CBAAC children’s Xmas festival boosts cultural education, orientation

Posted: December 12, 2012 in arts/culture

cbaac 2012 childrens festivalCentre for Black and African Arts and Civilization (CBAAC), last Thursday, turned the iconic National Theatre complex, Iganmu, Lagos, into a fanfare arena and amusement park, of sorts.

The occasion being the agency’s long-running annual International Children’s Festival, which regularly draws children of school ages from parts of the state and country to a celebration of their artistic works and intellect in an atmosphere of revelry and funfair.

This year’s edition included an art and dance competition, spiced with food and drinks supplied by corporate sponsors, stage performances by artistes and a select few of the children from the over two dozen primary and secondary schools in attendance.

While the art exhibition had Nigerian Navy Secondary School in first place, second and third places went to Solid Rock School and the Stadium Secondary School, respectively.

The dance competition was won by Rolex Comprehensive College, just as second and third spots were clinched by Fidel Madonna College of Excellence, and the Ewutuntun Senior Grammar School, respectively.

Welcoming guests to the event, Director General of CBAAC, Professor Tunde Babawale said that the aim of his agency remains to encourage and invest in children and youth programmes which, according o him, informed the theme of this year’s edition, Beauty in our Diversity, Celebrating Creativity.

“Our prosperity as individuals and country lies in the values that we inculcate in our children as issues relating to the appreciation and respect for our cultural diversity, ethnic and religious tolerance are best inculcated in younger children”.

The D.G further posited that children deserve more attention and celebration because ‘they represent continuity and serve as the vital bridge that connects to the future.’

The D.G has also stressed on the need to inculcate on children their cultural sense of dressing, dancing and style as it is the only pillar of sustaining culture, adding that in achieving the transfer of positive values in children, building values that will make them useful and responsible citizens of tomorrow is key.

Remarking, Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation Chief Edem Duke reiterated that the country stands to derive huge economic benefits from its seeming cultural diversity, just as he noted that this was only possible by ‘identifying and taking pride in our culture which are imbibed in the younger generation.’

The Minister noted that CBAAC’s programmes are relevant and represent a timely effort at national reconciliation and peace building given the deluge at ethnic and religious conflicts the country is experiencing in recent times.

The Minister who was represented by the Director of Culture at the ministry, Mr. George Ufot, expressed his delight as, according to him, CBAAC ‘never relents in organizing programmes that direct attention to the beauty of African culture while encouraging children to be conscious of their culture to becoming good cultural ambassadors.’

“This programme has brought together children from diverse socio-cultural, religious and economic background will facilitate interaction between them. Children, unlike adults are amendable to change as they can be made to see dazzling qualities in African traditional lifestyle quite early so that they can grow by it.”

On her part, Yeye Oge of Lagos, Chief (Mrs.) Opral Benson, said that in a dynamic world with its technological advancements, the country’s cultural traits and values are also evolving. “Our society is growing in every sphere and the arts and culture are growing with it.”

Public Diplomacy Officer, Public Affairs section U.S Consulate-General, Lagos, Rhonda Watson advised young people to embrace their cultures and traditions even as they put up with modernization.

“I know that parents are working hard to imbibe in their children their cultures and I also urge children to protect the sacred dignity their tradition upholds,” the American envoy said.

There were artworks displays and dance by the children, who attended the programme.

Some of the schools present include: Step Field College, Star field School, Stadium Junior High School, Rolex Comprehensive College, Queen Esther International School, Nigerian Navy School, Holy Child College, Solid Rock College and Infant Jesus College.

Courtesy: Ijeoma Opara

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