Tourists and guests drawn from different parts of Nigeria and neighbouring countries, at the weekend, stormed Benin City, the Edo State capital, for the 2019 National Festival for Arts and Culture (NAFEST), which kicked off on Saturday and will run till October 26 in the state.
Different parts of the Benin City, are adorned with bright colours and the landmark cultural artworks glisten with the zest and fever that has heralded the hosting of the festival.
A cross section of tourists, who spoke with journalists, observed the new life the festival has taken with the different activities lined up for the festival, which coincides with the 3rd coronation anniversary of the Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpokpolo, the Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II.
One of the tourists, Mr. Samuel Ikemefuna, said the early feelers from the Local Organising Committee (LOC) portray a well-planned programme of events, noting that the venues for the different activities are as historic as they are captivating.
According to him, “The Edo State Government has done a lot to make this event quite pleasuring, from what I can see so far. I believe this is going to be one of the best NAFEST I will be attending. The Oba Akenzua Cultural Center is very colourful. My visit to Igun Street was also eye-opening. It takes us back to the golden age of Nigerian arts, as the intricacies of the popular Benin Bronzes.”
Mr. Olu Ilesanmi, a tourist, from Ogun State, said the city is bustling with a lot of energy as the 2019 NAFEST has a whole lot of innovations that make it stand out.
“I am looking forward to the royal touch for this year’s festival. The Benin Kingdom occupies a special spot in the history of Nigerian art and culture and it is nice to be a witness of this momentous art festival.”