Igbo in America to use Festival to articulate agenda
Igbo in the Americas, under the aegis of Council of Igbo States in America (CISA) rose from their 2017 annual Festival of Arts and Culture, held recently at Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton, Virginia, U.S., and stressed the need for its members and the rest of Ndiigbo to reaffirm the use of the festival to articulate a framework for ‘Igbo Agenda.’
It was also agreed that the festival should serve as avenue to invest in Igbo arts, language, culture and traditions so as to build stronger communities. It was noted that doing so would ensure capacity building as well as enhance regional economic integration between South-South and South-Eastern Nigeria. Organisers tagged it a win-win “think home philosophy” and a diaspora engagement initiative that has always been the cornerstone for the successes of all developing countries from time immemorial.
Another feedback from the event, according to the participants, who came from across the globe, “was the recurring show of gratitude to the organisers on their efforts at using the annual outing to rewrite the age-old narratives of the contributions of over five million Igbo from the 1600s on the landscape of today’s Americas.”
According to the communiqué issued after the three-day event, which The Guardian obtained, “what was also profound on the reviews we received was the need to continue to improve standards on the ways we operate our business – from our adhering to ‘time’ allotment on the programme and adherence to the agenda on programme magazine”.
To that effect, CISA stated that it would up the ante and prioritise and streamline the standards, recognising that building the CISA of tomorrow requires new priorities and coordinated efforts that are based on alignments and realignments for higher standards and accountability to its world-wide audience.
The event, which had in attendance the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, and other notable Igbo leaders and traditional rulers, featured interactions, cultural performances, exhibitions of Igbo Masquerades, arts, traditional cuisines, cultural dresses, the presence of ‘Ada Igbo’ from the South-South, South-East Igbo language – Abia, Anambra, Anioma-Delta, Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo, Rivers States and the crowning of Miss Ada Chinwendu Alozie, as winner of Miss Igbo USA 2017 pageant.
Chairman of the festival organising committee, Mr. Chudi Asidianya, said the event was an appropriate reminder of collective efforts of the entire Council of Igbo Speaking States members that promote the true meaning of strength in unity, a symbol of Ndiigbo working together with clarity of purpose in reaching common goal.
“We hope that this communiqué will form that term of reference from which we, as an organisation, can engender continued collaboration, recommendations and action plans that may assist us with better ways to serve our world-wide audience moving forward. Therefore, because this is human activity, as we plan for the 2018 festival, we will continue to perform post mortem that will help us with information on how best to retain what we did right and to improve on what we need to improve on.”
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