When Arts, Culture And Tourism Stakeholders Took Over Abuja

It was a conference like no other. Thirty six (36) Commissioners from the states in Nigeria, Permanent Secretaries, and Directors, all gathered in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory for the 1st ever review of NAFEST, National Festival of Arts and Culture, after 35 years of existence, during the first week of December 2023.

The event was under the auspices of the Director General of National Council for Arts and Culture, Otunba Segun Runsewe. People call him the man with the magic wand. But he is actually more than that! And he proved it.

The conference was very involving with strategy sessions that included delegates from all the states, broken into groups which eventually produced a communique, a working document for the sector. There was also a tour that took all the delegates on a long convoy to Nike Arts Gallery and ended at the Arts and Craft Market in the Central Business District of Abuja, created by NCAC some months ago. There you find enough souvenirs to take away from gem stone shop owned by Alh. Abdullahi Musa Mai-Jirgi, Tessy wears and Arts shop, Adeleye John Aderinkomi and many other artists, art curators and others. And the fun aspects, was the arts and cultural presentations from some of the states, along with a cocktail night, where delegates danced to old skool music for relaxation.

Indeed, the first week of December, saw Abuja standing still for the Arts and Culture Sector. Though it was not a full blown NAFEST this year, but the event had every semblance of NAFEST. Troupes were on hand with colourful costumes and rich traditional dances and presentations, to flavour the brainstorming sessions. The NAFEST Gong was fully on display during the cultural performances and a heavy networking activities took place among the delegates from the thirty six states in attendance.

Though it was not in the place of the state governors to attend the conference, yet one could feel the presence of the state governors through their state delegates, who came professing the support and determination of their governors to change the narrative in the arts, culture and tourism sector in their various states.

Photos: The Colours of NAFEST Abuja 2023 Review Conference


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