‘FESTAC@ 40’ to address negative messages in contemporary Nigerian music

The commemoration of 40 years of Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC ‘77) will be used to address conveyance of...

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The commemoration of 40 years of Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC ‘77) will be used to address conveyance of negative messages by some Nigerian musicians and dancers, an official has said.

Director-General, Centre for Black Arts and African Civilisation (CBAAC), organisers of the celebration, Dr Ferdinand Anikwe, have assured in Lagos.

FESTAC held between May and September 1977 is also known as FESTAC’77 reaches the 40th year milestone in May this year.

The Commemoration is expected to last from this May and end in November.

Anikwe said that the 40 years anniversary celebration would be used to revive preaching of morals and national unity and progress through music as done by old high life music tunes and dances, even as he noted that legendary Nigerian musicians such as King Sunny Ade, Victor Olaiya, the late Celestine Ukwu, the late Osita Osadabe, Ebenezer Obey and Paulson Kalu propagated messages of honesty, hope, peace and unity.

According to him, music by Mike Ejeagha, the late Sunny Okosun, the late Fela Anikulapo-Kuti and some others also preached morals.

According to Anikwe, the works of these legendary musicians would be focused on at the celebration, adding that these artistes as well as their works promoted Nigeria’s culture, unity and progress contrary to nowadays music which conveyed little or no desirable messages.

Anikwe said that reorientation programmes would be held to sensitise musicians to the need to convey positive messages through their works.

“We intend to appreciate the legendary musicians and their music, and use them as examples for younger artistes so that we can have an organised environment and sound minds.

“Some of these legendary musicians and dancers will be made to urge younger musicians to promote African cultural heritage through their music and consolidate on what their predecessors put down,’’ he said.

Anikwe noted that the rolling out of 40 African drums at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library on the March 3 marked the beginning of the FESTAC’77@40 celebration.

He urged Nigerians to participate fully in the celebration and gain moral instructions as well as benefit from associated huge business transactions.

“There will be arts and crafts exhibitions, concerts and all manner of social, cultural and economic activities,’’ he said.

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