Ojo Bakare Lists Benefits As Ekiti Set to Host EKIFEST

By Gbenga Sodeinde in Ado Ekiti

The State Commissioner for Culture, Arts and Creative Economy, Prof. Rasak Ojo Bakare, has listed benefits for Ekiti as Ekiti State is set to host Ekiti State Festival of Arts and Culture

He also disclosed that cultural heritage of Ekiti State will again be showcased before Nigerians and the international community as it hosts the festival of arts.

The commissioner made this known during a media briefing at the Secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ , Ekiti State Council, Ado-Ekiti, to herald the event scheduled for between 6 and 10 August, 2024.

Specifically, Prof. Bakare remarked that
EKIFEST began with a view to creating a platform for local governments to bring whatever they have from their environments to the centre for exposure, exhibitions, marketing, developments and all that the world can help them with these products.

According to him, the hosting of this year’s event is at the instance of the State governor, Biodun Oyebanji, who mandated his ministry to ensure a superlative outing that will place Ekiti on an enviable cultural indices.

He reiterated that the event will tap the latent talents with skills that can make them best actors in the world.

He commended the media in the State for projecting and promoting the activities of the ministry, and solicited the sustenance of the relationship, adding that he still banks on the media as partners in progress to ensure a robust and successful festival.

The Professor of Dramatic and Performing Arts, also pointed out that his ministry has continued to prove its mettle in uplifting the culture of the state as the establishment was among some of the ministries adjudged to be performing excellently by the Ekiti State House of Assembly at its first anniversary.

Prof. Bakare stressed that the festival is a forum for people to exhibit products of their culture, products of their talents, products of their creative energies.
“You have thousands of talented youths in those villages and towns across the state that can sing better songs than some musicians. You have visual artists, painters, sculptors, weavers, graphic designers. You have them. They abound in those towns and villages. But they don’t have the opportunity of recognition. Nobody recognizes them because nobody knows what they’re doing.

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“It is for people like that that EKIFEST was established as a platform so that the local government authorities and the Local Council Development Areas, LCDAs can fish for such talents and bring them to this five day festival to showcase their talents, to exhibit their talents so that they can get recognition across the globe”.

He posited the state is inviting visitors from across Nigeria, all over Africa and beyond. People who are coming to Ekiti state with different products, such people, he remarked, are not just coming as tourists to stay here and spend their money. “What we also want them to do is to see what our people are capable of producing with their talents so that they can invest in these products, so that they can help us take these products beyond the borders of Ekiti state and beyond the borders of Nigeria. That’s why we are organizing EKIFEST”.

The Commissioner further informed the media that the festival will feature both competitive and non-competitive events. But that all the events, either competitive or not, are exhibitional for people to see what the people that have the capacity and the creativity are doing. Some of the competitive events are performing art, the visual arts, the fashion art, traditional sports, that’s, traditional wrestling and others. The non-competitive events will include opening and closing ceremony, where each chairman of a Local government or LCDA will take his/her contingent on a procession at the venue. There also a festival hall where the people are bringing locally-made materials to sell for those number of days.

Prof. Bakare said considering the financial implications of hosting the programme, his ministry is also making efforts to approach private sector players to support the festival because ventures like this cannot be solely financially- handled by only the government. He underscored that the future of festival of this nature is actually in the hands of the private sector.

Ekiti State Festival of Arts and Culture began in 2012, and held every year, but in 2020 it was held in the closet because of COVID-19. And it could not hold in 2023 because of transition from outing administration to incoming government.


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