Nigeria’s cultural tourism community has witnessed its first successful post COVID-19 new normal engagement with a drive-in artistic experience.
The event which held in Abuja, recently, was with very tight security, social distancing and a must-wear mask protocols, ushered in selected car owners strategically connected to a special programme frequency for sound, dedicated pavilions and over 40 visitors’ convenience.
The well illuminated and decorated open theatre stand was centralised and visible from all directions and angles, with the thespians observing the approved protocols, with the Abuja hotel staff serving guests with snacks and beverages at intervals and fully following the established hygiene protocols.
The drive-in engagement which was put together by Director-General of the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Segun Runsewe, was beamed on Zoom, Instagram, Facebook and other social media page accounts, the presence and on the spot coverage by notable Nigerian television stations added to the glamorous experiment.
With Runsewe’s post COVID-19 creative offensive efforts, the drive-in open theatre was geared towards perfecting the upcoming National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST) slated for Jos in October.
With the digital interaction attracting over 18 countries, with ambassadors of Trinidad and Tobago, venuzuela, India, Pakistan and China, the template for Nigeria’s come back to life post-COVID was on showcase.
Added to the live theatre experiment was a clinical driven pre and post fumigation on the event ground and facilities, with special attention paid to the dedicated pavilion for the photojournalists and television camera personnel.
Runsewe, expressed happiness at the encouraging presence of Nigerians and culture enthusiasts who graced the occasion, adding that Nigeria has once again made statements that life has returned in the country post-COVID-19.
“We are a big country and we shall continue to prepare and not relax. COVID-19 may have impacted on the cultural tourism businesses worldwide but in Nigeria, we are back on the beat, we are going to overcome challenges and put the right foot forward.
“A country with 36 states and federal capital, ready to come together in a cultural show of force slated for Jos in October, cannot take anything for granted,” he explained.
On the showcase of the iconic culture and tourism destinations in Nigeria, the DG of NCAC stated that the effort powered at the end of each performance is to add value to the business of promoting Nigeria and her people.
“Each performance comes up at the end with dedicated video playback of selected destinations and iconic cultural offerings to spice additional information about any state on showcase.
“We also got the Nigerian media backing because we understand the reach and usefulness of keeping the government and people informed of how ready we are in this whole process.”
Chairman, House Committee on Culture, Hon. Ogbeide Ihama, congratulated Runsewe on the frontal drive-in effort, noting that NCAC has more than justified its corporate relevance and contributions to the advancement of Nigerian cultural tourism beyond COVID-19.