EKIFEST 2024: Platform to Showcase Ekiti’s Best Talent, Rich Culture, Others

EKIFEST 2024: Platform to Showcase Ekiti’s Best Talent, Rich Culture, Others

From Priscilla Ediare, Ado-Ekiti

Ekiti State Commissioner for Arts, Culture and Creative Economy, Professor Rasaki Ojo-Bakare, has disclosed that this year’s annual Ekiti State Festival of Arts and Culture (EKIFEST) is billed to hold from August 6th to 10th.

Addressing newsmen at a press conference in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, at the weekend, the commissioner urged talented individuals at the grassroots to utilise the opportunity and see the event as a platform to showcase their talents and the rich cultural heritage of the people to the world.

Professor Ojo-Bakare, the first Professor of Choreography and Performing Aesthetics, hinted that the State Ministry of Arts, Culture and Creative Economy was named among the four best-performing ministries by the Ekiti State House of Assembly during its first-year anniversary celebration last week. He assured those present that the ministry would not rest on its oars in ensuring that the state attains greater heights.

Professor Ojo-Bakare said EKIFEST was established to bring talented people at the grassroots to the fore, as well as to allow people from the various local governments to exhibit, expose and market their products and creative abilities to the world. He added that this would help them secure patronage, gain recognition, and place Ekiti in a desirable position.

The commissioner said that tourists and enthusiasts from all walks of life within and outside the country would grace the event. He assured them that the five-day programme would be loaded with exciting packages that would showcase the natural endowment and wonders, cultural value, and uniqueness of Ekiti State to the world, noting that the 2024 edition would be the best ever.

“We are here to tell you that Governor Biodun Oyebanji has given us marching orders to host EKIFEST beginning from the 6th of August to the 10th, 2024, and it has to be the best EKIFEST ever.

“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 recognises them because nobody knows what they are doing.

“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 scout 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.”

“We are inviting visitors from all over Africa and beyond. Such people 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 organising EKIFEST.

“But note that all the events, either competitive or not, are exhibitions 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 arts, traditional sports, that’s, traditional wrestling among others. The non-competitive events will include opening and closing ceremonies, where each chairman of a Local Government or LCDA will take his/her contingent on a procession at the venue. There will also be a festival hall where the people are bringing locally-made materials to sell for those number of days.”

Professor Ojo-Bakare noted that the Governor of the state, Mr Biodun Oyebanji, has put measures in place to ensure adequate security before, during, and after the celebration.

“The Governor of the state, His Excellency, Governor Biodun Oyebanji, has put measures in place to ensure adequate security before, during and after the event. All the security agencies in the state have been reached out to.”

The commissioner urged traders in the state to reduce the prices of their products before, during, and after the festival so that they can generate more income for themselves and the state.

“Price control is not what we can actually impose by fiat, but we are sensitising our people to make them understand the danger of capital flight.

“We are always talking to them during festivals. If you make the prices of your items too expensive, they will buy their things in their home countries and bring them here,” he said.

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