Beginning from Saturday, October 22, 2011, attention nationwide will be shifted to Calabar, “the Paradise City,” Cross River State Capital, as the people of the State host the biggest cultural fiesta, the National Festival for Arts and Culture (NAFEST).
Already, preparations are in top gear by all stakeholders in the culture sector, at both state and national levels, towards the effective implementation strategy for the success of this all important cultural fiesta.
The 25th edition of the festival, which is expected to be officially declared open by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, on Tuesday, October 25, 2011, is exploring the theme, “Nigerian Traditional Music: A Vehicle for Economic Transformation and Unity” and will run till Saturday, October, 29, 2011.
All the 36 states of the federation and the FCT Abuja, are expected to feature in various artistic and cultural displays.
Since its debut in Lagos in 1970, NAFEST, otherwise known as the “Unity Forum,” has been designed to bring into focus, the role of culture in our nation’s search for economic prosperity, social development, national integration, identity and sovereignty as well as celebrate the best of Nigerian arts and culture in all its ramifications.
With the re-engineering of the festival content to better serve the purpose of job creation, economic empowerment and arresting of youth restiveness, this year’s NAFEST will focus on documentation and stage presentation of Nigerian traditional music with other events such as drama, food fair, traditional wrestling, traditional furnished apartments, cultural markets, book exhibition and festival colloquium.
Meanwhile, the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), which is the apex cultural training institute in the country, will be featuring in the book exhibition and festival colloquium events at the festival, just as the Institute’s leadership will also serve on the panel of judges for the cultural fiesta.