The leadership of the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) has expressed its commitment to make the Children’s Cultural Extravaganza, which is designed to bring together cultural clubs from secondary schools bigger and better.
The Executive Secretary, Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, stated this at the opening ceremony of the maiden National Children’s Cultural Extravaganza on Wednesday, December 11, 2013, which took place at the Cyprian Ekwensi Cultural Centre, Garki-Abuja, with the theme, “Our Culture, Our Heritage.”
Represented by the Director, Administration and Human Resources, Barr. Abayomi Oyelola, mni, Ayakoroma, who said the cultural clubs in secondary schools are established by the Institute as part of its mandate to orientate and re-orientate people in the vario us and diverse cultures of Nigeria, stressed that it was in line with the saying that, “it is always good to catch them young,” the Institute thought it wise not only to orientate the Nigerian youth but also to imbibe in them, our cultural values and practices.
The NICO Boss, who admonished participants to see the Cultural Extravaganza as an opportunity to showcase their cultural talents, also maintained that the competition presents a mixed-grill of events to give the children a sense of belonging, direction and entrench in them, our various cultures.
His words: “I use this opportunity to admonish all of you to see this as an opportunity to showcase your talent in Nigerian cultural heritage. I wish and hope that you have a very exciting time. Some if not all of the events that we have in these few days are going to be basically practical issues depicting our cultures and as you must have been told, it will involve competition to test which school has the greatest knowledge of our cultural values and heritage.”
According to him, the competition was not to bring down any school but to encourage those schools who may not have done well at the end of the programme to do well next time, because the Institute wants to make the event an annual programme at a time when most of the schools will be able to participate.
He reassured that with the success the programme promises to hold, the Institute will ensure a synergy with other cultural agencies to foster some of the things that the cultural clubs in schools will be doing by ensuring that they participate as a way of encouraging them to display our cultural values.
The event had five competitive events: Essay Competition, Traditional Hair Do, Traditional Cuisine, Traditional Dress Parade, and Traditional Music and Dance competitions; while the non-competitive category had arts and crafts exhibition.
In all, fourteen secondary schools in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) participated, namely, Federal Boys Secondary School, Apo; Junior Secondary School, Garki; Junior Secondary School, Wuse Zone 3; Junior Secondary School, Tundun-Wada; Lightway Academy, Wuse II; Junior Secondary School, Kubwa; Junior Secondary School, Byzhin, Kubwa; Junior Secondary School, Dutse-Alhaji; Federal Government Girls, Bwari; Subart International Academy, Bwari; Junior Secondary School, Ido-Sarki; Junior Secondary School, Kuje; Junior Secondary School, Karu and Junior Secondary School, Jikwoyi.