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Envoy says Nigeria safer, promises to improve cultural relation

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Envoy says Nigeria safer, Promises to improve cultural relation

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Abuja, March 13, 2019 Mr Lee Jin Su, the new Director of the Korean Cultural Centre in Nigeria (KCCN)  says Nigeria is safer than perceived and pledged to improve cultural relationship between Korea and Nigeria.

H e said this  on Wednesday at  a media parley in Abuja as he assume duty at the Centre.

“Nigeria is safer than I expected. The country has a good weather and Nigerians are kind, passionate and strongly committed to the course they believed in.

“Since I assumed office, I am impressed by what I saw in the country. The impression people get out there is that there is terrorism, kidnapping and killings in the country.

“But when I landed here, I observed that Nigeria is safe and accommodating. She also has a large population which greater percentage is youths.

“However, I have a big dream for my mission in Nigeria. I am going to improve the cultural relationship between Nigeria and Korea which could extend to other areas like economy, education and others.

“I urge you all to cooperate with me. I am going to operate an open door policy to journalists, politicians, cultural experts and others,’’ Su said.

The new KCCN Director said that Korea had a 5000-year-old history, adding that Nigeria and Korea had enjoyed cordial and beneficial relationship in the past 39 years.

He also said that Nigeria had a lot of rich cultural heritage, great tradition and history that Korea could learn from.

“Boosting cultural relationship between Nigeria and Korean is our priority.

“Currently we have scholarship programs, Korean Pop Dance Competition, Taekwondo classes, poetry competitions and others that Nigerians are benefiting from.

“I will promote Nigeria culture to Korea and vice versa. I will give people in Korean the correct information about Nigeria to correct the wrong perception about the country,’’ he said.

Su also said that there were good opportunities for medical tourism in Korea that Nigeria could benefit from, adding that Korea has consistently ranked among the top five countries in quality health care by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and Bloomberg.

“The country is ranked first by OECD for healthcare access and rated as the fourth most efficient healthcare system in the world by Bloomberg.

“The quality of Korean healthcare has been ranked as being among the world’s best. Satisfaction of Korean healthcare has also been consistently among the highest in the world.

“Nigerians can access and benefit from the Korean healthcare system. This is also in addition to the benefits from the cultural benefits between Nigerians and Koreans,’’ Su said.

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participants laud organisers of 2019 INAC Expo

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some participants at the ongoing 12th edition of International Arts and Crafts Expo (INAC) have lauded the organisers for proving a platform to synergise and showcase diverse cultures.

They made the commendation in separate interviews with the Nigeria News Agency ( NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja.

Ms Odette Peterson- Thomas, the counsellor/head of chancery Trinidad and Tobago High Commssion, lauded organisers saying it was a great platform to showcase culture, arts and Crafts.

According to her, the expo has provided them with a platform to display their culture, arts and national instruments, such as the steel pan-tenor.

Thomas said that the tenor pan when played brought out great sounds and melody and could be played during festivals or cultural events.

She noted that it was her second time to participate in the expo and acknowledged that it was an awesome experience for her.

According to her, Nigeria’s culture is different from Trinidads and that is the unique experience for her and planned to participate in the next expo to showcase more of their cultural heritage and arts.

Ahmed Ullah falso, the Director of Bangladesh Arts and Crafts Foundation, said the expo also provided an opportunity for them to showcase their arts and crafts.

He also said that it was an avenue to learn from other countries participating in the expo for wider experiences.

“This is our first time to participate in this expo and I will be glad if we are given the opportunity to participate again next time

“We are showcasing our cultural items such as the “Jambari sharee” one of our handmade fabrics and the Jute purse and bag made with natural fibre and it is not harmful to the environment.

“There is also the Nakshi Katha fabrics and all these items are made naturally with hands,” he added.

Mrs Binta Abdullahi from Chad Republic of Chad, said that participating in the expo was a place to present and display their traditional medicine meant to cure illnesses such as fibroid and sickle cell diseases and others.

Abdullahi, who is an expert in local and traditional herbs and medicines, added that on display at her stand was local pots and plates made with woods and different types of traditional and local scents.

According to her, this is her second time of participating in the expo, she says she is looking forward to more of the occasion added that she is having a nice time in Nigeria.

Mrs uchenna Eboechiwi a participant from Anambra state, said the event had provided her with a platform and opportunity to showcase the rich culture of Anambra.

She added that she was also participating to showcase the traditional arts and crafted items such as wooden idols and pots from her state.

Eboechiwi, who displayed native hand beads and necklaces made with traditional fabric, cultural hand fans and handmade wooden animals to portray the beauty of their culture also expressed her gratitude to INAC.

She, however, stated that she had been a regular participant and was looking forward for a wonderful event and reiterated commitment to participate in the next edition..

Edited by Abiemwense Moru/Ifeyinwa Omowole (NAN)

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30 countries exhibit as international Arts/Crafts expo begins

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The 12th edition of International Arts and Crafts (INAC) Expo opened on Wednesday with no fewer than 30 countries showcasing their cultures and heritage.

