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A 2015 Mandela Washington Fellow, Mr. Kunle Adewale, on Sunday inaugurated an Art in Medicine Fellowship for public health practitioners and professional artists in Lagos.

Eighty five (85) medical professionals including doctors, nurses, and trained caregivers as well as fifteen (15) visual artists were inducted into the yearlong fellowship.

The 100 inductees will hold a series of creative art engagements such as painting, drawing and collaging for children and young adults living with sickle cell anemia, cancer, and mental health conditions.

The sessions will be held for patients in selected hospitals and healthcare centers in Lagos, including the National Sickle Cell Centre, Idi Araba; Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH); and Federal Neuro Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba.

Arts in Medicine project seeks to incorporate the arts into healthcare delivery, with a view to enhancing holistic patient care. The project is funded through a public diplomacy grant from the United States Consulate General in Lagos.

According to Adewale, who doubles as project lead of Tender Arts in Nigeria, the Arts in Medicine initiative will enhance public perception of hospitals as centers for nurturing and healing.

“There is increasing evidence that the display of visual art, especially images of nature, can have positive effects on health outcomes, including shorter length of stay in hospital, increased pain tolerance and decreased anxiety,” he explained.

Speaking at the inauguration of the Arts in Medicine Fellowship, Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Consulate General, Lagos, Ms. Darcy Zotter, expressed optimism that the initiative will go a long way in improving the quality of lives of the participating patients.

“The Arts in Medicine initiative is yet another example of projects that support U.S. Mission Nigeria’s goals. The U.S. Mission to Nigeria’s Public Affairs Sections make available grant and funding opportunities to carry out projects of this type, which have social impact.

“We are happy to support this project which seeks to transform healthcare service delivery and healing through the arts. Creative arts programs can help patients work towards recovery in an effective and enjoyable way,” Zotter added.

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Art & Culture

LAGOS RELEASES CALENDAR OF ARTS AND CULTURE PROGRAMMES

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The Lagos State Government has released a calendar of over 70 state-sponsored and endorsed arts and culture programmes slated for Y2018 in its bid to garner visibility for tourism-oriented art programmes.

The State’s Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr. Steve Ayorinde in a statement on Thursday, described the calendar as a novel exercise designed to frontload State and privately driven arts, culture and entertainment events that will have positive effects on tourism promotion.

“This is in fulfilment of the State Government promise to announce a yearly calendar of events to guide programming, tourist and visitors’ decision,” he said.

According to Ayorinde, the State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, kick-started the year with his attendance at Ali Baba’s January 1st Comedy concert at Eko Hotel. Other arts and culture events held in January and February 2018 and included in the calendar are Angel and Muse, an art exhibition by a Lagos trained world renowned artist; Eebi; a month-long Indigenous Cultural Festival in Epe; Wazobia FM Carnival as well as the Lagos Marathon amongst others.

The idea of creating a calendar of events for state-sponsored and state-endorsed programmes, he said, is to make event planning, tour bookings and business decisions easier for tour operators and the general public.

He added that the calendar is part of the State’s innovation to project arts, entertainment and leisure benefits inherent in Lagos and makes the state attractive to domestic tourists; business travellers and stop-over passers-by.

The Commissioner said, “The State is forging ahead of expanding the consumption of its tourism products by improving access to tourism information and creating an events guide for the media and tour bloggers”.

Although not exhaustive, the calendar contains many of the indigenous cultural festivals across the state, entertainment events; concerts; visual; performing and fashion and culinary events.

The State is expected to leverage on infrastructural development, regeneration of old and creation of iconic attractions for entertainment, arts and culture enthusiasts to boost economic activities and expand opportunities for job creation during the various events slated on the calendar.

“The administration of Governor Ambode believes that the quantum of cash transactions across the tourism and entertainment value-chain, as tracked in December 2017 when about N50billion was spent on entertainment and leisure alone, is a testimony to the huge economic gain in promoting tourism in Lagos State. This and other economic factors make Lagos one of the most vibrant culturally significant cities in Africa with potentials to make enormous impact in driving in-bound tourists from across the globe,” Ayorinde said.

Major events listed in the calendar include Gidi Fest, Lagos Water Regatta and Fanti Carnival around the Easter Period; the International Jazz Day celebration on April 30 which will be dedicated to the South-African Jazz legend, Huge Masekela; the Lagos Comedy Festival on May 6 and the Eko Art Expo at the last weekend in May.

