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PRESS CONFERENCE ON YEAR 2022 OLOKUN FESTIVAL

 THEME: The Role of African Culture in the Promotion and Development of Young Africans.

His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Lagos state, Babajide Sanwoolu,

His Excellency, the Country Representative of the African Union Economic, Social and Cultural Council {AU-ECOSOCC),

Kabiyesi, Olowo Eko, Oba of Lagos,

My Lord Spiritual and temporal,

Members of the fourth estate of the realm,

Ladies and Gentlemen.

It gives me great joy to address Nigerians and Africans through this medium on the forthcoming year 2022 Olokun festival.

Olokun Festival is a cultural festival celebrated throughout Yoruba land including Edo state, the main purpose is to unite our people and showcase the cultural value and heritage of our dear people to the whole world. The festival, which has been held since 2002, is organized by the Olokun Festival Foundation and has become so popular that tourist now marks the date in their calendars to attend. It has promoted tourism and cultural value chain to the world at large and makes Africa Culture ripe with potential and promises. It is high time that, all hands are put on deck to systematically transform it into an economic force. This requires a concerted efforts, time and attention of every Africans.

The Theme for this year event; “The Role of African Culture in the Promotion and Development of Young Africans.” is very timely and apt to the present situation in the country. My belief is that, if Culture is properly harnessed, it will increase the GDP of Nigeria and of course, of the entire Africa continent. There is need to enlighten our youths to take their destiny into their hands, they should take due advantages of the continents rich cultural diversity to develop themselves economically. The promotion of our culture in Africa should have an impact on the way we view life, this gives us an edge among other continents. But contrary to this statement, our culture is been pushed aside for foreign cultures in terms of food, languages, entertainment and fashion. Promoting the Yoruba Culture through the Olokun festival has come to mend the gap by showcasing our culture in the best way possible with our local cuisine, music, fashion, folklore and others.

As a Cultural Ambassador of the African Union- ECOSOCC Nigeria, my job is to support the work of the regional body which is to promote greater unity and solidarity between Africa countries and their people and also to defend Africa position on issues of the common interest. The better way to achieve these goals is by promoting and driving the relevance of our cultural heritage to our coming generations.

The support of the Africa Union-ECOSOCC Nigeria on Olokun festival is something worth mentioning.

Olokun festival is in line with aspiration 5 of the African Union Agenda 2063 which is meant for the future is to accelerate progress towards continental unity and integration for sustainable culture and heritage, growth, trade, exchanges of goods, services, free movement of people and capital through establishing a United Africa and fast tracking economic integration.

This aspiration which is in progress is fundamental to our growth as Africans, and if this is properly harnessed, it will surely take our continent to where we all want it to be in future. Ambassadors and High Commissioners from Africa and from other countries like Brazil, Venezuela, Cuba, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Malaysia, France, China, America, Spain, Britain, have been invited to come and be part of this year event on 26th August 2022. Part of the programme expected at the event will include but not limited to;

  • Cultural display
  • Ewi recitation.
  • Dance performances.
  • Inspired African shows.
  • Display of African artifacts.
  • Life Band of a contemporary African Music

The window of collaboration is open to all who are interested in working with us at Olokun Foundation, I am sure that this is an healthy beginning of greater things to come to Nigeria and our dear continent in general. Once again, I want to say a very big thank you to our dear Governor, His Excellency Babajide Sanwo-Olu for creating an avenue for people of different culture and religion to thrive and live together in harmony in  Lagos state. Kudos to you, Mr. Governor. To men and women who had toiled endlessly in making this event successful, I want to say thank you!

Long live Lagos State,

Long live Nigeria,

Long live Africa!.

 

AMB. YEYE LARA FASHOLA

Convener, Olokun Festival

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