A frontline gospel musician, Asu Ekiye, has asked for collaboration with National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) to promote entertainment culture in Nigeria.
Asu Ekiye stated this in an exclusive interview with NICO News when he paid a courtesy call on the Executive Secretary, Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, in his Abuja office, saying he is impressed on the level of awareness NICO has been creating and the attention it is also gaining in the projection and promotion of Nigerian culture.
The artist, who is a consultant to the Federal Government on the Development of Entertainment-based Talents, said he is interested in the partnership because he is a culture-based gospel musician, adding that he has projected Niger Delta culture in the area of music and entertainment.
Stating that his efforts in projecting traditional gospel music has fetched him the Best African Gospel Musician in the Traditional Category for two years, Asu Ekiye said: “So, if we have an Institute that is dedicated to the projection of the culture of the people of this country, I think it will be worth the while to share areas of cooperation and relate with that institute. That is very crucial to my visit in NICO. The Institute is trying so much in harnessing the culture of Nigeria. There is this entertainment culture that we can look at together. Since I represent that arm of the entertainment industry, we could explore areas of entertainment that can possibly project the culture. That can add to the rising profile of NICO in all it has been doing all this while. In fact, the Institute should create a television programme to make its rising profile in culture promotion spread all over the country, since state governments are beginning to get attracted in collaborating with NICO in its programmes. This will go a long way in creating a milestone in cultural orientation in this country.”
The artist, whose music, Woekilemo, is the delight of Niger Delta people, and indeed Christians all over the country, further said that entertainment culture is worth projecting because it will keep the youths busy: “The youths are the most vibrant group in the country. Entertainment can be used as a veritable tool, not just to ignite the passion for culture in them, but to also engage them positively and divert their attention from things that will destabilize the Nigerian polity. I am a consultant to the Federal Government on the Development of Entertainment-based Talents. We just finished our project of a tour of the Niger Delta, where we developed talents of young people who are endowed in entertainment. We have been able to develop about three thousand youths in the Niger Delta. We are also looking at it from the point of view of non-militant youths. These have been very remarkable. We also want to explore more areas of cooperation and development of young people in what we are doing. Honestly, that is why we need to collaborate with NICO.”