By Osa Amadi, Arts Editor 

It was one of the landmark achievements of the National Council for Arts & Culture on the eve of Nigeria’s 61st independence anniversary, September 30, 2021, when the council, led by Otunba Segun Runsewe received President Muhammadu Buhari accompanied by the Vice-President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, Speaker of House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila and other top Federal Government officials who came to inspect the gigantic Nigerian cultural exhibition mounted by NCAC at the Presidential Villa to mark Nigeria at 61.

The President, the Vice President and their entourage could not conceal their measured excitements as they meandered through the expansive exhibition hall at the Presidential Villa, admiring the Nigerian culture, creatively reproduced in an installation art capturing all the geo-political zones of the country.

Six African huts made with bamboos, straws and other cultural materials were installed in the exhibition hall. In front of the huts were arranged traditional seats drums of different sizes some of which are taller than humans, calabashes, earthen pots, different sculptured objects, traditional stools and thrones, foot mats, traditional tables and side stools, colorful traditional clothes, hand fans made of animal skins and feathers, beads of different sizes and a number of scenic natural landmarks such as the Zuma Rock recreated with synthetic materials and installed in the exhibition hall.

It was indeed a breathtaking sight, complemented by perfect lightening of different colours and intensities which created multiple ambiences fit for any mood.

Inside the African huts, African delicacies were served – from Ofe Owerri to Tuwo shinkafi, Amala, pounded yam, Edikaikong soup and efo riro. The traditional Nigerian menu also contained different types of drinks to wash the foods down!

Traditional music and dances across the country, performed before, during and after President Buhari’s tour of the installation, completed the Nigeria at 61 package mounted by National Council for Arts & Culture, led by the indomitable Otunba Segun Runsewe who has promised to unite Nigeria with culture.  

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