Nollywood artistes and their fans celebrated the 2018 edition of the prestigious Nollywood New Yam Festival, amid glitz and glamour, in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Festival, now in its sixth edition, is an annual thespians’ fiesta that showcases Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage.
Filmmakers and actors drawn from across Nigeria, as well as traditional chiefs, were present at the event which held on Thursday night in Abuja.
Cultural troupes, musicians and other entertainers took their turn to thrill audience at the event which Abuja fans now look forwards to every October.
Mr Agility Onwurah, Chief Executive Officer of Agile 247.Com, organiser of the cultural fiesta, told NAN on the sideline that the initiative was to present a platform where artistes as models and opinion leaders can promote Nigerian culture.
He noted that since movie was a veritable instrument in communicating ideas and lifestyles, including cultural heritages, every artiste ought to be a cultural ambassador.
“Culture defines a people, and anyone who forgets its culture, forgets its root and identity.
“The festival is simply a platform where celebrities identify with our culture and promote it to their fans and followers that no matter the influence of westernisation, we must uphold what defines us.
“Artistes are supposed to be mirrors of society, and that is why we are proudly showcasing our culture to fans, especially young Nigerians who are the future generation,” he said.
Onwurah, however, explained that contrary to insinuations in some quarters, New Yam Festival was not a fetish practice, as it was just a medium of “celebrating what we have.”
“As you can see, no fetish practice was observed here,as we simply pray on the yam as meal and we share amongst us.”
He explained that the festival had evolved over the years into a rally point for Nollywood stakeholders, fans and culture enthusiasts.
According to him, the festival has attracted many Nollywood followers and Nigerians in diaspora who now want it brought to their shores.
“At the instance of lovers of Nigerian culture and the Nollywood abroad, the festival will be held in the U.S, UK and China next year.
“This means that besides films and movies, Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage is now gaining ground on the global stage,” he said.
In his remark, Mr Rollas Emeka, National President of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), commended the organisers for successfully hosting the sixth edition of the event.
He noted that the festival was already a household name in the FCT, and therefore urged relevant stakeholders to support the organisers for its continuity.
’’ Each edition of the festival has always come better, and this is a testimony that people are proud of our culture and wants to identify with it,” he said.
NAN reports that the high points of the event was the unveiling of the roasted yam, spiced with traditional delicacies as the hallmark of the festival, as well as presentation of awards to deserving industry players and watchers