Calabar festival is an annual cultural festival that displays African culture and heritage by means of music, dressing, drama and other cultural creativities.
Calabar Festival Also tagged “Africa’s Biggest Street Party”, Calabar Festival was created as part of the vision of making the Cross River State, Nigeria, the number one tourist destination for Nigerians and tourists all over the world. The carnival which begins every 1 December and lasts until 31 December has boosted the cultural mosaic of Nigeria people while entertaining millions of spectators within and outside the State.
The Calabar Carnival has come a long way. It started in 2004, when the then governor of Cross River State, Mr Donald Duke, had a vision of making the state a hub for tourism and hospitality in Nigeria and Africa.
The Carnival presents a perfect platform from brand visibility for consumer and market awareness. “According to Osima-Dokubo, the carnival aimed to include more aspects of local heritage and culture and at the same time strengthen the capacity of the locals to participate in an economically beneficial way.” Recently, Cross River State has become the pride of Nigeria in the areas of tourism, carnivals and hospitality.
Calabar Festival 2018.. Theme: Africanism
The governor of Cross River state, Ben Ayade officially flagged off the 2018 Calabar Carnival with a wonderful opening ceremony and a powerful speech. During the event which was witnessed by an excited crowd, the governor spoke on the importance of celebrating the African culture.
Ayade, who was accompanied by his wife, Lynda; presidential candidate, Oby Ezekwesili; Senator Ita Giwa, as well as the newly crowned Miss Africa, Congolese Dorcas Kasinde, placed emphasis on Africa becoming a united entity, in order to create solutions to challenges dividing the continent.
He said: “We are here to tell the African story ourselves. Africans have a platform to use the opportunity of this dance and drama to tell the African story in a way that we know. Everything about Africa is taking global stage and the platform offered by this event is to show that Africans have really matured.”
He went on to add: “So, Africanism is saying think, act, conduct and carry yourself as an African. Africa is not colour, faces but the spirit of the heart, goodness of the heart, niceness of character, love for fellow human beings as well as providing a shoulder for your brother to lean on”.
Ayade said that Africa was not about poverty, adding that the “organisers, in conjunction with writers like Wole Soyinka and Ngugi Wa-Thiongo must tell the African story from our own perspective.”
”Why should Africa wait for the Western world to tell its story and show its own heritage?
”When I see Africans cross the Mediterranean and deserts, I wonder why people would want to leave this continent that is so blessed with human and natural resources.
”Cross River wants to tell all young men and women that, the best place to be is Africa where there is rich human and natural resources,” he said.
The governor thanked God for giving the state government the grace to sustain the carnival.
Photos from 2018 Calabar Festival
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