Abuja International Carnival gets Culture Ministry’s nod

By Tosin Brown

The maiden edition of the Abuja International Carnival will be unveiled in November 2024.

This was revealed in a statement signed by Nneka Ikem Anibeze, SA Media & Publicity to the honourable Minister for Art, Culture and the Creative Economy, Barrister Hannatu Musa Musawa.

According to Anibeze, the ministry, in advanced talks with Yankee Entertainment, is set to unveil the Abuja International Carnival in November 2024.

On Thursday, May 16, both parties met in Abuja to finalize collaboration details and discuss plans for the carnival.

Musawa, during the meeting, said that the Abuja International Carnival is top on the Ministry’s to do events. She expressed optimism for the project, noting its alignment with the Ministry’s goals of promoting cultural diversity and supporting the creative economy.

In her words, “The Abuja International Carnival aims to boost cultural tourism and enhance Nigeria’s international profile. The carnival will also foster national unity, boost international culture promotion, and create economic opportunities for local artists and entrepreneurs.

“It is one of the events we really need to showcase to put the country in the forefront of cultural promotion. We knew that we needed to create something sustainable which would be able to attract not only investments but tourism into our country.

“The former administration had started the Abuja Carnival. Today, we want to continue with it and also make sure that it is given long-term attraction and sustainability, so, I am happy to see how we can work out the modalities of putting this together to finalize collaboration details and discuss plans for the carnival.”

In the same vein, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Yankee Entertainment, Kehinde Adegbite, aka Mallam Yankee presented the vision and objectives of the carnival, highlighting its potential to showcase Nigerian culture and creativity to a global audience.

Mallam Yankee told the Minister that his organization had done previous carnivals including the Ochacho Carnival, Ibeju Lekki Carnival, and Ojodu Carnival among others and assured that the Abuja International Carnival will be the biggest ever.

“Abuja Carnival will be an International Carnival because we intend to bring different people from all over the world including those who are culture and arts-driven. We want to make it bigger than the Calabar Carnival and we assure you that we will shake the world,” Mallam Yankee noted.

In her closing remarks, the Director Entertainment and Creative Economy , Mrs Ugochi Akudo-Nwosu, thanked the Minister for her enthusiasm  and willingness to develop the sector.

“We appreciate your support and passion for the sector. The last Abuja Carnival was in 2016 and funding was an issue. We are good to roll now in 2024 because time is of the essence as we have been absent for a very long time.

“We want to showcase big artists and this is the platform that will showcase the culture and creative content of our people as well as what the ministry is doing in the Art, Culture, and the creative economy”.

According to information available, the carnival will feature a range of activities, including street shows, musical concerts, boat regatta, Durbar, children’s fiesta, and exhibitions.

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