FESTAC’77 at 45: Onyeama pledges support to CBAAC for commemoration

Geoffrey Onyeama, minister of foreign affairs, has assured the Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization (CBAAC) of his support for the commemoration of the 45th anniversary of the Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC’77).

Onyeama in a statement on Friday gave the assurance when the Director-General of CBAAC, Chief Oluwabunmi Amao paid a courtesy visit to his office on Thursday in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that CBAAC is saddled with the responsiblity of commemorating FESTAC’77 scheduled for November.

FESTAC ’77, also known as the Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture (the first was in Dakar, 1966), was a major international festival held in Lagos, from January 15, 1977 to February 12, 1977.

The month-long event celebrated African culture and showcased to the world African music, fine art, literature, drama, dance and religion. About 16,000 participants, representing 56 African nations and countries of the African Diaspora, performed at the event.

The minister recalled wonderful memories of FESTAC’77 and assured the centre of his support.

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He said the ministry would give a seamless cooperation for the success of the event, adding that it would be happy to help and do whatever was required by being part of the planning.

Amao, while briefing the minister on preparation toward the festival, said, ” The centre has commenced preparation to mark the anniversary with a programme titled: “Celebrating Black and African Arts and Civilization: Reliving FESTAC’77 at 45.
“This is scheduled to hold in November 2022 in Abuja.”

She informed the minister that part of the plans of CBAAC for the celebration was to engage countries that participated at FESTAC’77.

She noted that other nations who now have bilateral relations with Nigeria, especially in the areas of cultural exchange and development would be engaged.

“The centre felt compelled to seek the involvement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the successful planning of the upcoming event,” she said.

Amao said that the event required the collaboration of the ministry as the institution responsible for the bilateral interface with other foreign countries.
She also said that the ministry’s expertise was needed in reaching out to diplomatic communities in order to guarantee the success of the upcoming event.

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