By Gboyega Adeoye
The Edo State capital will be agog with festivities come October 19th to 26th as countries like Senegal, Mali, France, Ghana and many more will be on song during the National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST).
This was made certain during 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.
Adorned in the rich traditional regalia symbolic of Benin royalty, Otunba Segun Runsewe, Director-General, National Council for Arts and Culture and chief host observed in his address that NAFEST will not only serve as a unity forum, but will also provide a major economic boost for Edo.
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 citing the Dubai example which according to him can be replicated if we harness the rich culture of Edo as an economic product.
The opening followed a technical session convened at the instance of the NCAC and several stakeholders in the industry who will be brainstorming and developing concepts to ensure 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 him by Edo Stakeholders.