Wole Balogun, Ado Ekiti
President Muhammadu Buhari and ten state governors are to grace the 2019 edition of the Ekiti State Festival of Arts and Culture, ‘EKIFEST’.
A Professor of Performing Arts and former Artistic Director/CEO of Abuja carnival, Prof. Rasaki Ojo Bakare, said apart from the President, governors of all the southwestern states, Kwara, Edo, Delta and Kogi will attend the event that would feature over 1,500 participants.
Bakare, who spoke at a press conference in Ado Ekiti on Tuesday, announcing the cultural fiesta sheduled for December 10-13, said the event was meant to boost the socioeconomic and cultural profile of the state.
Bakare said representatives of President Buhari, southwest governors and the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, will be gracing the occasion.
The Don, who is the Director of the three-day event, disclosed that the event will be done in partnership with MTN, Bajinatu Herbal Drink, Nairabet, among other corporate bodies and sponsors.
He sad the programme will showcase the rich cultural heritage of the state to the world and would harness the talents of the people to build an arts and cultural economy that can support the state in all spheres.
“Over 1,500 participants are expected to partake in the cultural festival meant to build the state’s social economic sphere in line with the diversification programme of Governor Kayode Fayemi’s government,” he said.
“The programme will feature arts and crafts exhibition, Geggite gyration, traditional games, Ekiti culturepreneur, Ekiti dress fashion show, heritage carnival by 16 councils, musical concerts, free style carnival, fun ride to Ikogosi, kiddifest, mong others.
“Culture and tourism are powerful tools for socioeconomic empowerment. Gambia doesn’t have oil, but has culture and tourism and it doesn’t have 50 percent of the ecotourism as well as arts and crafts potentials that Ekiti has.
“What we are trying to create in the 2019 edition of EKIFEST is a product that can be marketed in the subsequent editions. We are rich in arts, culture and tourism and this is the best opportunity to market them,” he said.
The Director General, Ekiti State Festival of Arts and Culture, Mr Wale Ojo-Lanre, said the intention of the programme is to develop the talents of Ekiti young citizens in tandem with human capital development policy thrust of the Fayemi administration.
Ojo-Lanre added that the programme would also help to develop the local economy through patronage during the event.