FESTAC ’77 served as sanctuary for unification of Black people – Lai Mohammed

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Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister for Information and Culture, on Tuesday said that the Festival for Arts and Culture (FESTAC ’77) served as a sanctuary for the unification of the Black people across the world.

Mohammed, during a cultural showcase, dinner and award night held in commemoration of the 45th anniversary of FESTAC, said that the festival recorded a series of positive narratives.

The commemoration ceremony, organised by the Centre for Black Arts and African Civilisation (CBAAC), was held from Dec. 7 to 13, 2022, in Abuja.

The Minister said that the festival inspired many to go back to their countries of residence and preach the messages of bravery and freedom.

He noted that the Black spoke to the world more effectively through the creative industry over the years and the creative industry had given the Blacks the loudest voices for generations.

“The Pan-African ideology of FESTAC ’77 is not dying anytime soon and neither is the appreciation of black arts on a global space.

“The rising need for havens that are specifically for the black people is expected to go on for many years.

“And it is important that these safe spaces are made as they allow the black community find a sense of family in their identity and be comfortable enough to just live freely.

“Until we own the platforms and businesses, our creative efforts will be short lived and will create economic advantage only to the owners of the structures that monetise creative talents.

“Nollywood, Afrobeats, comedy, fashion, the performing arts and all have risen to keep the FESTAC dream alive and to be the leader in creative empowerment of the black race,” he said.

The Minister celebrated members of the creative industry who are excelling on the world stage, the literary icons like late Chinua Achebe, Prof Wole Soyinka, Femi Osofisan, Ben Okri, Sefi Atta, Teju Cole and all.

He acknowledged the immense contributions of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to the growth and development of arts and culture in Nigeria and Africa.

He commended CBAAC DG, Oluwabunmi Amao, for putting together such a commendable event, describing her as someone with deep love and sense of responsibility for arts, culture and heritage.

Earlier, Veteran Actress, Dr Sola Sobowale, who is the face of FESTAC at 45, urged the traditional institutions to continue to support CBAAC on cultural promotion.

The commemoration ceremony of 45th anniversary of FESTAC has come to a wrap as the week long event witnessed cultural dance performances, exhibitions, colloquium, symposium, African hairdo and fabric exhibitions, food fair, exhibitions of FESTAC relics and documentaries, public lecture and international conference. (NAN)

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