The Executive Secretary, Dr. Barclays Ayakoroma, has said that renowned Izon music maestro and irrepressible “Owigiri Highlife King”, Robert Ebizimor, will be one of the notable artists the Institute will be documenting under the Living Human Treasures project.

Dr. Ayakoroma disclosed this when he played host to King Robert Ebizimor at Corporate Head Office of the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), at No. 23, Kigoma St, Wuse Zone 7, Abuja.

He said that the Living Human Treasure programme aims at documenting for posterity the motivational force behind the sustained efforts of those who gave their all to the arts in their prime to ensure the preservation and continuity of their art form.  

According to Dr. Ayakoroma, artists in the ilk of King Robert, who have positively affected society with their talents in the arts and culture sub-sector of our economy need to be rewarded for their efforts while they are alive, rather than waiting only to give them post-humus awards.

Earlier, King Robert described the Executive Secretary, Dr. Barclays Ayakoroma, as a “worthy and great cultural ambassador, not only to Nigeria but Africa and the entire Black race.”

He expressed appreciation to the President, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, for recognising the professional competence of Dr. Ayakoroma and appointing him according.

According to the owigiri maestro, he was attracted to the Institute because of the wide and effective media coverage of its activities, saying that he found it expedient to visit the Executive Secretary and offer a word of encouragement. The Owigiri King urged the NICO boss not to relent in his giant strides, and keep the flag flying to ensure that the flame of culture crusade is perpetually aglow.  

King Robert said he was humbled that his modest contributions to the Ijaw people had received the attention of cultural administrator in Abuja, to the extent that he had been shortlisted to be documented as a Living Human Treasure, noting that anything to immortalise him while he is alive would be welcome development.

The Living Human Treasure Project is an initiative supported by UNESCO. The project is a video documentation on the passing phase of professionals who have made mark in their chosen genre of the art: music/dance, sculpture, local textile design, etc. and known to have impacted generations positively.

It would be recalled that the Honourable Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Alhaji Abubakar Sadiq Mohammed, while commending the concept of Living Human Treasure programme during has maiden familiarisation visit to NICO, had advised that because of the apparent neglect of these prized gems in our society, NICO has to ensure that all nooks and crannies of the Country are combed to identify these Living Human Treasures with the aim of getting whatever they may have before the unknown happens.


Gillowei James (Snr.)
Media Asst. to the ES