INFINITI1The Cultural Troupe of the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) Headquarters in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, fondly called, “NICO Troupe,” has been commended for its sense of commitment to promoting the rich cultural heritage of Nigeria through its scintillating performances.

The Nigerian High Commissioner to Singapore, Her Excellency (Mrs.) Nonye Rajis-Okpara, who gave the commendation at the 2nd edition of Infiniti Africa Magazine Awards, “I AM Awards 2014,” held at Ladi Kwali Hall, Sheraton Hotels and Towers, Abuja, Sunday, 1st February, 2015, promised that the troupe would be slated to perform during this year’s Nigerian Event organised by the High Commission in Singapore.

Delivering her speech on, “The Importance of Peace in Nigeria,” as the Mother of the Day at the event, Her Excellency Mrs. Rajis-Okpara stressed that peace was a facilitator, which made it easier for workers to produce, business to succeed/thrive, entrepreneurs and scientists to innovate, and governments to regulate.

She posited that the solution to the challenges facing Nigeria was for all to embrace peace, an indispensible requisite that creates the optimum environment in which other activities that contribute to human growth can take place.

The High Commissioner congratulated NICO’s Executive Secretary, Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma for the Institute’s relentless effort in promoting and preserving culture, just as she extended a hand of fellowship to the Institute by inviting NICO Cultural Troupe to perform in the Nigerian event in Singapore this year.

Her words: “The Executive Secretary, I want to congratulate you for what you do; because culture is who we are. Every nation that celebrates its nation is its culture that it is celebrating. I might be booking your group/troupe for the next Nigerian event in Singapore. I believe in culture. I am a typical Nigerian woman and in Singapore, as much as we can, we try to exhibit Nigerian culture.”

Earlier, the NICO boss, Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, had expatiated on culture and its importance as it relates to communal life in the past, decrying that modernization has eroded some of these cherished cultural values, namely, dress sense, indigenous language, food, brotherhood, and dance in Nigeria.

INFINITI2He added that, if Nigerians can apply the patriotic zeal they attached to food culture (especially when they leave the shores of the country) to different aspects of our culture, Nigeria will be better for it.

The Chairman of the Occasion and Group Managing Director of DAAR Communications Plc, owners of African Independent Television (AIT) and Ray Power 105.5 FM Radio, Mr. Tony Akiotu, while delivering his address, highlighted the uniqueness of the awards as one that aims at celebrating the laudable efforts of our people, encouraging the creative potentials in youths, women and children, positioning role models for mentoring of the young generation, celebrating the fourth estate of the realm (the media), and creating a night annually where individuals can relay and network with various other individuals for the benefit of our future generation.

Mr. Akiotu also congratulated the organizers of the event, Fantagold Promotions Limited, the publisher, Mrs. Kambili Osadolor-Ehima of the AIT Family, and her team for the high level of commitment they had exhibited in packaging the programme.

The climax of the event was the presentation of the Executive Secretary of National Universities Commission (NUC), Professor Julius Okojie’s Secondary Education Awards to deserving students in Abuja, the Federal Capital Terrotory.

Miss Somto Onyekwere of Regina Pacis Secondary School Garki, carted away the sum of one hundred thousand naira (N100,000) for the Overall Best Student in the FCT; Miss Deborah Olademehin of the Ladela Secondary School, Wuse, was the 1st Runner-up witha cash prize of seventy thousand naira (N70,000.00) , while the 2nd Runner-up with a cash prize of fifty thousand naira (50,000.00) was won by Miss Fatima Shehu Bustani of Alrhamaan International Schools, Asokoro.

The “Diva of the Year” star award, aimed at encouraging women, especially mothers to shed weight and make healthy food choices through nutritional and physical exercise, was won by Mrs. Chinyere Oppiah, as she was the first to arrive at the Body Mass Index (BMI) stipulated for the context.

INFINITI3In her closing remark, the Publisher, an On-Air Personality with DAAR Communications Plc, Mrs. Kambili Osadolor-Ehima, explained the reason for organising the award, which was borne out of the passion for qualitative education among the youths, expressing her deep appreciation to all for honouring the invitation.

Dignitaries that graced the occasion were the Special Adviser to the President on Ethics and Values, Dr. (Mrs.) Sarah Jubril; Representative of the Executive Secretary of National University Commission (NUC), Dr. S.B. Ramon-Yusuf; NICO’s Director of Orientation and Cultural Affairs, Mr. Alex Omijie; Media Assistant to the ES-NICO, Mr. James Gillowei; and the Confidential Secretary to the Executive Secretary, NUC, Miss Ulonna Inyama, among others.

It would be recalled that NICO Cultural Troupe performed during the 1st edition of the Infiniti Africa Magazine Awards in 2013 at the same venue and the Troupe’s energetic cultural performance (steps from the major ethnic groups in Nigeria interwoven into a 5-minutes unity dance) attracted the invitation of the Ambassador to perform in Singapore later this year.

Njideka Dimgba

Corporate Affairs Unit