Experts and practitioners in the Tourism, Arts, and Entertainment industry have described the National Festival for Arts and Culture (NAFEST ) as one ready to deliver Nigeria as a must visit tourism and culture destination to the world.
Participants at the weeklong event who spoke to AV1 News say NAFEST as an international festival which brings together the culture and arts of the entire nation into one hub should seen as an opportunity thereby providing multiple experiences for both domestic and international Tourists.
Benjamin Olaye Jnr. an actor and cast in the ‘Enakhe Movie Series’ said NAFEST is not just an event that brings together in one venue Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage, but as well an avenue for business opportunities and networking.
‘ I have been attending NAFEST since 2009, I am here to explore culture and see what we can offer to the world. Lagos state Government and the National Council for Arts and Culture have done extremely well in ensuring the success of this event. ‘’
According to him, the various competitions featured in the event is one that most of the contingents from across the nation look forward to.
‘’’Edo state will be participating in ‘Ayo’ completion which we call ‘Ogidi’ in Benin. We are looking forward to going back home with a win in at least two or three of the competitions’.
This year’s festival features drama competition, ‘Ayo’, Archery, Fashion show, Cuisine, music and dance competition with prize gifts for winners.
The Actor who starred as Archie in the ‘Enakhe’ series also described the event as one that not only provides business opportunities in the Industry, but as well creates synergy for friendship between ethnic groups in the country.
Inno Moses Jonah a Nollywood Film director and Producer described NAFEST as a must attend event, having participated as an associate producer of the Command performance for the event when it was hosted by Edo state in 2019. According to him, the event showcases talents which can be discovered by producers like himself.
‘ I like the concept, I like the artistic display of culture, display of talent. I like the feel of the environment. And I couldn’t have expected any less from Lagos state. You know Lagos state, anything that happens here comes out top notch.
According to the Film Producer, attending this year’s edition of NAFEST has also given him inspiration for his net project.
‘’I actually came here for a Film Festival as well as NAFEST. I want to go back to Benin and tell people that there is something really beautiful about the concept of Arts especially in Lagos. And watching the ‘Ayo’ competition which we call ‘ogidise’ in Benin has given more inspiration to add to my story.’
President of the Nigerian Tour Operators (NATOP) Ime Udoh also spoke who also spoke with AV1 News described NAFEST as one that not only creates synergy between SMEs and MSMEs as well but also for Tour Operators in the Country to key into these opportunies by creating Tour Packages around the event.
According to her, the National Council for Arts and Culture led by its director General Otunba Runsewe have worked hard over the years, and what we see at every edition of NAFEST are opportunities for the economy as a while.
‘’The event has been beautiful, it’s been so colorful and rich, very informative, very educative, because coming in here in one location, I can see every state. I think we have well over twenty four states here present, and every state is showcasing something unique about itself. That’s a lot of information for me.
‘’As Tour Operators in Nigeria, we want to sell Nigeria as a Tourism destination first within Nigeria because we want to get Nigerians to travel within Nigeria; thereby we are able to create that peaceful co-existence NAFEST is talking about. And secondly, we will be able to sell Nigeria to the outside world, thereby enhancing inbound Tourism.’’
She also urged state governors within the federation on the need to pursue NAFEST hosting rights as it brings with it enormous benefits and economic opportunities for the state.