Victor Olaiya supports planned commemoration of FESTAC ’77 @ 40

Legendary musician, Victor Olaiya, has given his support to plans by the Centre for Black Arts and African Civilisation to commemorate 40 years after FESTAC”77 was hosted by Nigeria.

He tasked CBAAC to ensure full participation of African musicians in the forthcoming celebration.

Olaiya gave the support when the Director-General of CBAAC, Dr. Ferdinand Anikwe, led other management staff on a courtesy visit to the musician at his Lagos residence on Thursday.

He said he was not happy that Nigerian musicians were not allowed to interact with other African musicians during FESTAC ’77.

Olaiya appealed to CBAAC, which is the organization planning to commemorate four decades of FESTAC ’77 to ensure that all African musicians were given special opportunities to perform together to foster peace on the continent.

He said that CBAAC should endeavour to carry along in o its programme all African musicians that participated in f FESTAC ’77 and are still alive in its planning and performance to make it a huge success.

Olaiya said: “I am glad to hear that FESTAC is 40 years already, I wish you well in the planning and I want you to engage musicians that performed then like me and the younger ones.

“It was a memorable cultural event, my band featured prominently there and I made reasonable sales, but we were restricted from mingling with musicians from other countries.

“But the joy of it all was that our music was well appreciated by everyone, even up till now.

“I worked tirelessly with other musicians then to make the event a memorable and successful one, we give glory to God that the memories still linger on and we will continue to talk about it.”

Olaiya charged budding Nigerian artists to come up with positive musical contents capable of ministering to the souls and passing across positive morals.

He said: “Though the youths love the kind of music that is trending now, but we as parents must keep directing the young ones on the path to tread so as to be successful.”

Anikwe said the centre deemed it important to engage some musicians who took part in the FESTAC ’77 celebration, of which Olaiya was one, in its FESTACC ’77 @40 activities.

He said Olaiya’s contributions toward the success of the event then were significant and enormous.

Anikwe said: “We have come to draw inspiration from a musical icon like Victor Olaiya, we have heard from him and from Victor Uwaifor.

“We will still go and see Ebenezer Obey, Paulson Kalu, Sunny Ade, Mike Ejeagha and more.

“We want to commemorate the world most famous cultural event which will encompass the entire world, not only Africans, so we need to draw inspirations from respected stakeholders on how we can make it a huge success.

“Coming to you sir, is fundamental to celebrating 40th anniversary of FESTAC ’77, we have heard from you and we promise to adhere to your fatherly advice.”

Anikwe said that the celebration would commence by November.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Nigeria hosted the second All African Festival of Arts and Culture popularly called FESTAC’77 during the military regime of the then General Olusegun Obasanjo in 1977.

The popular National Theatre and FESTAC Town were built and inaugurated then for the show.

While the National Theatre served as the event centre, the delegates from various countries across the world that attended the festival were accommodated in FESTAC town.


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