The Children’s Components in the 26th edition of the National Festival for Arts and Culture (NAFEST 2012), which have improved the participation of children, are coming on the heels of the realisation that the younger generation should be exposed to the rudiments of Nigerian culture and festivals, which are some of nation’s unifying factors.
Disclosing this in a chat with NICO news, the Executive Director National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Mr. M.M. Maidugu, reaffirmed that children are the future of every nation and that their early involvement and participation in important events, such as NAFEST, guarantees its existence, continuity and progress.
Mr. Maidugu said, NCAC, the organizers of the festival, co-opted in NAFEST 2012 activities which is in three segments, for secondary school children to compete, namely, Moonlight Games, Essay Writing, and Drawing and Painting Competitions.
According to him, the Essay Writing Competition is an innovation by NCAC to task the children to find out how much they know about Nigeria’s cultural values and activities, to broaden their scope and celebrate their intellectual creativity, hence, the topic, “The Place of Culture in the Nigeria of My Dream.”
He informed that the intellectual exercise is geared towards inculcating in the children the reading and writing skills they need and to encourage them to propagate our values as they affect Nigerian culture and festivals.
On the whole, 14 States and the FCT participated in the Essay Writing Competition, with Miss Anima Ize from the Federal Capital Territory clinching the 1st position with 72%, Miss Toyin Opeoluwa from Lagos coming 2nd with 70%, and Miss Comfort Abeda from Benue State coming 3rd with 69.5%.
The Drawing and Painting Competition, the first of its kind, with the theme, “My Culture Speaks Peace,” also had children from 14 states and the FCT participating, which saw Ibrahim Ali from Borno State scoring 74 points to take the 1st position, Usman Uba from Kano State taking 2nd with 68 points; and Afam Amadi from Niger State taking the 3rd position with 67 points.
Some other cultural activities that took place on the third day of the 2012 NAFEST were, Official Opening Ceremony of Traditional Furnished Apartment, Opening Ceremony of Food Fair, Opening Ceremony of Art and Crafts Exhibition, Cultural Market, just as Dance Drama and Traditional Wrestling events that started the previous day, saw more states featuring.