The Edo State capital will be agog with festivities come October 19 to 26, 2019, as countries like Senegal, Mali, France, Ghana and many more will be on song during the National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST).
This was made certain during the opening of the 49th national stakeholders meeting on NAFEST holding in Benin.
Speaking during the opening ceremony, Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, represented by the Commissioner for Arts, Culture, Tourism and Diaspora Affairs, Osazee Osemwegie-Ero, said the state has secured the commitment of several countries towards NAFEST in a bid to project the ancient cultural endowments of Benin.
Adorned in the rich traditional regalia symbolic of Benin royalty, Otunba Segun Runsewe, director-general, National Council for Arts and Culture and chief host, observed in his address that NAFEST would not only serve as a unity forum, but would also provide a major economic boost for Edo.
Runsewe added that the platform would be an opportunity to globally promote the rich, undiluted culture of Edo, which is at least 1,000 years old.
He solicited continuous unity among Nigerians, which NAFEST seeks to promote, stating that unity is a precursor to economic prosperity, citing the Dubai example that, according to him, can be replicated if Nigerians harness the rich culture of Edo as an economic product.
The opening followed a technical session convened at the instance of the NCAC and several stakeholders in the industry who would be brainstorming and developing concepts to ensure that the 2019 NAFEST is truly memorable.
As Benin comes into the limelight following plans for NAFEST 2019, the NCAC boss may have set the ball rolling with the new name, “Otunba Edoma Runsewe” collectively given him by Edo stakeholders.