One of the biggest cultural tourism events in Nigeria, the Ekiti State Cultural Festival (EKIFEST) is set to hold from Tuesday, December 10 till Friday, December 13 in the hilly state, Ekiti.
According to the central planning committee of EKIFEST, the festival, which carries the theme, ‘Arts and Culture: Tools for restoration of values and socio-economic empowerment’, will be opened by Kayode Fayemi, the Executive Governor of Ekiti State.
While addressing members of the press recently, the Festival Consultant, Professor Rasaki Bakare said “a pre-EKIFEST programme has been scheduled as the kiddies programme and it will witness the engagement of children from selected schools across Ekiti State.
“We have provided a platform to educate our children to imbibe our qualitative cultural attributes. Children should also be allowed to grow our culture through the promotion of the virtues of ‘Omoluabi’.”
Other activities lined up for the festival includes, Local Government arts exhibition/cuisine/bush bar competition, traditional poetry, traditional games and sports, visit to Ikogosi Warm Springs, colloquium/workshops, fashion show, among other things. This is all to be crowned with a command performance, Ifajuyigbe; a play heralding the heritage carnival parade and a musical concert by both guest and local artistes.
Bakare explained, “EKIFEST is not an exhibition of fetish or idol practices but an economic and social strategy. It is a way to celebrate and promote the state as a unique citadel of cultural values and tradition, which should not be only enhanced for this generation but preserved for many more unborn.
“We want to let the world know that Ekiti State is blessed with a lot of potentials, both natural and cultural. EKIFEST 2019 is going to be a unique experience.”
He added that “we want to host the world and give our visitors a taste of our hospitality, our tasty traditional cuisine and our hygienic waters. Our friendly weather, awesome hills, opulent vegetation and health-giving breeze are part of the products we are selling to the world.”
In his remarks, the DG, Ekiti State Council for Arts and Culture, Ambassador Wale Ojo Lanre, said the festival is designed to showcase talents, potentials, and arts in Ekiti. “We are moving arts and culture from mere entertainment to economic development and income generation for Ekiti State.
“We are ready to host the world. Already, over 20,000 people have signified their interest to be part of the event and we are expecting more.
Among those expected at the event is President Muhammadu Buhari, alongside at least, ten state governors, including governors of all the Southwest states and Kwara, Edo, Delta and Kogi; Minister of Information Culture and Tourism, Alhaji Lai Muhammed; DG, National Council for Arts and Culture, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe and DG, Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation, NTDC, Folorunso Coker.
As if on cue, the Commissioner for Local Government and Community Development, Professor Adio Folayan has pledged his support for EKIFEST.
The commissioner remarked that the five-point agenda of the Governor Kayode Fayemi-led administration were carefully selected to cater for all sectors in the state and charged organisers of the festival to use the opportunity to discover and promote the innate talents of Ekiti youths.
He promised the collaboration of the Ministry to all relevant stakeholders towards making the festival a success.
Source : Nigerian Tribune