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Ekiti State Hosts 36 States As NAFEST Begins

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Ekiti state is set for the hosting of this year’s National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST) which begins on Monday 15th November, 2021.

The venue of the opening ceremony of the event, which is Ekiti Kete Pavilion, new Iyin road, Ado Ekiti, is now wearing a new look.

NAFEST is a rotational annual Festival among the thirty six States of Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory. The 2021 edition, which would be hosted by Ekiti State would be from 13th to 20th November, 2021.

NAFEST has served as a major vehicle for National cohesion, integration as well as a forum for human capital development.

The State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, and some Governors from sister-States are expected to grace the opening ceremony of the festival, which has as its theme, ‘Celebrating National Unity in Diversity.’

Already, primary and secondary schools in the state, public and private, had proceeded on a week mid- term break to enable some of the pupils participate in the event.

Ekiti state had earlier in the year hosted stakeholders meeting for the festival during which Governor Fayemi, listed benefits of hosting the festival to the state.

According to him, it will, among others, showcase the Ekiti cultural heritage to the whole world and for investors to tap into its abundant economic potentials.

Dr. Fayemi said his administration also accepted to host the national cultural fiesta in November to further encourage creativity in the tourism sector and to create a viable platform and market for young people in creative enterprises.

Describing the state as the most suitable place to host a national programme of such magnitude, Dr. Fayemi noted that Ekiti was awarded the hosting right because of its reputation as one of the most peaceful states in Nigeria which has one of the most hospitable people in the world.

The Governor, who noted that his administration has always given attention to culture and tourism, expressed delight that NAFEST would provide the opportunity for Nigerians to appreciate the role of culture in promoting national unity and integration.

“As a nation, we need to appreciate the dynamic nature of our cultures and acknowledge NAFEST as veritable platform to further celebrate our unity in diversity.

“I therefore urge you to focus more on how we can redirect cultural activities towards revenue generation. We need to effectively tap into the economic potential of our cultural heritage and improve our grassroots development.

“It is important to say at this juncture, that our government is encouraging creativity in the tourism sector of the state. We now have young people in tourism businesses as well as creative enterprises.”

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The DG of NCAC, Otunba Runsewe,  described the festival as one of the measures to cement the unity and harmony of the country as it is an avenue to showcase cultures and traditions of the various ethnic groups spread across the 36 states of the federation.

“In Brazil for example, people pay for what we have seen in Ekiti State today. We will take Ekiti Cultural Troupe to sell our culture outside our country. We should market our cultural heritage to the world, we must value what we have.

“Our country can be great again and culture is one of the platforms we can use to make it great.”

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