China Cultural Centre Fetes African Women

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Olawale Ajimotokan

The cultural heritage of China and African nations were displayed at a colourful event organised by the China Cultural Centre, Abuja, in commemoration of the 2018 International Women Day Celebration.

The vibrant gathering to showcase fashion, culture, creativity, gourmet and diversity was tagged ‘Women in Culture 2018’. It was hosted by the Deputy Director of China Cultural Centre in Abuja, Jia Xiaolong.

The centre was established in March 2012. It is the second of its kind in sub-Saharan Africa and the 14th overseas cultural centre established by China’s government.

Women from many African countries including Nigeria, Ethiopia, South Africa, Ghana and Kenya wowed the audience with a colourful fashion show and catwalk on the runway, where the different costumes of their nations were exhibited.
They were joined by a Chinese Troupe, which displayed the exciting cultural heritage of
South East Asian country and the FCT Social Development Centre Dance Troupe, who presented the Unity Dance.
In addition, makeup artist, Oghome Emebo, held a demonstration on how to tie head wrapper, which is a strong part of the Nigerian cultural identity. Some the creations Emebo exhibited included Double Gele, All Back and the signature Take a Bow.

Jia told THISDAY the show was organised to enable women to communicate with each other and have a greater understanding of each other culture, the countries and the people.
She said the event gave the participants experiences they will take time to forget and which the organisers can draw from in the subsequent editions

“Through this event, we learn the variegated cultures of the African countries. The fashion show provided the women a window to showcase their individual creativity and the diversity of different countries, in terms of culture and indigenous foods.

This is a takeaway experience because as a Chinese, by tasting the food cooked by the women, I already have an idea of their culture, the people and what they do. That is what I want this event to be about in the future,” Jia, also known as Linda said.

Adis Okolie, an artist with the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAS), said both China and Nigeria share similarities in the arts especially in the fusion of colours.

“Most Chinese artists associate with the red colour, which generically is a very important part of the Chinese culture. They also like to don the black colour, which is popular in Nigeria, depending on the artist. And recently, I have been seeing so much red in Chinese paintings. Red is a very attractive colour and it connotes love in the Chinese culture. Another similarity between the two arts is that Chinese, like Nigerian artists, like to use figures,” Okolie said.

She lauded the outfits displayed at the fashion show, saying she will like the cultural union between Nigeria and China to be built on that outing.