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FESTAC 77@40: Don wants CBAAC to include intellectual activities

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A don has advised the Centre for Black Arts and African Civilisation (CBAAC) to include intellectual activities as part of programmes for the celebration of FESTAC 77 @40.

Prof. Olu Obafemi of the Department of Theatre Arts, University of Ilorin, gave the advice in a telephone interview with newsmen on Wednesday in Lagos.

He said that the celebration should not only centre on entertainment.

It should include intellectual activities that would instill knowledge on foreign delegates and Nigerians on different cultural matters, he said.

According to him, these should include symposia, lectures, dialogue and debate sessions to boost attendees’ knowledge on Nigerian culture, arts and craft,

Obafemi said these areas were capable of endearing interests of foreign tourists to Nigeria.

He lauded CBAAC’s plans to re-institutionalise the historic cultural festival as it had placed Nigeria on a unique stand amongst many nations of the world.

“‘I will advise that we have symposia, lectures, dialogue and debate sessions to educate our guests and Nigerians who did not experience FESTAC 77.

“I am happy that CBAAC is planning to commemorate the 40th anniversary of FESTAC 77 which remains the main legacy of African cultural unity.

“In this age of globalisation, the heritage and relics of FESTAC 77 should be exhibited and those who did not experience it should be told the stories,’’ he said.

Obafemi said that during the event and after, culture should be seen as a tool for economic diversification for Africa as a whole, through proper grooming and growth.

“The delegates can be exposed to the hidden economic potential in grooming African culture so that our cultural heritage can be elongated,’’ he said.

NAN reports that FESTAC’77, also known as the Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture was a major international festival held in Lagos from from Jan. 15, 1977 to Feb. 12, 1977.

The first edition was held in Gakar, Senegal in 1966.

The month-long event celebrated African culture and showcased to the world African music, fine art, literature, drama, dance and religion.

About 16,000 participants, representing 56 countries performed at the event.

As at the time it was held, it was the largest pan-African gathering to have ever taken place.

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