May 19, 2022

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STEWARDSHIP: arts & culture in Lagos State soared in 2021, better performance forecasts for 2022

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Pharm Uzamat Yussuf Akinbile, Commissioner for Tourism, Arts & Culture, Lagos State

By: Remi Oladehinde

The Lagos State Council for Arts and Culture, 2021 began on a promising note, especially with the appointment of Mr Oladusi Komolafe in March 2021 as the Agency’s helmsman.

With Komolafe’s appointment began the implementation of a robust plan to reposition and strengthen the Agency through high-tempo rehearsals with both the in-house and guest professionals for stage plays, drama and indigenous dances.

Also, the operations of core Departments of the Agency was strengthened, while alliances were forged with culturally-focused associations such as the Association of African Traditional Religions of Nigeria (AATREN) and Overseas.

The Agency played an active role in some of AATREN’s cultural festivals, especially the periodical ‘Iwure’ (prayer) sessions where obeisance was paid to the deities through Ifa.

The second quarter of the year witnessed an avalanche of plays. The play, ‘Osusu-Owo’, which stressed the need for unity among the various nationalities in the country deserves a special mention. It was produced by the Council’s Department of Performing Arts, which has become synonymous with creative and thought-provoking staged performances.

The Council also hosted a seminar in commemoration of World Culture Day, in May 2021. The seminar was themed, “Effects of COVID-19 on Tourism, Arts and Culture: Path to Recovery”. The highly seminal discourse which had both academicians and theatre arts professionals in attendance suggested various strategies that could be explored to ensure the industry soars higher above what was obtained before the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.

It is important to stress that the Council’s monthly seminars have become a veritable platform for the exchange of resourceful ideas aimed at moving the State’s apex art and culture organization toward the right direction.

At one of such meetings, the Agency’s Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr Oladusi Komolafe, said:
“We need to be more creative towards implementing the Fifth pillar of the current administration’s ‘T.H.E.M.E.S’ agenda viz-a-viz ‘Entertainment and Tourism’. We need to step up our acts by contributing our modest quota to the development of the sector in the State”.

The third quarter of the year was most eventful with two of the Agency’s staff bagging awards at the State Long Service Merit Award Ceremony, while another five won awards at the annual Public Service Week Celebration.

In pursuit of its plan to promote local festivals in the State, the Council’s management team attended the Elegba-‘Odun- Aje’ Festival hosted by the Elegushi Royal Family.

The team also attended the multiple ‘Iwure’ ceremonies held at the ‘Igbale-Egun’ grounds, Eti-Osa where the Opemoluwa of ‘Ikate-Elegushi’, High Chief Ifasegun Elegushi, urged Nigerians and Africans in the diaspora to appreciate the beauty and purity of African traditional Religion as a deeper mode of worship to the Creator ‘Olodumare.

The Council also participated in the annual ‘Isese’ Day Celebration where AATREN’s leadership renewed the call for the declaration of August 20th as a public holiday.

Similarly, the annual Children’s Summer Cultural fiesta held in September was quite exciting as experts in aerobics, arts, handcrafts, dance and Yoruba culture among others took turns engaging children and teenagers for a week.

Special Adviser to the Governor on Tourism, Arts and Culture, Hon. Solomon Bonu, who was the Guest of Honour at the event, charged the participants to justify their participation in the program.

Training and re-training of staff also took the Centre stage in the last quarter of 2021 with a 4-day workshop for Cultural Officers.

Toward the end of the year, the Agency participated in the International Arts and Culture expo, INAC, in Abuja, carting away five awards, while also representing Lagos proudly at the National Festival for Arts and culture, NAFEST in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State.

If 2021 was a memorable year for the Council, 2022 is, no doubt, poised to be a most remarkable one.

Remi Oladehinde is Head, Public Affairs, Unit, Lagos State Council for Arts and Culture, Alausa, Ikeja.

Culled from: www.alausaalert.com

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