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Imo Shines at the Opening Ceremony of NAFEST 2021

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Imo State contingent to the 2021 National Festival of Arts and Culture, NAFEST, made a memorable entry at the Opening Ceremony of the festival taking place in Ado Ekiti, capital of Ekiti State. The Opening Ceremony took place at noon on Monday, November 15, 2021. With a large colourful contingent attired in isiagu costume, a retinue of skillfil artistes, and an acrobatic flutist, the contingent received prolonged applause from the crowd at the opening ceremony of the fiesta. The characteristic delectable performance of Omenimo Dance which was a part of the parade by the state’s contingent stood them out as a troupe to watch.

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Imo State contingent was led in the parade by the state’s Commissioner for Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Mazi Uche Ohia.

Present at the expansive arena for the event were the Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, wife of the Governor Mrs Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi, Speaker of the State House of Assembly, the Deputy Speaker, members of the state EXCO, the Director General of the National Council for Arts and Culture, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe and DGs of several federal and state agencies. State Commissioners of Culture, Arts and Tourism, Permanent Secretaries and Directors of many State Councils of Art and Culture were also present in large numbers together with their gaily dressed state troupes.

Host Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, in his speech at the ceremony, said the National Festival of Arts and Culture was “a unique platform for Nigerians to meet and showcase our culture and diversity”. Dr Fayemi who described culture as “a glue for unifying Nigerians” stated that the festival would “increase the honour and fortunes of Ekiti State” as it would “attract global attention and tourists” to the state. The elated Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum noted that Ekiti State had mainstreamed teaching of Yoruba values in primary school curriculum in the state.

Introducing the cultural fiesta, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, Director General of the National Council for Arts and Culture, said NAFEST since its inception in 1970 had maintained its objectives to promote national peace and unity as well as served as “the traditional platform for talent hunt, skills development and marketing the best of Nigeria’s cultural heritage”

The opening ceremony, which was held at the Ekiti Parapo Pavilion featured speeches, cultural parades by participating states, and well choreographed dance drama presentations by the host state.

Speaking to Imo State Contingent on arrival at the festival, the leader of the contingent and Imo State Commissioner for Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Mazi Uche Ohia, charged the members to be positive and to exhibit their best conduct and performance.

The cultural festival started on Saturday 13th November and would end on Saturday 20th November 2021

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