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At brand ambassador unveiling, Falana calls for appreciation of Nigerian culture

Founder of Nike Art Gallery and member of ANF Board of Directors, Nike Okundaye; Chairman, ANF Board of Directors, Femi Falana (SAN); MBGN Tourism and ANF Ambassador, Danielle Hafsat Jatto and Founder, ANF, Kupa Victory at the unveiling of the brand ambassador in Lagos<br />

The identity of any society is its culture. It signifies the people’s lifestyle and the central concept of a range of ideas, customs and social behaviour.

This is why the All Nigeria Festival (ANF), an initiative designed to promote the rich culture of Nigeria, has unveiled its brand ambassador for 2019.

Dianiella Jatto, the 2018/2019 MBGN Tourism queen, was chosen based on her intellectual and creative mindset to further promote Nigeria as not just a country, but a brand.

The unveiling, which held at the Nike Art Gallery, Lekki, Lagos, was graced by a host of high profile personalities including, the human rights activist, Femi Falana (SAN).

In his remark, Falana,who was chairman of the occasion, said the ANF is an initiative designed to promote Nigeria’s rich cultural background that is rarely recognised by government.

“Every Nigerian has suffered from one form of colonial mentality or the other in the name of civilisation. We speak English to our children despite being taught local languages by our own parents, because we believe that is what it means to be civilised. If care is not taken, our languages are going to be extinct. In other part of the world, people speak their native languages to their children, but for us in Nigeria, especially the elite, we believe that foreign language is the way to go if you must be recognised or seen as civilised.”

He added, “students are penalised for speaking indigenous languages in secondary schools; they are told it is primitive to speak our native language. Even most of us have abandoned our native names for foreign import and in order to justify these imported names, they make it an appendage of religion, calling it Christian name or Muslim name.

Even foreign currencies are better appreciated than our own currency, you are supposed to transact all businesses within the country in Naira and Kobo but now the economy is fully dollarised, the rich pay school fees in Nigeria in dollars, they call them America International School or British America, but the fact is, since they are here, they are supposed to transact in Naira and Kobo. Some even pay rent in dollars in Ikoyi and some other places on the Island. These practices are illegal under our laws.”

According to him, “despite being a free country, we now voluntarily send ourselves to slavery. Our country has been ruined; youngmen and women go through all sorts of abnormalities in the Mediterranean just to leave Nigeria. Men are proud to send their wives and daughters abroad to have citizen children in order to guarantee their future, because they do not see anything pleasant for their children here. So, the ANF is about sensitising our country, system, and people to believe in our food, music, fashion, dances and entire cultural life.”

Falana who further admonished Nigerians and the media to encourage and promote the Nigerian culture, noted: “It is high time we taught our children to be proud of Nigeria’s indigenous languages. Our parents spoke these indigenous languages to us, but today we have discarded them and many children do not understand a word from their indigenous languages, we must have a change of policy. We must also get our religious group to appreciate our culture and the names. They must know that they are destroying our culture by asking believers to drop the names of their parents for religious import it is against our culture.”

Founder of ANF, Kupa Victory, said the 2019 exhibition, which holds from April 12 to 14, at the Muri Okunola Park, Victoria Island, Lagos would showcase hundred per cent Nigeria lifestyle and livelihood ranging from food, fashion, art, music and others.

“ANF is an exhibition festival initiated to promote Nigerian tourism and will generate revenue for the country, which will automatically increase the country’s GDP, as people will be coming from all over the world. The Chairman of House Committee on Culture and Tourism, Hon. Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama endorsed ANF as a national event and we are in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Federation Tourism Association of Nigeria, Fashion Designers Association of Nigeria, Nigerian Society of Artist, The Food Society of Nigeria, DSTV and GOTV and all the TV and Radio stations,” he said.

Victory also commended the Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode for his immense support for the upcoming festival.

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