" /> Of culture and economics uniting in Festac77@40 | Hallmarknews
Published On: Mon, Jul 3rd, 2017

Of culture and economics uniting in Festac77@40

By CHIMEZIRI FRANKLIN

 

I am delighted to learn that there are plans for a 40th anniversary of Festac77 to be hosted by Nigeria and that the theme is “Celebrating African and Black Creative Economy”. The Director General of the Centre for Black and African Arts & Culture (CBAAC) Dr Ferdinand Anikwe revealed in a television interview recently that the celebration is to take place this year 2017.

I quite agree with Dr Anikwe that the basic idea is that African culture usually represented by dance, fine art, literature/history and religion is a product the world can buy to the continent’s prosperity, if events are created to project them to world appreciation. Not showing your own culture is a way of killing it and foregoing all the opportunities it carries.

Indeed, the entire Festac concept is rooted in pan Africanism which can be defined as a movement or strategy to get Blacks and Africans out of economic disadvantage and improve their political fortunes. Hear the words of one of the movement’s pioneers Marcus Garvey:  “The Negro is ignored today simply because he has kept himself backward; but if he were to try and raise himself to a higher state in the civilized cosmos, all the other races would be glad to meet him on the plane of equality and comradeship.” To pinpoint the route to the rise of Africa, Garvey then said, “Without commerce and industry, a people perish economically. The Negro is perishing because he has no economic system.” To further show the way, Marcus established the Black Star Line, a shipping line to convey American Blacks back to Africa as well as to facilitate global Black commerce. Sadly, the venture was unsuccessful.

But the movement waxed stronger and in 1945 in England, George Padmore hosted the Pan African Conference which was attended by Kwame Nkrumah and Jomo Kenyatta. Significantly, for the first time, in a pan African conference, representatives of organizations of African farmers and workers were present. They bought into the brotherhood of all Africans and all Americans and West Indians of African origin and the need for Africans to unite and fight poverty and colonialism. It was after the 1945 Conference that the leadership of pan Africanism shifted from Black Americans to Nkrumah, Kenyatta, Azikiwe, Balewa and other Africans in the mother continent. Between 1957 and 1975 several African countries got their independence from their colonial masters and African leaders now came in the dignity and authority of heads of national government before the world.

In their effort to give the dividends of independence to their people, African leaders carried on with the pan-African idea that African nations must unite or perish in the neo-colonial experience. They clearly saw that only political independence is what their countries have received from the Europeans and that they were still in trade bondage to former colonial masters since all the independent African countries were producers of raw materials and could not have meaningful trade between them. They also saw that a continuation of this setting would not augur well for them. They thus sought to create intra-African trade so that Africa can enrich Africa and not remain poor and marginalized.

The Organisation of African Unity (now known as the African Union – AU) was formed in 1963. One of the organs of the AU is the Conference of Ministers of Trade. In 2012 the African ministers met in Ethiopia under the theme Boosting Inter-African Trade and agreed to establish a Continental Free Trade Area by 2017 as a strategy to boost trade within the continent by at least 25%. Perhaps the reason why not much fruit has come from this is the neglect of the culture strategy, the Festac strategy.

Wikipedia calls Festac77 (the Second World Festival of Black and African Arts and Culture) the largest pan-African gathering ever. According to the online publication, Festac77 was sequel to the first held in Dakar, Senegal, and was held to promote a continuation of Black unity through cultural festivals. It drew 16,000 participants from 56 nations who performed to the world’s admiration African dance and religion and exhibited African visual and literary arts. The economic underpinning of Festac (not immediately obvious to many in 1977 and even today) could be detected in the stated objectives of the jamboree which included (a) to bring to light the diverse contributions of Black and African peoples to the universal currents of thought and arts; (b) to promote black and African artists, performers and writers and facilitate their world acceptance and their access to world outlets; (c) to facilitate a periodic return to origin in Africa by Black artists, writers and performers uprooted to other continents.

Festac77@40 may not be as funded and as huge as the event it is commemorating, but it has to be noticed globally. Reports say the activities of the event include mascot’s visit to thirty-six state governors and key traditional rulers, command performance featuring global nationalities, exhibition of state economic potentials, art and craft exhibitions, visits to tourist sites and local festivals such as ofala, Argungu fishing, durbar, osun Oshogbo, ojobi Calabar, iri ji and water regatta. Essay competitions, symposium, publications and gala nites are also said to be part of it.

The absence of follow-up to the immensely popular Festac77 is one of the failings of Nigeria’s economy managers. Contrary to popular opinion, Festac has always been a cultural festival strategy to bring Africans and Blacks together and improve their economic and political standing.

Chimeziri Franklin, a strategy historian, is editor at Minfow.com

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Recent posts

  • Time is ripe for rates cut, says Rewane as inflation slows further in Oct.

