Black Heritage Festival To Become Bigger
...Says Fashola as 7-Day Festival comes to a Colourful Close
Apr 9, 2010 - Seven days of brilliant display of the rich African ancestry through art, dance, plays, films, poetry, prose and drama came to a colourful close on Friday in Badagry as the 3RD Lagos Black Heritage Festival climaxed with Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) assuring that the festival will continue to get bigger with each passing year.
Governor Fashola who spoke at the Marina Beach in Badagry, one of the famous slave transit points during the dark days, said the State Government would support a huge festival that would signal the rebirth of so many things.
The Governor was certain that the State Government would also ensure a preservation of all the vestiges and artifacts of the slave trade in Badagry which is not only a land of history but the famous land where much of black history is held and locked up.
He added that the Marina Beach which used to serve as a famous slave transfer point would be preserved with all the famous tools of the era of man’s inhumanity to man because of its historical significance and turned into a major tourists attraction site.
Governor Fashola recalled that the slave trade era essentially symbolizes man’s inhumanity to man explaining that the Beach of Marina in Badagry which served a few centuries ago as the point of no return for far too many of African brothers and sisters would now become a triumphant return of the long gone relatives from the Caribbean and the Americas.
He noted that at this stage in the world the fortune of the global community will depend on Africa while that of the African Continent would be determined by what Nigeria does while Lagos is central when the issue of Nigeria is concerned.
Governor Fashola thanked visitors for enjoying a week of tourism with the people of Lagos, assuring the people have not seen anything yet.
He expressed appreciation to everyone connected with the organization of the festival including the Special Consultant to the Festival, Professor Wole Soyinka, members of the Local Organising Committee in Badagry, traditional rulers and the Chairman of the Local Government for a job well done during the preparations for the Black Heritage Festival, adding that he was proud of them.
Said he: “For our tourists, may you not depart from God’s presence. I hope to see you next year to reconnect with your motherland as you return to the land of triumphant return”.
Also speaking at the event, a grandson of a brother to the late American Civil Rights leader, Mr Martin Luther King Jnr, Mr John Mattew- King commended the spirit of linkage between the African Continent and the Diaspora which the Black Heritage Festival has engendered.
He described the experience of his presence at the Black Heritage Festival as a sweet home coming experience for him.
In his closing remarks, Commissioner for Tourism and Inter-Governmental Relations, Senator Tokunboh Afikuyomi expressed appreciation to all those who have made the staging of a spectacular week of cultural regeneration in Lagos possible.
Prominent among those who witnessed the closing ceremony which featured colorful cultural displays and dances were the Deputy Governor, Princess Sarah Adebisi Sosan, members of the State Executive Council, Akran of Badagry, Aholu MenuToyi 1, Chairmen of Local Governments, Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, notable flutist, Tee Mac Itsueli, foreign tourists and residents of the area.