NAN reports that some of the countries in the Expo are Kuwait, Cuba, Ethiopia, others displaying their cultural wares and heritage.

Speaking with Nigeria News Agency ( NAN) in Abuja, Mr Abdullah Alawadhi, a diplomatic attache to Kuwait Embassy described the expo is an opportunity for the embassy in Nigeria to promote the country’s cultural heritage.

Alawadhi added that it was the country’s first time of participation and expressed optimism that it would be a remarkable experience for the citizens.

He said that the expo would help strengthen the bilateral relationship between Kuwait and Nigeria in terms of culture.

Carlos Trejo Sosa, the Cuban Ambassador to Nigeria said the embassy was participating for the first time in the expo, adding that Cuba had been following the nation’s culture for many years.

He also said that Nigeria and Cuba have similarities in terms of culture noting that 50 per cent of Cubans are linked to people from Calabar in Cross River

According to him, the relationship dates back to the 19th century during the slave trade.

The Envoy, who is rounding off his posting in Nigeria, however, said that the expo was a welcome development and expressed delight in what he saw on ground saying it was a way of showcasing culture and heritage.

The Syrian Ambassador, Adeeb Albodi, said that the opening ceremony showed that it was a well organised event noting that every participant had its own pavilion to showcase its country’s culture

He also said that it was the country’s second time of participating in the expo and reiterated readiness to attending the 2020 edition of the expo.

According to him, the expo is worthy of emulation and it is an avenue for countries to showcase their cultural diversities.

He added that it would also strengthen relationships between various countries and the host country.

NAN reports that about 10 states such as Kano, Ogun, Yobe, Anambra, Zamfara among others were also present and displaying their wares at the INAC. ( NAN)

Edited by Dorcas Jonah/Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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International Arts/Crafts Exposition promotes inter-cultural relations – participants

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Some participating countries at the 12th International Arts and Crafts Exposition (INAC) on Wednesday expressed delight in the ability of the council to promote intercultural relations through the event.

Hermella MatHewos, Trade and Promotion Officer of Ethiopian Embassy, told Nigeria News Agency on Wednesday in Abuja on the sideline of the opening ceremony of the 2019 INAC that it was an opportunity to showcase their cultural heritage.

MatHewos, displaying the method for preparation of Ethiopian popular coffee, affirmed that the event had enhanced the promotion of countries’ products and provided a platform for inter-African trade for cultural items.

“We have our beads, traditional outfit, coffee, artwork, music and dance all out for display in the expo.

“The biggest expectation is that we have to promote our products, have an inter African product exchange where we trade our cultural items which this event has provided at this stage,” she said.

Head of Chancery, High Commission of Malaysia, Yunus Ibrahim, said that the event had provided a means for Malaysia to showcase its arts and craft.

He said that the event would also provide an avenue to reach the Nigerian public with the intention of developing closer relations as they intended hosting a “visit Malaysia” event in 2020 to attract tourists.

Sharing experience from the previous year, Yagoub Babiker, the council and consular agent for Sudan Embassy in Abuja, said that INAC had used culture to network various States and countries.

“We have always been here, sharing experiences with Nigeria, we are also learning from Nigeria in the way it uses culture to network the states.

“It is a privilege that we are given the window to showcase our culture and the similarities between Sudan and Nigeria for the benefit of everyone in dancing, festivals, crafts from palm leaves, others.

NAN reports that no fewer than 30 countries were present as at the first day of Exposition with eight states in Nigeria.

Edited by Dorcas Jonah/Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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Carnival: FCT residents, vendors call for quick fixing of new date

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Some residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and festival vendors on Wednesday called for a quick fixing of a new date for the 2019 Abuja Carnival.

They made the call when Nigeria News Agency visited some proposed venues of the 2019 Abuja Carnival.

NAN reports that the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture on Tuesday announced the postponement of the carnival, adding that a new date would be announced in due course.

At the Old Parade Ground, the proposed venue of the Opening Ceremony and Street Carnival, floats and side kiosks were seen with vendors and some contingents hanging around.

Mrs Grace Ayuba, who sells shoes, bags and other female accessories, said she had already bought wares to be displayed for sale at the carnival.

“The sudden postponement of this carnival will really affect us as some of us have already gone to market to buy goods for sale.

“Whatever the reason for the postponement, just within few days before the carnival, we plead with the government to come up with a new date very soon,” she said.

Mrs Ronke Adams, who deals on water and soft drinks, said she had stocked her shop with various brands, lamenting that her capital ‘will now be tied down.’

“The carnival is a period we always looked forward to making sales for the Christmas, but this sudden shift is really a concern,” she said.

Mr Sunday Johnson, a corps member serving in the FCT, said: “We have been excited, waiting to witness the Abuja Carnival because Calabar Carnival is the one known by some of us.

“We hope that arrangement for a new date will be made by the government as soon as possible,” he said.