    FELIX OLOYEDE This is the appropriate time for the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to cut benchmark monetary rates after inflation rate slows down for the ninth consecutive time in October, said Mr Bismarck Rewane, Managing Director, Financial Derivatives. The National Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday released Consumer Price […]

  • ELAN National Lease Conference Focuses on Revamping Nigerian Economy

    FELIX OLOYEDE In furtherance of its objective of promoting the business of leasing in Nigeria, Equipment Leasing Association of Nigeria (ELAN) has concluded plans to organise the 15th Annual National Lease Conference with focus on revamping the Nigerian economy. The conference which is the biggest gathering of stakeholders in the leasing industry is expected to […]

  • Nigeria-centric restaurant, Labule, opens new outlet in Lagos

    Labule, Nigeria-centric restaurant, operated by an indigenous company, Roots Foods Limited, offering real Nigerian local delicacies in a unique environment that combines the setting of a modern quick service restaurant with that of an African setting of a local ‘buka’, has opened a new outlet on Admiralty Road in Lekki Phase 1, Lagos. The brand […]

  • Nigerian banks shine in Ghana

    By JOHNMARK UKOKO Nigerian banks have been credited with “revolutionizing “the banking sector in Ghana, due to the many innovations they brought to Ghana’s banking sector. The Ghana Deputy Minister of Trade and Investment Hon. Carlos Kingsley Ahenkorah said in Lagos that the innovation and transformation of the Ghana’s banking sector is credited to the […]

  • Ajimobi moves to save Oyo APC from disintegration

    By OLUSESAN LAOYE The seeming crisis in Oyo APC has now forced the Governor of the state, Abiola Ajimobi, to begin consultations with stakeholders to convinced members on why they must come together as a body to face the 2019 general elections, Although the internal crisis is yet to break open as the aggrieved party […]

  • YolaDisCo sale stalled as no potential buyers emerge

    By ADEBAYO OBAJEMU Two years after the core investors of the Yola Electricity Distribution Company, YolaDisCo, declared a force majeure owing to their inability to operate under the reign of terror unleased by Boko Haram, the Federal Government is yet to find any investor interested in operating the utility company, it has been learnt. In […]

  • Company Analysis: Much Ado about Seplat

      By TESLIM SHITA-BEY The oil and gas sector has had a bumpy since the beginning of 2017 with local oil major, Seplat, seeing its financials whipped raw by prior year liabilities despite rising revenues over the nine months (9M). The company in the last two years has moved from being distinctively bad to singularly […]

  • How to start a photography business

    By ZUBAIR DANIE While photography could be accounted for as a full blown course in any offering institution of learning for professionalism, the field equally provides a platform for individuals whose passion it is to project images as a form of livelihood. The socio-cultural aspect of Nigerians that play host of events like: wedding, naming, […]

  • BOFE to celebrate unsung heroes in local communities

    OluwasolaJesuseitan, a brand and advertising expert, is an advocate of sustainable brand communications. He is also the founder, Business Owners Forum Enterprise (BOFE), a non-profit making organization, which seeks to build the capacity of business owners in and around Akute, Ogun State. He tells FELIX OLOYEDE in this interview of his organization is promoting business […]

  • Lager wars: Who wins?

    By JOHNMARK UKOKO Nigeria has many lager beer producing companies, some have been in existence for over 50 years while others are quite new in existence in the country. Some of these companies that have over the years churned out millions, if not billions of bottles of beer to Nigerian drinkers are: Nigeria Breweries Plc, […]

  • Nestle sparkles in Q3 results

    By OKEY ONYENWEAKU As the packaged Consumer goods (PCG) sector struggles to stay ahead of falling consumer demand, companies such as Nestle Nigeria plc are bucking the trend of businesses with shrinking bottom lines. Indeed the multi-product packaged goods producer has seen earnings rise to mind boggling with its pre-tax profit rising by a stunning […]

  • 2018 Budget proposals renew old anxieties

          FELIX OLOYEDE   Mixed reactions trailed the presentation of the 2018 federal government budget by President Muhammadu Buhari to the National Assembly (NASS) last week. Public policy analysts have expressed moods from the congenially positive to the outright incredulous. The staggering N8.6 trillion expenditure plan is one of the most audacious in […]

  • Anambra 2017: Obiano battles for life

    By Obinna Ezugwu The time has finally arrived. On Saturday the people of Anambra State will head to the polls to either renew the mandate of the incumbent state governor, Chief Willie Obiano who is running for a second term in office, or elect fresh hands from among other prominent contenders, including Mr. Oseloka Obaze […]

  • (Editorial) CBN’s BVN distraction and matters arising

    Nigeria’s fiscal and monetary authorities have a frustrating way of responding to the seizure of private assets; they typically gloat with glazed eyes over private citizen’s money ready to pounce on the cash like a pack of hyenas starved witless. The recent order by the Central Bank of Nigeria that customer accounts that are not […]

  • 12 Yoga tips for beginners

    The popularity of yoga has soared in the last decades, and it seems that every other friend and acquaintance of ours is already practicing it. But don’t let it fool you into thinking it is easy: yoga is quite challenging, especially for beginners. The good news is that there are some practical tips to make […]

  • Finally, embattled IGP, Ibrahim Idris, appears before Senate

    The Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has arrived before the Senate ad hoc committee set up to investigate the allegations and counter-allegations between him and Senator Isa Misau. The IGP was accompanied by his lawyer, Alex Iziyon (SAN) and Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang.   Details […]


Visit us on Google+