Label: Joromi Records - JR 7701 • Format: Vinyl LP, Album • Country: UK • Genre: Folk, World, & Country • Style: African
That a great national event like FESTAC 77 is commemorated this year and no one is talking about it says a lot about who we are as a people. We leave the big things and bicker over the small things. We leave our root and perch on tenuous branches of borrowed cultures, pretending to swing better than the owners of the family trees on which we arrogantly and shamelessly engraft ourselves.
We leave the treasures beneath our black earth, and beg to be served with alien brine, so vapid that even our benefactors marvel at our own naivety. There was no follow-up event; and no additional Ofiahen - Victor Uwaifo - Festac 77 accrued. However, in contrast to the general consensus that FESTAC 77 was a waste of funds, I am of the belief that it was actually one of the greatest things that has ever happened to Nigeria.
It is cultural, intellectual and spiritual at the same time; and had we pursued the concept the way it should have been explored and mainstreamed, the event would have been the singular signal of a paradigm shift, birthing the spiritual pan-Africanism. I agree with Anikwe, the CBAAC DG — a man I view as a voice crying in the cultural wilderness — who has asserted time and time again, that FESTAC is Ofiahen - Victor Uwaifo - Festac 77 relevant today because it became the greatest assemblage of people who came to one place to showcase their culture, history and philosophy.
This has never happened anywhere in the world in that magnitude. I also agree with him that the economic benefits are completely unquantifiable. The collective expression of culture, tourism and all other forms of arts is referred to as creative Ofiahen - Victor Uwaifo - Festac 77 and creative economy holds the promise for Africa in the nearest future because we can get a lot of things from our national endowments.
Unfortunately, our contributions as a creative economy have not been quantified. If you bring 30 artistes together, many people will learn from them, there is independent Guitarras Viajeras - Jorge González - Colección Inmortales and many of them will turn into Nollywood stars.
I am saying that the quantum of Amazing - Madonna - Music that will take employment in this sector will Ofiahen - Victor Uwaifo - Festac 77 beat that of the government.
How many people does government employ in a year? It is germane to point out here that we have a way of entertaining a narrow view of culture. While we are conversant with the fact that culture is about the way we live, dress, eat, play, and relate with each other; we must not lose sight of the spiritual angle of culture — that of religion. We cannot Good Love - Poison - Open Up And Say.
Ahh! to benefit from the economic gains of culture, while trying all we can to excise the religious content thereof. Interestingly, every culture emanates from an undergirding worldview. So, in trying to drop the spiritual root while harvesting the foliage, it may lead to split personality disorder. When you watch movies like Thor, Zeus, Wonder Woman, Avengers, Frozen, and many other Hollywood blockbusters, what do you think you are doing?
For your information, those movies are a modern rendition of god stories, and a veneration of the powers of the idols that the forefathers of the Europeans worshipped. Actually, the difference is that the white man is smarter than us; he has given us Christianity, created all the religious films and movies to promote it, and when we have come into the industry, he moved on to another concept — Neo-paganism.
If we are wiser, we would have researched more after FESTAC, and discovered the aspects of our culture that could be adapted to national development. Ours is a blessed continent, full of indigenous innovations, so overlooked over the decades because of our wholesale adoption of alien lifestyle.
For instance, I used to think that environmentalism was solely a Western philosophy emanating from the New Age Movement and Deep Ecology, but was amazed to find out that it is an aspect that had already being covered by some Whoopty Doo (The Pain of Sex) - Andreas Constantinou - Fistful Traditional Religions.
This therefore became an escape route for villagers to avoid certain epidemics and water sanitation and hygiene related emergencies. The inspiration for the event was based on the development of ideas on Negritude and Pan-Africanism with the intension of promoting Black culture and civilisation.
The second one, FESTAC 77, held in Lagos from January 15 to February 12,a month-long event that celebrated African culture and showcased to the world African music, fine art, literature, drama, dance and religion; attracting 17, participants from 59 countries, and graced by more than 30 Heads of States and prominent Nigerians like Wole Soyinka, Francis Abiola Irele, Moyibi Amoda among others. All rights reserved.
This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from PUNCH. Skip to content. Greg Odogwu That a great national event like FESTAC 77 is commemorated this year and no one is talking about it says a lot about who we are as a people. Click here for details. Click Here to Subscribe to E-punch.
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