The National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos, literally, came alive last week during an inter-secondary schools debate organised by the Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilisation to mark this year’s International Children’s Day.
It was supposed to be a simple Children’s Day event, but, it turned out to a salad bowl of theatre, poetry, music and, intellectually, stimulating and spirit-enriching outing when, on Tuesday, May 27, the Centre for Blacks and African Arts and Civilisation (CBAAC) hosted a one-day inter-secondary schools debate, with the theme ‘Can Culture Be Used To Fight Corruption?’ to mark this year’s International Children’s Day at the Cinema Hall 1 of the National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos.
The event was to celebrate this year’s Children’s Day and to educate the youngsters on the significance of Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage.
At hand to represent Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, was Mrs. Ayotunde Adesugba, Permanent Secretary in the ministry. Various artistes were also present to thrill the audience with their various performances. As early as 10:30am, the excited students, led by their teachers, had started arrivIMG at the venue.
The event kicked off with a special documentary film which showed the CBAAC Director-General, Dr. Ferdinand Anikwe, interviewing some prominent traditional rulers across the country on how to fight corruption with culture.
If this enlivened the students, the drama sketch by the CBAAC drama group, dance performance by the Dugombas dance troupe, other cultural dance performances, poetry rendition by some students, a performance by Mazi Ajimiri, all added colour to the day.
The high point of the show was the inter-secondary schools debate by representatives of eight schools. The schools included FESTAC Girls Secondary School, Ilogbo Junior High School, Western College, Yaba, Bedrock College Surulere, Queen Esther International School, El-Ginal Group of Schools, Iyana Ipaja.
However, Awodiora Senior Secondary School, Ajegule won the First Prize, and received the trophy that was donated by Oba Abolarin of Ikirun, while Mobalaji Bank Anthony Junior High School, Yaba, won the Second Prize. The third position went to the Christ The Redeemers Secondary School, Gbagada. The performances presented by the students underscored the virtues of hard work, honesty and respect for elders as well as the importance of mother in a family.
In his address, Dr. Anikwe observed that as a foremost pan-African agency, ‘‘CBAAC has been in the vanguard of rekindling the interest of children in black African cultures by organising events of this nature”. Describing the event as a worthy one, he added, “It is our firm belief that for African culture to be at par with the cultures of other races, our children must be made to play their own role in the ever shrinking world of globalisation”.
For Mrs. Adesugba, speaking on behalf of the Minister, introducing cultural knowledge to youngsters would go a long way in solving many problems of the African society and praised CBAAC for organising the event.
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