Abuja – Chief Edem Duke, Minister of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation, says the Festival of African Culture (FESTAC) can be revived in two years.
Duke said this on Friday in Abuja at a presentation of an all-female dance troupe from Cuba.
The event featured the presentation of dances from the Cuban troupe, Obini Bata and the Jukun dancers from Taraba, Nigeria.
The Minister said replicating FESTAC ‘77 was a challenge the country faced and urged stakeholders and the different Heads of Missions in Nigeria to work towards realising the vision.
“Nigeria has been handed with a challenge and that challenge is to replicate FESTAC ‘77.
“I see it as a possibility, and the only limitation to this is the will and desire of the stakeholders who will make this happen.
“We are talking about this two years ahead. We will engage with the various governments, stakeholders in the private sector and the culture community to ensure that this can happen.
“I want to plead with the Heads of Missions. Let us put in our plans the possibility of replicating FESTAC ‘77.
“If not to honour the amalgamation of Nigeria in 1914, but to help in the African renaissance agenda,’’ he said.
Edem said replicating FESTAC ‘77 would encourage cultural fusion among Africans in the Diaspora.
“It will be such a wonderful opportunity to gather and celebrate humanity and our love for one another,’’ he said.
Also speaking at the occasion, the Cuban Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Hugo Milanes, said the event was a reminder of the bilateral and cultural bonds shared by both countries.
He also appreciated the efforts of the ministry in promoting Nigerian culture.
“It is a trip to our roots. This is Cuban music, but music that is linked to Nigerian cultural tradition. That is part of our culture.
“It is just a way of saying `thank you to Nigeria’, and `thanks’ to Africa for this contribution to our cultural heritage.
FESTAC ‘77 was the Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture and was held in Lagos in 1977.
It came as a result of the experiences which Africa had gone through.
It was for Africans, Africans in Diaspora and Peoples of African origin to come together and rediscover their roots and establish ties with Motherland Africa.
Its aim was to ensure the revival, resurgence, promotion of the Black and African cultural values and civilisation.