The co-organiser of this year’s Ondo State Cultural and Festival (Ondofest), Mr. Seyi Paul Oshodi, has said the event will not be limited to drum and dance performance art but a cultural reconversion and reconstruction in the country. Oshodi, who is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Oshodi Arts Gallery, said this year’s event would boost tourism in the state and shore up the earnings from non-oil sector. According to him, Oshodi Arts Gallery’s approach to this yearly event would highlight the Africanity in dancing, technology, applied performing arts, natural hair design, visual arts, fashion, language and even the artistry of the way we live and work in harmony with our Ondo State people.
He said: “The distinctions in these art forms are not only a source of pride and dignity for our people but also form the basis for creating and developing new industries which give rise to jobs and revenue sources for our community’s creative expansiveness, self-sufficiency, and sustainability.” This annual event, he said, would designate certain cities around the state, where it would be held every year. While enumerating the advantages of the event, Oshodi said it would showcase components of an industry, such as agriculture, processing, distribution, management, marketing, trademarks, intellectual rights, and residual revenues in each of the communities.
This year’s event, according to him, is for cohesion among the people of the state and would be based on cultural sustainability. He said the event would be sustainable in that each community would seek to control the creative production of every aspect of the industry, vertically and horizontally, unlike what has happened in the Black Hair Care Industry.
The goal of such sustainability, he said was to create and support the growth of the creative industries, such that they generate their own revenue streams and are not just dependent on government, foundation, or corporate charitable giving, which may change from year to year. He said: “A key goal in this respect is to contribute to the togetherness of Ondo State people despite the similarity in religion, economic value differences, traditional and cultural differences also re-introduction of the Arts back in school curriculums, also developing youth empowerment programmes with a focus on cultural reconstruction.
“The Ondo State Arts and Cultural festival Titles: (Ondofest), that festival will work in concert to market the creative genius of the Ondo State people both their mind and spirit, with the communal character and their personality. “This will be achieved by harnessing and assembling the best and brightest creative minds in Ondo State Festivals are not only for entertainment but are for the artistic manifestation of peoples values, collective personality, cultural creativity and ultimately, their aspiration and vision of a higher level of life.”
Speaking with Saturday Telegraph about the event, Oshodi said art was not just art for art’s sake but as a creative cultural production of a people’s common history, common lifestyles and their common and collective aspiration for a higher form of life and humanity. For the next 10 years, Oshodi said the state would build on the notion that 2018-2027 is the United Nations sanctioned, International Decade for Nigeria people, the Congress of African People in collaboration with the Friends of African Union would advance the notion of an Annual Global Pan African Festival Tour which will showcase the breath and expansiveness of Ondo State people and Diaspora creative productive capacity with an emphasis on sustainability.
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