The stage has been set for yet another cultural watershed with the National Council for Arts and Culture playing host to no less than 36 Ambassadors, High Commissioners and representatives of countries drawn from around the world to a pre-International Arts and Crafts Expo dinner in Abuja. The assemblage of countries like South Africa, Iran, Cameroon, Spain, China, Sudan, Venezuela, USA and many more from every continent at a pre-INAC dinner, was a deliberate attempt by NCAC to rewrite the culture narratives of Nigeria as it prepares for a groundbreaking 2019 Expo.
The NCAC pre-INAC dinner held at the Sheraton hotel has become an annual prelude to kickstarting the event in earnest, making it a most memorable one especially for foreign nationals. During the dinner, the director general of NCAC, Otunba Segun Runsewe, giving his welcome address, thanked the various diplomats for gracing the occasion, recalling that it was an improvement from the 22 countries that participated in the 2018 edition of the event. Runsewe said the essence of the dinner was to provide a platform for diplomats to interact and unwind in an informal atmosphere in a bid to further cement the cordial relationship already existing between them and the host country, Nigeria. According to the culture chief, the 3rd edition of INAC will dedicate an entire day to any country interested in entertaining the envoys noting that last year witnessed phenomenal entertainment from countries like China, India and Bangladesh. After dinner, Runsewe presented souvenirs to the envoys just as he revealed that plans were also underway to ensure this year’s Cultural Diplomacy Day for Peace slated for November 24, is marked to establish a cultural link amongst nations with the aim of ensuring a common network of cultural identities. The dinner featured delectable Nigerian cuisine, sensational cultural presentation, group photograph, exhibition of artistic masterpieces by contemporary Nigerian artists, a display of vintage bronze casts and other historical artefacts courtesy NCAC.