A 26-man Brazilian Carnival Band has arrived Calabar, the Cross River State capital, to participate in Carnival Calabar.
Known as the Vai Vai Samba Band, the Brazilians thrilled a crowd that gathered at the Margaret Ekpo International Airport to welcome them.
Speaking through an interpreter yesterday, the leader of the band, Thobias Da Vai-vai, described the reception as marvelous, noting that Calabar is peaceful.
He said they were happy to be a part of the Carnival Calabar, adding that the Carnival was a practical way of thanking God through joy and party and that they have used that medium as an independent nation to express themselves internationally.
He said they were in Calabar to display Brazilian Samba, which was reputed to be a world class dancing style as well as costumes, which have been explored to promote their nation’s tourism.
DGM of Calabar International Cement Limited COCIC, Adekanye Kemisola, the facilitator of the Brazilian connection, said they were proud to be involved in the tourism programme of the state which would strengthen relationship between Brazil and Nigeria.
According to her, the visit would establish as well as rekindle the long lost relationship between Old Calabar and Portugal that existed between them during the era of slave trade.
She disclosed the decision to facilitate the Brazilian participation was borne out of the fact that Carnival Calabar was expanded in scope.
Chairman Carnival Commission, Mr. Gabe Onah, stated that Carnival Calabar has attained international recognition with the participation of the Brazilian Carnival Band which is globally acclaimed as number one in samba.
Onah thanked the Nigerian Tourism Development Commission (NTDC) and OCIC for their effort in bringing the Brazilian Troupe to the State which is the first time a South American team is visiting Africa.
Special Adviser, Investment Promotion, Mr. Gerald Adah, disclosed that the visit and participation of the Brazilian troupe in Carnival Calabar was made possible by the investor friendly climate in the state as created by the Senator Liyel Imoke led administration.
Adah remarked that such a conducive environment will help promote and stimulate other sectors to attract investors to the state.
He said the visiting Brazilian Samba band has won international competitions 14 times and its presence in the state will boost the content of Carnival Calabar.