By Sunday Oyinloye
In line with the Federal Government’s Tourism promotion drive, the Embassy of Nigeria in Brussels in collaboration with Nigerian community/associations in Belgium, and Nigeria Tourism Development Authority (NTDA) has held Arts and Culture Festival in Antwerp to showcase the rich cultural heritage of Nigeria.
Speaking at the event, Nigerian Ambassador to Belgium, Mr. Obinna Chiedu Onowu said the importance of Art and Culture in shaping the society cannot be overemphasized stressing that Nigeria’s cultural heritage is not just a source of pride but a powerful tool for empowering foe empowerment and growth
His words” Our cultural heritage nurtures our sense of identity and belonging , while also providing economic opportunities, fostering tourism and creating spaces for innovation and entrepreneurship. Today is a reminder that while we embrace progress, we must never lose sight of our roots.”
Ambassador Onowu commended Nigerians in the Arts and Entertainment world who have put Nigeria on the world map adding that the nation also boasts of world renowned writers like Professor Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi, and a host of others who have brought honour to Nigeria.
Onowu noted that Nigeria’s Nollywood is one of the biggest film industry in the world adding that it worth more than $6.4 billion.
Ambassador Onowu said the President Ahmed Bola Tinubu’s administration is committed to boosting the tourism industry and encouraged Europeans and Africans to visit Nigeria and experience the country’s rich cultural heritage
Diplomats and others who attended the event commended Ambassador Onowu for showcasing Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage stressing that the event gave the Belgian and the world the opportunity to experience the beauty and diversity of Nigerian Arts and Culture
In his remarks, a National Assembly member, Senator (Dr) Ifeanyi Ubah said the Arts and Culture Festival was a celebration of the rich cultural heritage of Nigeria
According to Ubah who is representing Anambra South Senatorial District at the Red Chamber,” the event provided a platform for Nigerian artists to showcase their talent and for the audience to experience the beauty and diversity of Nigerian arts. It was a testament to the strong cultural ties between Nigeria and Belgium and highlighted the importance of fostering international relationships”
He commended Nigerian Ambassador to Belgium Mr. Obinna Chiedu Onowu for making Nigeria proud with the event adding “our culture is our heritage and we shall always engage in quality partnerships that will strengthen it.
In Ubah’s words “It was fascinating to see the different interpretations of Nigerian culture and history through these artworks”.
In addition to the performances and exhibitions, there were also literary sessions where Nigerian authors and poets shared their works.
The festival also showcased a wide range of Nigerian arts, including traditional music, dance, fashion, visual arts, and literature.
The event was attended by some diplomats and friends of Nigeria