Songs of hope at Children’s Culture Fiesta

By DAMIETE BRAIDE
 Two giant wooden sculptures were sighted at the entrance of the main exhibition hall of the National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos, venue of the Children’s Cultural Fiesta organized by CBAAC.
 The sculptures caught the attention of children, teachers, guests and friends as they entered the hall.

 Equally, multi-talented artiste, Jimi Solanke, and his band entertained the audience while Afeez Ayeoro and his colleague, members of National Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners (NANTAP), received a loud ovation from the audience after their performance, which highlighted the importance of diversity in culture.
 “We should not allow differences in our culture to obstruct our relationship rather our diversity in culture should drive our resolve to succeed as a nation.”

 Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation made this known during the 2011 children’s cultural festival organised by Centre for Black African Arts and Civilization (CBAAC) with the theme African Culture: The beauty in diversity.
 According to him, depending on country, society or community, cultural diversity takes different forms, in places like South Africa, and the United States, cultural diversity is usually associated with racial differences. In Nigeria, cultural diversity is strewn along the lines of religious or ethnic differences. Despite these differences, our people have many things in common. Before the cleavages that divide us were developed, we had for centuries lived, traded and related freely with one another without let or hinderance.”

 The minister added that he is glad and delighted that CBAAC never relents in its efforts at organising programmes that direct attention to the beauty of African culture and which encourage Nigerian children to be conscious of African culture.
 According to Duke, CBAAC has consistently lived up to its statutory responsibility of promoting, propagating and preserving African cultural values. Hence “ We should appreciate the beauty in our cultural diversity, eschew violence and other vices and make them good cultural ambassadors.
 Also Professor Tunde Babawale, Director General, Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization added that children deserve much attention and celebration because they represent continuity and serve as the vital bridge that connects with the future. In order to achieve the transfer of positive values in their lives, we must build in them those values that will make them useful and responsible citizens of tomorrow.

 The DG disclosed further that the theme; African Culture: The Beauty in Diversity was informed by the need to make young people see the beauty in African (Nigerian) diverse cultures and to realise that the country’s diversity should be a source of strength and not of weakness. “ Our children need to appreciate the importance of honesty, tolerance, unity, love and respect for one another as virtues that are essential for personal achievement as well as national growth and development.

 In order to compliment CBAAC’s efforts, Babawale said there is need to build its gains by making education and culture key ingredients for effective and sustainable development. “This can be done through designing and implementing appropriate educational and cultural policies. We should ensure that investment in teachers training is central to the implementation of our social agenda. We must appreciate the strategic cross and use our indigenous languages for cross cultural interaction amongst our people. We should increase awareness of our tangible and intangible cultural heritage by emphasizing their potentials for positively engaging our your youths. “ explained the DG.

 He added “ there should be the design and implementation of educational and cultural policies by ensuring that investment in teachers’ training is central to the implementation of our cultural agenda. We must appreciate the strategic use of our indigenous languages for cross cultural interaction amongst our people.

 Some of the guests who attended the event include Mrs Franka Duro Oni, Mr Martin Adaji, Artistic Director of National Troupe, Mrs C. J Abara of the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Mrs Alaba Fadiro, Director Child Development, Lagos State and a number of pupils drawn from schools in Lagos State among others.
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