dinner table.
Runsewe said Eko NAFEST will be different and he can be trusted to keep his word and power his dreams for greater opportunities for Nigerian culture tourism rebirth and rebranding through Eko NAFEST 2022.