The stage is, no doubt, for the Afrika Peace Festival Of Arts and Culture (APFAC) scheduled to hold this year in the US, in June, the organisers of the culture feast have assured that festival will promote arts and culture but also foster socio-economic, political and intellectual development of Pan African youths. An initiative of United States of Afrika Peace Festival Of Arts and Culture, APFAC was conceived in 2013 as a 501c nonprofit, non-partisan global dynamic networking think thank group of high level Pan African leaders across the globe with a clearly defined goals centered on developing their communities and fostering strong bi-lateral economic relationships between their communities and the rest of the world. The organisation is also made up of a group of professionals of African descent; choreographers, dancers, artistes, culture icons, bankers and others.
To announce the hosting of the event in US this year in June, APFAC in collaboration with Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture and Access bank PLC, held a cultural feast and press conference at the Glover Hall, Lagos. The event, which gave insight into what to expect when APFAC holds in June this year, was marked with dance-drama, musical performances as well as drums ensenble.
The event was compered by celebrated artist, playright and actor, Otunba Mufu Onifade, and veteran actress, Tina Mba, and featured performance by the acclaimed Crown Troupe of Africa, whose dance-drama interrogated Nigeria’s socio-polical trajectory, beginning from the period of Amalgamation in 1914, to the independene and to the present state of affairs. It depicted, in brilliant satirical theatrical presentation, the story a country still struggling to find its feet even at 61, despite the immense human and natural resources.
There was also special showing of ‘ITAN’ The Story’, a play written and directed by Ayo Jaiyesimi,as well as musical presentation by The Oghene Boys, and Atilogwu Dance Troupe. Highlight of the event was a also a performance by a rap artist, Dizzy Mbata. Earlier in her welcome address, Princess Moradeun Ogunlana, who is founder and CEO of African Women’s Health Project In’t (AWHPI) Global Foundation, USA, said that Afrika Peace Festival of Arts and Culture is an initiative of United States of Afrika Peace Festival of Arts and Culture conceived in 2013 and officially registered with the State of Georgia in 2019, adding that one of the pre-eminent objectives of APFAC is to consistently celebrate whatever strides that have been achieved in the march of Pan-African towards sustainable accomplishments by the presence of the annual global Peace Awards, to serve as vehicle and motivation for youths to continue to progress satisfactorily on all fronts on the global terrain.
According to her, other objectives of APFAC are: to establish a well-organised, well-resourced and properly promoted Afrika Peace Festival of Arts and Culture; use the festival as a catalyst for social and economic advancement of Pan-Africanism; provide an opportunity and as platform for Pan-African youths to express themselves to the local and the international media and the general public in the manner that will make them of their past and prepare them towards a greater and better future as a people with common heritage; create cohesion between the Art industry, Government and Private Sectors, harmonizing tribes, cultures and languages.
The event, she further stated, is also aimed at fostering social and economic advancement of Pan-Africanism, adding that “proceeds from the festivals will be put towards sustainable community programmes for African communities home and abroad. In his presentation titled, ‘The Challenges and Opportunities of a Pan-African Art and Culture, renowned theatre scholar and Chairman Festival Planning Committee, Dr. Tunde Awosanmi, averred that “a people’s composite wealth is preconditioned by development. Among continents with pronounced territories of developmental angst, Africa’s perceptibility has earned it many intriguing pejorative sobriquets among which are ‘late development’ , ‘arrested development’.
“While this is indexical of colonialism’s hangover, it equally makes new models of developmental advocacy such as tour-preneurship imperative. Africa as a continent is eminently in desperate need of this kind of intervention legacy which APFAC is desirous of bequeathing to the continent. Art/culture/tourism as inter-related, joint and composite concepts, ideas and practices, are ‘soft peace research’ approaches with development as the cardinal philosophy.”