The National Festival or Arts and Culture (NAFEST) 2017 would take place in Kaduna state this October with an opening ceremony and Durbar in Kaduna city on the 31st of October to begin the 30th edition.
The Director General of the National Council of Arts and Culture of Nigeria (NCAC); Otunba Gbenga Runsewe made an address to press men to emphasize the uniqueness of this year’s festival. He was speaking after the first cultural golf tournament kicked off in Kaduna as a part of the festival. He was particularly excited that the festival themed “Nigerian Unity and Peace our pride” was being hosted in Kaduna, the same town where the amalgamation of Nigeria took place in 1914.
Otunba Runsewe further explained that the official opening ceremony would be a Durbar featuring the Emir of Zazzau and that the entire ceremony is going to be cultural in order to embrace the art and culture of Nigeria as this has always been the aim of the festivals. There was a cultural golf tournament on the 28th of October as some sort of harbinger for the festival.
The Director General also mentioned that this year’s edition would feature a Skill Acquisition Programme for the benefit of the Nigerian youth. The skill acquisition programme would be the building of capacity to several youths through various skill acquisition. He said “Six different skills acquisition program will take place here for Kaduna people for free. The dream is Nigeria must work. We have to think out of the box and make Nigeria work.”
The commissioner of Youth Sports and Culture for Kaduna state; Mr. Daniel Danauta, said that Kaduna welcomes all participant of the festival to Kaduna from all over Nigeria. He expressed his joy at the opportunity presented to Kaduna to showcase itself to the benefit of Nigerians. He said “we have another opportunity again to show the world what Kaduna has to offer, we welcome our brothers and sisters from other state. As a centre of learning, we assure you that there is enough to learn in the centre of learning. On behalf of the executive Governor, Malam Nasir el-Rufai, I want to welcome you all to Kaduna.
Hajia Halima Idris, the special adviser to the Governor of Kaduna state on creative arts, has acknowledged that it was a privilege to be part of history to making Kaduna and Nigeria great again.
In the history of the festival, it would be the 5th time that Kaduna state would be hosting. This is a record as no state has hosted the festival more times than Kaduna.