To Otunba Segun Runsewe, director general, National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), the business of Nigerian indigenous culture and arts should not be left in the hands of those who have no business with taking the message to the rich and poor. Runsewe believes passionately that our culture is our future and would even ignore busybodies bent on distracting him with tenure process, while the government is well aware of his outstanding cultural project deliveries in the past four years.
One such projects, which he met in a sorry state on assumption of office four years ago but has transformed into the true face and brand of our cultural festival, the National Festival of Arts and Culture (Nafest), today remains the most sought-after project by the 36 state governments of Nigeria.
In the past four years, the iconic national festival, under Runsewe, has risen to be one of the best national cultural events, with Kaduna, Rivers, Edo and Plateau states telling their own stories.
Recently, the energetic and untiring culture administrator took the gospel of Nafest to Ado-Ekiti, where the amiable governor, Dr. John Kayode Fayemi, promised to give Nafest the traditional Ekiti hospitality touch. Inaugurating the national committee to ensure the festival, come November, will surpass the high marks of the festival in the past, which has helped rebuild cultural infrastructures across the states earlier mentioned, not excluding the needed attention brought to the welfare and job security of the artistic communities, the Ekiti State governor, who also doubles as chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, assured the NCAC boss and the committee members that his government would make a new tourism statement during the event slated for November in the Ekiti State capital, Ado-Ekiti.
The governor, a rural developmental activist and socioeconomic reformer, noted that Ekiti State was the leading national destination in cultural tourism business and would not fail to justify the expectations of the people of Ekiti and Nigerians who believe that the state has all it takes to grow a focal tourism economy.
Otunba Runsewe earlier had stated that the choice of Ekiti as the 2021 host state for Nafest was well considered by NCAC and its team of experienced accessors who were surprised at the presence of cultural tourism infrastructures across the state and the giant developmental strides by Governor Fayemi.
The DG of NCAC, who also doubles as president, Africa Region, World Craft Council ( WCC), also promised that no stone would be left unturned in sustaining the Nafest brand, which has grown into the biggest national festival in Africa.
Barely a week after the Ekiti Nafest outing, Runsewe was in Lagos, Easter Monday, to inaugurate the Brazilian Descendants Afro-Brazilian Cultural Centre in Popo Aguda, Lagos Island.
Appropriately standing in for Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, who was on other national duties, Otunba Runsewe stated that the Afro-Brazilian Cultural Centre would help sustain the cultural tourism awareness and relationship between Nigeria and Brazil, with the iconic Brazilian Descendants Festival featuring prominently on the Nigerian cultural calendar.
Runsewe, who spoke on behalf of the minister, noted that the centre would be a veritable link and hub for sustainable studies and research on the descendants of Nigerian Brazilians in diaspora.
He the wife of Lagos State governor, Dr. (Mrs.) Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, that the minister was pleased with the support and sundry assistance offered the Brazilian Descendants community in Lagos by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, particularly in ensuring that the indigenous architecture reflected through the buildings in the community, which were left intact.
As was wont with his cultural tourism engagement for Nigeria as chief culture officer of Nigeria, it has been a very busy and untiring cultural evangelism by Runsewe across the country and it is expected that government would give him the expected nod to finish the good job he has started for the rebirth of Nigerian cultural economy.
Mrs. Sanwo-Olu, chairman of Brazil Descendants Association, Hon. Lawal Pedro, and the former solicitor general of Lagos State commended the good job Runsewe was doing across the country, and appreciated Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, for sending Runsewe to stand in for him at the unveiling of the Brazil Descendants Culture center.
Runsewe, on the sidelines of the event, praised the minister for the support given to the culture economy and NCAC, adding that Nigerians should be patient with the government, which is determined to keep the dreams of national unity intact and running.