Yenagoa city, the Bayelsa State capital, is gearing up for activities as lovers and practitioners of arts and culture converge in the oil-rich state to participate in the annual National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST 2013) being hosted by the Bayelsa State Government.
Participants have started to arrive for the event, which will be formally declared open on Tuesday, the 17th of September, 2013, by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, while the Honourable Minister of Culture, Tourism and Orientation, Chief Edem Duke and the Executive Governor of Bayelsa State, Hon. Seriake Dickson, will be host and chief host, respectively.
Contingents from the 36 states of the federation and Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, are to participate and perform at the 7-day event in the activities lined up, which include traditional dance and music, art and crafts, traditional wrestling, children’s drawing and essay writing, children’s traditional story-telling, traditional cuisines, traditional furnished apartments, and colloquium, among others.
This year’s event, with the theme, “Culture, Peace and National Transformation,” is taking place at the newly renovated Gloryland Cultural Centre, Yenagoa, which has hosted several international programmes, such as the African Movie Academy Award.
As usual, the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) will have a pavilion at the event, to exhibit its publications and showcase the programmes and activities to the arts and culture community in Nigeria.
NAFEST is an annual cultural event organized by the National Council of Arts and Culture, a parastatal of the Federal Ministry of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation, to revive and sustain the nation’s cultural heritage; and the event is usually hosted by a States’ Councils of Arts and Culture, and Bayelsa State hosting of the 2006 edition was aborted due to an ill-fated military plane crash.
Bayelsa state, known for its rich arts and culture, is expected to leverage on the opportunity offered by the event to display its rich cultural heritage; and Governor Dickson had visited the Gloryland Cultural Centre complex on Friday, 13th September, 2013, to assess the level of preparedness for the complex to host the national cultural fiesta.