From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The National Council for Art and Culture (NCAC) has disclosed plans by the Nigerian government to immortalise Super Eagles forward, Kelechi Iheanacho, for celebrating the English FA Cup victory last weekend with the Nigerian flag wrapped round him.
NCAC Director General Otunba Olusegun Runsewe made the disclosure at a press conference in Abuja on Tuesday.
He also noted that the artistic works shall also go into the hall of fame and art gallery as a living memory of Iheanacho’s symbolic merger of culture and sports.
Runsewe also revealed that the artistic work will be presented to the Ministers of Information and Culture, the Youth and Sports Development, the Nigerian embassies across the world and more importantly at the messium of the English Premier league side, Leicester City.
To graphically immortalise Iheanacho’s heroic and patriotic feat, he said the NCAC has called for entries from Nigeria visual artists to creatively represent the quintessential Iheanacho on stage with the Nigerian colour as enacted at Wembley stadium during the English FA finals.
‘At the Wembley stadium, United Kingdom last weekend, a powerful and fascinating merger between Culture and sports showcased itself. Beneath the pomp, glitz and glamour of the European FA Cup final between Chelsea and Leicester City, a unique, spectacular and outstanding show of patriotism was on display.
‘It came in the manner of Kelechi Iheanacho, the big boy of Leicester City FC, soaked in love for Nigeria. Fully wrapped in Nigerian green-white-green national colour, he carried on his head, a cultural basket of victory to celebrate Leicester success, the Nigerian Cultural way.
‘Hand in hand with Ndidi, a fellow compatriot, he stole the show the Nigeria way. For a moment, the Nigerian cultural symbolism was beamed live to the whole world by digital cameras from Wembley stadium.
‘For us at National Council for Art and Culture, this uncommon display of patriotism must not go uncelebrated. For one, it speaks of Nigeria as a great nation with great people. With all eyes on Iheanacho, he was telling the world, ‘yes, we can’ and with us ‘it is possible.
‘To graphically immortalise Iheanacho’s heroic and patriotic feat, we are calling on entries from Nigeria visual artists to creatively represent the quintessential Iheanacho on stage with the Nigerian colour as enacted at Wembley stadium during the English FA finals.
‘The best three entries shall win awards with a cash price reward of N300,000, N200,000 and N100,000 for first, second and third winners respectively and will be presented to the Honourable Minister of Information and Culture, his counterpart in Youth and Sports Development, Nigerian embassies and the messium of the club.
‘The winning entries will also be fully exhibited at Ekiti during our 2021 National Festival of Arts and Culture (Ekiti NAFEST 2021). The artistic works shall also go into our hall of fame and Art Gallery as a living memory of Iheanacho’s metaphor of the merger Culture and sports,’ he revealed.