The National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Lagos Office, on Thursday, 25th May, 2017, held its Annual Children Cultural Extravaganza to commemorate this year's International Children's Day celebration, with the theme: “Our Culture our Pride and Heritage”.
The programme, which held at the National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos, kicked off with the rendition of the National Anthem in Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo languages by the students and pupils from the schools in attendance.
The Executive Secretary of NICO, Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, in his welcome address, said this year's Children’s Day celebration was aimed at helping to inculcate the spirit of patriotism amongst the children, as this was in line with the Institute's statutory mandate on re-orientating the minds of children to appreciate Nigerian languages, dresses, cuisines, music and dances.
According to him, this would also foster the culture of peaceful co-existence and unity amongst children from diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds, as “the Annual Children's Cultural Extravaganza was a platform designed by the Institute to encourage young Nigerians to appreciate their culture at all levels of interaction, discover young talents in culture and creative arts, foster sense of cultural identity, pride and awareness, promote the since of peaceful coexistence among children from different ethnic backgrounds".
Ayakoroma decried the situation where children have become too lazy to read, which has given rise to the falling standard of education in our society today, and most importantly the lack of interest by parents, teachers, and clerics to preserve, protect and promote the nation’s ccultural heritage.
Also speaking, the Chairman on the occasion, Dr. Tony Onwumah, a retired Director from CBAAC and presently Senior Lecturer at Covenant University, Ota, commended the Institute for its giant strides towards making culture a bedrock for National development.
He condemned the wholesale assimilation of Western culture by Nigerians and neglect of culture, observing that our poor assimilation of foreign culture has made us bad imitators and strangers to our culture, and advised children to take their culture seriously as it was their identity.
Versatile Nollywood actress, Tamara Eteimo, the distinguished special guest, advised the children to be serious in their studies and to remain focused, as the only route to success is hard work and enjoined parents and guardians to take time to control the activities of their wards, especially on social media, as not everything there is real.
Highlights of the event were traditional dances by various schools representing different Nigerian ethnic groups; round table discussions by the children on “The Importance of Indigenous Language to National Development” and “Decent Dressing and the Nigerian Dress Culture”.
In his vote of thanks, the Director, Lagos Office of the Institute, Mr. Louis Eriomala, thanked all present and wished them a safe trip back to their various destinations.
Schools in attendance include: NAFRCOWA Nursery and Primary School, Vantage Heights Nursery and Primary School, Pater Noster Nursery and Primary School, Kids Nation College, Surulere Junior Secondary School, Kosefe Junior Secondary School, Araromi Senior Secondary School, Jibril Martins Secondary School and Orire College, all in Lagos.
Also present at the occasion were representatives from National Council of Arts and Culture (NCAC), proprietors, principals, teachers, the media, members of staff from NICO Lagos and other Parastatals within the National Theatre premises.
Corporate Affairs Unit