Runsewe expands AFAC beyond continental crafts market

Otunba Runsewe

The Director General, National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Otunba Segun Runsewe, has upgraded the status of the regional arts and crafts expo, popularly known as AFAC. The DG stated that the market shall henceforth be called International Arts and Crafts Expo.
The idea, he stated, was to accommodate prospective participants and exhibiters beyond the shores of Africa. He also changed the time of the year the expo holds. Although he is yet to come up with the time of the year, he, however, noted that AFAC would no longer hold during the raining season.  
According to Runsewe, the expo would subsequently hold during the early months of year when the weather is favourable. Since AFAC made its debut in 2008, the expo has held during the rainy season between the months of July and September. It was also on record that activities during the expo have always been interrupted by heavy downpour, with the result that the unfavourable weather was partly blamed for the poor sales usually recorded in previous editions.
Runsewe made the disclosure last week, when he hosted cultural ambassadors of various embassies to a dinner in preparation for this year’s AFAC, which kicks off August 27 in Abuja. Among the countries represented at the event are Russia, Japan, Brazil, Austria, Cuba and Mali. Others are Spain, Morocco, Uganda, China, Ethiopia, Sudan, Chad and Kenya.
While welcoming his guests, Runsewe stated that the invitation was to build a cultural network between the countries represented and Nigeria, and to share bonds of friendship among them. He also took time to highlight Nigeria’s rich culture, which he said was the pride and heritage of the people.  
The D.G, while commending those that have already indicated interest to participate in this year’s expo, urged others to take a cue and be part of subsequent editions. He later entertained them to Nigerian indigenous cuisines and music, while presenting them with locally made suvenniers. This year’s AFAC holds between August 27 and September 19, at NCAC permanent site, known as Arts and Crafts Village.

When Runsewe assumed office in March this year as NCAC boss, he had assured the art community that he would change the game by giving the sector the prominence it deserves. A few months after, it appeared the narrative is beginning to change as he has exhibited the desire to indeed change the usual apathy that has relegated the sector over time.  

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AFACOtunba Segun Runsewe
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