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PACCB Plans To Return FESTAC In 2017, 40 Years After

The Pan-African Cultural Congress Bureau (PACCB) said that it was planning to hold another World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture, popularly called FESTAC, in 2017.

This was disclosed by its president and also Director General, Centre For Black And African Arts And Civilization (CBAAC), Dr Ferdinand Anikwe in Lagos.

He said the event would be held to celebrate 40 years anniversary after FESTAC ’77 was held in Lagos.

Anikwe also said that it would also be used to mark the 80th birthday of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, the nation’s military head of state when Nigeria hosted the festival.

He said PACCB member-states have all agreed to celebrate FESTAC in 2017.

He also called on all those that participated in FESTAC ’77 to be part of our proposed programmes .

Anikwe said that the PACCB’s special Technical Committee on Culture , Youth and Sports in Adisa Ababa, Ethiopia, in 2014, had agreed then that there should be a re-enactment, in 2017, of what happened in Nigeria during FESTAC ’77.

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He, however, said that a single country might not be able to host and fund it now on a large scale as done by Nigeria in 1977 owing to several financial challenges confronting every nation on the continent.

Anikwe called on member countries and interest groups to look at the funding of the event.

He also said that for the continent to keep the competition on the front burner after next year, it would be held alongside continental sporting competitions and games.

“It is by showcasing our African traditional and cultural values at continental events that we can outshine Europe and North America that have surpassed in terms of technological development,’’ he said.

Anikwe said there will be lined up cultural activities and programmes around the centres of either football competitions or games.

He said the group will encourage participating member-states either in football games or sport competitions to also come along with their cultural groups, dancers, choreographers, singers .

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“They will include those who are into the production of handicrafts whom we may ask to stage an arts exhibition.

“Similarly, PACCB will provide judges during the cultural events,’’ he said.

The CBAAC boss said that such would be an interesting aspect of such sports competitions.

It would afford officials, athletes, visitors and the audience, opportunities to relax after each day’s events and also appreciate the beauty of nature as created by God, he said .

He said that PACCB had begun to send letters out to the countries and communities that participated in FESTAC’77 on its proposed plan for 2017.

Anikwe said that CBAAC still had tapes of the FESTAC’77 events in its custody and he encouraged the public to visit its office to watch them.

The CBAAC D-G also said that the centre had begun to contact Nigerians in the Diaspora to ask for their inputs to the proposed FESTAC 2017.

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He said that the centre intends to showcase some of the outstanding works produced in FESTAC’77 At the 2017 events.