Though Nigerians and friends of Nigeria bemoan the loss of our last outing with Argentina, the truth of our richness in this global expression of friendship and desire to brace for medal as a great football nation cannot be drowned in simplistic tears and sorrow. Yes, we agree that nothing would be more enduring than bringing the global diadem to Nigeria, to black Africa, but beyond football, Russia 2018 brings to light a different kind of global diplomacy, friendship and expression of cultural rebirth and movement of humanity to love and togetherness crested on cultural evolution.
Indeed, global football has come to expose each nation on the field of cultural biology, the jerseys, food, chants and drumming, traditional wears; language and diverse tongues, peculiar strength and ways of celebration. Here the Mexicans have sold to the world, the Mexican wave, a manner of celebrating victory and joy to which other climes had come to accept.
Significantly, this is where Nigeria under the very watchful direction of National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) craved to market Nigeria at Russia 2018. It was not a mere dream, but a well thought out and deliberate stragegy by Otunba Segun Runsewe whose evangelical understanding of Nigeria’s cultural and tourism biology has brought a practical meaning to sports tourism offering not only to Russians and the very hungry knowledge seeking sports fans across the world but to our football Federation and the Sports ministry.
Runsewe’s NCAC has a dream but dreams can be forgotten or misinterpreted, so the practical bearing to which NCAC under Runsewe tend to mingle and cause to be exposed, the historical and cultural content in our football evolution, through massive collection, exposition and narrative of how Nigeria’s Green Eagles and the iconic soccer influencers from 1960 till date, stands Nigeria out in Russia.
At a well attended exhibition showcasing the birth and past glory of our national teams, the teaming Nigerian fans, Nigerian Embassy officials and tourists, all beheld the cinematic expressions and embellishment of our unique arts, crafts and culinary endowments which brought fresh insight to how great Nigeria is and could be.
The exhibition under the Nigeria House project held at Gagari, area of Moscow was a week of Nigerian cultural gangantuasim with enduring lessons and benefits, social and economic visitations beyond mere expressive sentiments to which minders of our global diplomatic frontiers must embrace.
Wait for this!! Nigeria’s outing at the heart of the Kremlin – the Red Square will remain un-delectable in minds of millions of football fans and tourists who participated and witnessed the very powerful cultural expression and showcase of Nigeria by Otunba Runsewe’s NCAC. The near suffocation of Nigeria’s cultural and diverse tourism offerings did not end on this competitive world stage. Runsewe and his talented team gave out well researched and documented hard and soft copies of various festivals, and iconic state by state cultural and tourism wonders in Nigeria.
Nigeria’s ambassador to Russia, Professor Steve Ugba was very upbeat on this revelation and commended Runsewe for this intervention that made Nigerians proud, very proud in Russia. Our various artistic and historical representations on showcase would have fetched millions in Russian rubbles and American dollars, if we so desire to trade but the strategy on showcase is to lure and invite the world to see the real stuff in Nigeria and here the brochures generously given out to thousands of football fans including Russians dignified the process in a well organized queue.
NCAC brochures indeed are deserving of such sentiments which again proved of our readiness to
break the long negative hold to misinformation about Nigeria cultural tourism offerings.
Publications such as Nigeria’s 37 cultural wonders unveils some very iconic one state, one cultural and tourism wonder, well embellished with picturals, a very refreshing insight on how to present Nigeria to the world. “Celebrate Nigeria” another publication by NCAC which was well researched and published with pictures of our dance, food and drink and historical cum ecotourism offerings of each state and people of Nigeria while “Nigerian Cultural festivals” is a pride publication showcasing the rich and diverse festivals in Nigeria.
Growing the NCAC staff, particularly the young administrative cadre in the art of marketing and promotion truly explains the inner thoughts and progressive leadership qualities of NCAC boss who is on
the verge of recreating dedicated and passionate nationalists whose dream mandate is to put Nigeria first above personal and ethnic desires.
To the Nigerian media, Otunba Runsewe, himself a journalist and patron of the pen fraternity, practically built and sustains the relationship with the media in very significant cultural expression, a tributive timeline and gesture such as never maybe seen with most Nigerian leaders and influencers.
To the effective support and sacrifice to report the Nigerian cultural exploration and exposition in Moscow, Runsewe penned and endorsed with gratitude the support of Nigeria’s king of the tabloids, the Sun Newspaper, The Tribune, Vanguard, NTA and AIT to the emerging internationalization of Nigeria’s cultural biology. It is a certification of truth and relevance of the media to Nigeria’s new game in town and it is worth more than a gallery presence.