Mr Suleiman Mohammed, a delegate from Zamfara State, said he had procured some woods and materials to construct a float for his contingents, and was looking forward to disposing them due to the postponement.

“We were about constructing our float before we heard of the postponement, and we are left with no options than to look for buyers for the materials we have purchased already,” he said.

NAN reports that Abuja carnival is an annual event that holds in the nation’s capital to showcase the diverse cultural events and practices in the 36 states of Nigeria and the FCT.

It features road shows, music, cultural dances, masquerades fiesta, durbar and lots more with participants from Nigeria and beyond.

/ISMA

Edited by Dorcas Jonah/Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)

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Blockbuster stage drama, “Hertitude” for National Theatre in December

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The producer of Nigeria’s blockbuster stage drama, “Hertitude”, Mrs Kesiena Obue, on Wednesday said that the “A list drama would be staged at the National Theatre, Lagos in December.

Obue told a news conference at the VIP Room, National Theatre, Iganmu, that the blockbuster stage drama had received lots of commendation, hence, the need for lovers of drama to enjoy it more.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that Hertitude is a stage drama weaved on a storyline of a heartbroken single woman who later suffered a heart attack.

The woman left behind with three daughters, Kesiena, Rume and Ogor, who struggled to keep the home front through reunion.

The story also screened a series of betrayals that eventually disrupted their already dysfunctional lives in a play that also takes the stage with dance and music.

On the lessons from the drama, the playwright, Obue, who also wrote the blockbuster film, “Lagos Bling”, said the drama depicted all the social categories of life, the high, low and middle class.

“The film, Hertitude, is metaphorical because it takes us round the three classes in the society, the elite, middle and lower and our moral pictures in life.

“When it comes to morality, the society has different standards and many only take sides when one of the morality does not favour them. It also parental abuse.

“The play dwells so much on parental abuse which most people in the society don’t like to talk about and also the question of immorality which has been exemplified in the play.

“Hertitude is like a smokescreen of what individuals are inside and what they really are inside when people are not there, the real ugliness inside us, our flaws and imperfections,” she said.

Obue said that the drama also depicted a spiritual linkage which many seek ways to deal with societal ills.

“Hertitude is a drama for all because it has the real lessons of life which many sseek for. It is like a spiritual healing for many seeking for help to find their compass.

“The film also tells us about how to find ourselves out different and solutions provided around us which we must be able to decipher if it suits us or not.

“The film, though it has women as principal characters, it is not a feminism storyline but a drama centred on women’s role and their impact in shaping the society,” she said.

NAN reports that Hertitude will be on stage at the Cinema Hall 1, National Theatre from Dec. 14 to Dec. 22. It will also return on Dec. 25, Dec. 28 and Dec. 29 at 5 p.m.

The drama will also be staged on Jan. 1, Jan. 4 and Jan. 5, 2020, while the ticket will be at seven points in Lagos, namely: Ariyatickets.com, africticket.com. Slots shops and others.

(Editing by Peter Ejiofor)

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FTAN calls for national policy on ‘Cultural Tourism’ in Nigeria

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Alhaji Rabo Saleh, National President, Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN) has called on the Federal Government to come up with a national policy on ‘Cultural Tourism’ to boost the sector.

Saleh said this on Tuesday at the 5th Edition of Nigeria Tourism Investors Forum and Exhibition (NTIFE) in Abuja, with the theme: “An Insight into the Legal Framework of Tourism in Nigeria”.

Saleh said that domestic and international tourism experts have concluded that cultural tourism was Nigeria’s most competitive tourist product, if properly harnessed.

“Nigeria is a promising African tourism destination, therefore, there should be no dichotomy between ‘culture’ and ‘tourism’.

“Culture and Tourism departments in government ministries should work as a team to sell Nigeria to inbound tourists.

“Other countries, like Turkey and China have recently been investing in cultural tourist products with enviable success,” he said.

The FTAN president urged Federal Ministry of Information and Culture and other stakeholders to utilise the opportunities to put Nigeria on the global tourism map.

He added that this could be achieved by the diversification of the economy through cultural tourism products that would attract inbound forex spending tourists, also by promotion of domestic tourism to create business.

“State governments are the natural custodians of most tourist sites because the sites are all local.

“Mapping out tourism development zone at the Local Government level, provision of tourist facilities such as access roads, facilitating land acquisition for tourism investors should be put into consideration,” he said.

He called on the government, both federal and state to analytically look at the Nigeria’s tourism map and build up a motor-able road that would lead to and fro tourist destinations in Nigeria.

Also speaking, Mr Samuel Alabi, Chairman, FTAN Board of Trustees, appealed to the FG to allocate land to FTAN for tourism to flourish.

Alabi, also a former president of FTAN,  added that allocating land to the association would help tourism development in Nigeria.

The event attracted personalities from the Federal Ministry of Information, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, National Orientation Agency as well as stakeholders in the tourism sector, among others.

Edited by Dorcas Jonah/Ifeyinwa Omowole

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