It was a combination of drums and aesthetic cultural displays that accompanied the 2013 Children’s Cultural Fiesta and Inauguration of NICO Cultural Club, ‘Omoluabi,’ on Wednesday, December 11, 2013, at the De la Salle Hall of Saint Peter’s Unity Secondary School, Akure.

Speaking at the occasion, the Head, National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) South-West zone, Mr. Ohi Ojo, said that culture is a four-legged stool, which comprises the material, institutional, creative and philosophical, and that it cannot be complete if one leg is removed; hence, the need for a fiesta of this nature to imbibe in the children the various aspects of culture.

In inaugurating the club, Ojo said that the aim was to inculcate the right values in the Nigerian child, create a future of virtue and ensure attitudinal change among our younger generation to preserve our dying cultures, admonishing all present not to feel inferior in what they wear, adding that wearing of our native attires does not demean us nor make us look inferior to other people’s attires.

Ojo also used the opportunity to encourage guests to avail themselves of the ongoing weekend edition of the Nigerian Indigenous Language Programme (NILP) taking place at the Institute’s zonal office in Akure, to learn any one of the Nigerian languages such as, Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo and Izon; and that the programme was free.

In her address, the highly elated principal of Saint Peter’s Unity Secondary School, Akure, Mrs. Abimbola Ogunmusire, expressed her appreciation to NICO for choosing her school as the venue for the 2013 edition of the Children’s Cultural Fiesta and the official inauguration of the Omoluabi club in her school.

She said that the fiesta and the inauguration of the club were timely, saying: “The false life our children embrace and live is what we as parents have bequeathed to them. As parents we elevated material acquisition far above ethical values, this is why the lofty objectives of the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) must be supported by all and sundry.”

This year’s Children’s Cultural Fiesta featured students from Saint Peter’s Unity Secondary School, Akure; Fiwasaye Girls’ Grammar School, Akure; Saint Louis Girls’ Grammar School, Akure; Akure Secondary Commercial School, Akure; and Saint Thomas Aquinas College, Akure, all in Ondo State.

Highlights of the event were Yoruba Quiz and Traditional Hairdo (Kolẹsẹ) competitions with two students representing each school; an event in which Miss Adeniyi Omowunmi of Akure Secondary Commercial emerged as the overall winner, Miss Olusola Olubunmi of Saint Louis Girls’ Grammar School came second, while Miss Abdulrazaq Sakirat of Saint Peter’s Unity Secondary School took the third position.

At the end of the keenly contested Yoruba quiz competition, Miss Fayehun Mosope and Odewale Victor of Saint Peter’s Unity Secondary School came first, Miss Odojiri Simisola and Olusola Olubunmi of Saint Louis Girls’ Grammar School took the second position, while Miss Jayeola Olayemi and Adeniyi Omowunmi of Akure Secondary Commercial came third.

The Young Stars City Club and Nkem’s Group of Saint Peter’s Unity Secondary School intermittently spiced up and thrilled the audience with several cultural performances, such as Bata and Swange dance, Igbo folklores, fashion parades, a dance drama titled, “Believe in God,” and a traditional marriage playlet, “Igbeyawo,” which focused on the virtues of proper courtship leading to marriage among the Yoruba; just as Fiwasaye Girls’ Grammar School was not left out as they also entertained the audience with a captivating bata dance.

At the end of the event, prizes ranging from plaques, certificates and other gift items were presented to winners in the various categories of the competitions; while participants expressed their delight for this year’s event, imploring NICO to sustain the laudable programme aimed at bringing out the creative ingenuity of children.

© Nico news