The 2010 Abuja Carnival Management Committee has concluded a strategic workshop in two geo-political zones of the country with the view to improving the quality and the content of this year’s edition holding from November 27-30, 2010.
The workshops held in the south west and south south were attended by states in the two respective geo-political zones.
The south west zone was attended by all directors of art councils and directors of culture in some related ministries from Lagos, Ondo, Ekiti, Ogun, Oyo in Abeokuta, and Ogun State from August 16-18, 2010.
The south south workshop took place in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, and was attended by Akwa Ibom, Delta, Edo, Rivers, and Cross River, as well as Sam Dede, the zonal coordinator for South south from August 20-22, 2010.
The workshops, according to Professor Ojo Bakare, artistic director, 2010 Abuja Carnival Management Committee, is to allow the various states’ professionals to make contribution through the proper review of the last edition and to also ensure compliance.
Bakare noted that the content of the carnival is very crucial to its future successes, which he opined needs constant review in order to prevent frequent monotony of performances and themes from the states.
The professor of “dance” told the states’ delegates that, “Abuja Carnival is your business and your product.” He stressed that all the states of the federation, the Federal Capital Territory [FCT], and the federal government agreed to a unifying national cultural festival and thus came into existence the Abuja Carnival.
“Every management of Abuja Carnival is only managing it on behalf of the Nigerian people,” Professor Bakare said.
The workshops cover all aspects of the carnival’s activities such as the floats, children’s program, Durbar, command performance, contemporary music fiesta, Masquerades fiesta, boat regatta, and cultural night, as well as the introduction of a welcome party on November 26, 2010 for the states’ delegates, which, according to the carnival secretariat, will enable participating artists from across the country to socialize among themselves before the opening ceremony on the 27th.
Other issues discussed were logistics, costumes, musical instruments, accommodation, and welfare of the participating states as soon as they arrive in Abuja for the carnival proper.
Meanwhile in the coming weeks, the four remaining geo-political zones would be covered. They are: the north east zone to be hosted by Taraba from September 8-10, 2010; north central to be hosted by the Federal Capital Territory [FCT] from September 14-16, 2010; south east to be hosted by Ebonyi State from September 16-18, 2010; and finally north west from September 28-30, 2010 in Kano.
2010 ABUJA CARNIVAL ACTIVITIES
The float and street parade that covers a distance of about 18 kilometers routes and terminates at Eagles Square for the official opening ceremony. This segment of the carnival is a parade of thousands of colorful costumes, dancing, and singing by participating states behind their states or organizations and beautifully decorated motorized floats. Each float is designed to reflect the natural endowments or other identities for which the floats are known. A total of 36 states, the Federal Capital Territory [FCT], as well as about 15 organizations and agencies are expected to participate in this year’s edition.
The children are not left out of the carnival. A number of day-time activities ranging from cultural displays, games, and a parade, as well as the children’s float have been designed to ensure that they also have a swell time socializing with their peers. Most of the children’s events take place at the Millennium Park, and for the first time, the states are being encouraged to come with kids from the states.
The Durbar is a display of colorful horses and horsemen, which is held at the Royal Equestrian Club, Asokoro. It is an assemblage of thousands of gorgeously-adorned horses and horsemen engaged in dazzling displays. There are ten participating states, each with at least two hundred horses, trying to outdo one another in the exquisiteness of costume, design, captivating maneuvering, and display of horsemanship. It is indeed a journey into the glorious history of the northern Emirates both in terms of warfare and royalty.
This is a night set aside for special performances by dance and theatre troupes from participating countries and Nigeria. It is exclusive to VIPs, state executives, sponsors, and the diplomatic community. It is held at the TRANSCORP Hilton Hotel, and attendance is strictly by invitation. This year, a record number of 10 countries and 3 states from Nigeria will be performing.
CONTEMPORARY MUSIC FIESTA
This is an all-night event that takes place at Eagle Square and runs every night throughout the duration of the carnival with an attendance record of over 100,000 people. It features the various reigning stars in the Nigerian contemporary music industry.
The masquerade fiesta is a street parade of masquerades from the 774 local government areas of the federation. The display is devoid of rituals and occultism of any nature. The parade starts from a designated point and moves through the mapped routes on to Eagle’s Square. It is a mass performance with beautiful and colorful costumes, traditional dances, songs, and varieties of cultural displays from the states’ contingents, reflecting the dynamism of the various ethnicities.
The boat regatta is festivity on the waters; it offers a breath-taking display of the wealth, artistic splendor, and the seafaring heritage of the riverine people in Nigeria. It provides an opportunity for all riverine communities and dwellers to showcase their dexterity in boat building, decoration, paddling, and maneuvering. It is held at Jabi Dam.
This is a cultural night devoted to everything traditional: cultural performances by all participating states, exhibitions of arts and crafts, and a food fair where the best of Nigerian cuisines are displayed and served. It is an all-evening event and is held at the Open Parade Ground, Abuja.
FTAN TO HONOR TOURISM ICONS, STAGE CULTURAL FESTIVAL AS NIGERIA MARKS 50TH
To partake in the celebration mood of Nigeria’s 50th Anniversary, the Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria [FTAN], umbrella private sector tourism body and a key sector of the economy has concluded arrangement to mark 50 years of Nigeria’s Tourism in a grand style.
Among the activities lined up for the 2-day event, tagged “Tourism Golden Jubilee Program” and being held from October 9-10, 2010 are: A Public Lecture/Tourism Conference that will enable stakeholders to brainstorm on the way forward, as well as an opportunity to review the much-touted Public Private Partnership [PPP] that has been talked about in the last few years; and a Variety Nite slated for October 9, 2010 showcasing a galaxy of popular music/Nollywood stars, comedies, and gourmet dinner, in which Tourism Merit Awards will be given in recognition of excellence in the various subsectors of the industry in the past 50 years.
Also lined up is an International Cultural Festival [ICF] designed to showcase a global cultural mix, bringing the sights and sounds of the international community to Nigeria as it features food, fashion, and other exhibitions and cultural dances holding on October 10, 2010 at the International Conference Centre [ICC], Abuja.
FTAN is thus poised to celebrate the diverse achievements across the strategic tourism industry, both in the private and public sectors, occasioned by the renewed momentum in the pace of tourism development as evidenced in various policies, projects, and related enterprises across the country.
Mr. Samuel Alabi, national president of FTAN, said the aforementioned events are planned to invigorate FTAN’s role and partnership with all tourism sectors, including the public, to aid its mobilization process for building the required synergy capable of driving a fast-growing tourism sector.
He opined that the idea of the Tourism Merit Award is to honor significant contributions to tourism development in the last 50 years, so that those found eminently qualified would take their rightful places in the Tourism Hall of Fame.
In an earlier statement, Mr. Tomi Akingbogun, deputy national president of FTAN, stressed that to ensure that the right people are selected for the awards, the federation has set up a committee made up of eminent professionals in the various tourism subsectors to review the entries for the various award categories, which includes individual, corporate organizations, institutions, and state governments, who were either the prime movers or contributed meaningfully to the travel and tourism sector in Nigeria, covering the period under review.
On the International Cultural Festival [ICF], foreign embassies, high commissions, and states, as well as travel and tourism-related enterprises across the country have shown tremendous desire to be part of the event.