June will be rich with the first ever Lagos Golf Funfair and the Lagos Cinefest, which is designed to take cinema-going experience to all the five divisions of the State.

The Lagos Festival of Plays is a major highlight in the third quarter of the year; so is the Lagos Fishing Festival (Oshoroko) in Ibeju-Lekki; Akwaaba Travel Market and Faaji Agba – a special concert for the elderly to mark World Elders Day.

October to December will be the most intense period on the calendar with Olokun Festival; MUSON Festival; AFRIMA, AFRIFF; Kayo-Kayo Festival in Epe; the Lagos Luxury Summit/Fair; Felabration; Lagos Books & Arts Festival (LABAF) as well as the One Lagos Fiesta.

“The State is grateful to corporate sponsors who will make many of these events happen. Our aim is to use the calendar and other strategic initiatives to enrich the entertainment and cultural content to drive tourism promotion in this mega city,” Ayorinde said.

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Art & Culture

Ile-Ife ‘To Become’ The Biggest Tourist Destination In Africa

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Ile-Ife, the ancestral home of Yoruba descendants, is set to be transformed into a world heritage city, according to the promoters of a project in that regard.

The promoters led by The Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty, Ooni Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ojaja ll, and Almajdal Limited, an international business conglomerate, said the project involves the transformation of the ancient city into “the biggest tourist destination in Africa”.

Wali Kutrub, executive director of Almajadal Limited, said when completed, the project would also stir “immense wealth and job creation and an economic bang.”

He also quoted the ooni of Ife, as saying the project involves “re-construction and beautification of ancient sites, greenery of the city centers, redesign of the city main boulevard, outskirts and other legacy projects in line with the idea to create the necessary impetus for Ile-Ife and Yoruba cultural renaissance”.

He added that the project would also enhance research-based and knowledge-driven economy in Nigeria “with the south-west as the peg.”

The statement read: “We are set for a legacy project that will uplift one of the oldest cities in the world and put it on the global tourist map.

“It involves rebuilding the over 200 historical and archeological sites dating back to the 8th century, construction of the Yoruba museum of natural history, and the Yoruba ancient war museum, the rebuilding of the burial place of Oduduwa, the first ooni of Ife who died around late 9th century, the Garden of Saints for late oonis, the provision of gardens, botanical gardens and fountains across the city.”

He also said the group engineering the cause of the project would collaborate with Tropical Green City Foundation based in Lagos, and that the project is expected to employ the services of “thousands of artisans and create a job boom in the Ile-Ife axis and the entire South West region.”

“Nigeria is about to tap this immense resources beginning with the Ile-Ife project. About 1 million tree species sourced from all over the world will be planted at Ile-Ife in a bid to create a green revolution while rare species of plants and animals will be conserved,” Kutrub said.

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Art & Culture

My Mother’s Core Value Prepared Me For Leadership….Ooni of Ife

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The Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty, Ooni Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi (Ojaja 11) recently at Chatham House United Kingdom (UK) said his late mother’s core values of responsibility really prepared him ahead for leadership roles as an individual and traditional ruler.

The Arole Oodua and the spiritual leader of the Yoruba race advised African youths to, as a matter of necessity, imbibe the spirit of responsibility and commitment to positive ideals that can enable them to contribute meaningfully to the development of their society.

Ooni Ogunwusi who spoke at Chatham House, London in UK on “INCLUSIVE GOVERNANCE AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT: THE ROLE OF TRADITIONAL LEADERS” recalled how a bungled errand given him by his late mother actually moulded him for leadership position in life.

“As a child, she would send me on an errands. She once gave me her most valuable dress to iron. I plugged the iron and left to play, hoping to return to do mum’s bidding but the iron had become so hot and I got the dress burnt to the anger of my mother”.

“You will pay dearly for this, I will punish you well so you will know what you have done wrong. That was a dress I was saving in case the King requested to meet me” mother said.

“That Phrase stuck into my brain. She had reserved a dress in case the King requested to meet her. This goes to show the recognition of Kingship and honour earned by a king in our culture.

The foremost African monarch admonished children to obey their elders and parents. He equally charged parents to respect the traditional leaders in society in line with African culture and traditions.

The Co-Chairman of Nigerian Council of Traditional Rulers also stated the involvement of Traditional Institutions in governance for a better tomorrow.

“You cannot separate nature and human beings, we believe traditional leaders and institutions are key in national building human capital development civilization” the monarch added.

“Traditional institutions based on my background is part of natures custodian of heritage and culture. We had ancient means of governance in the Kingdoms”.

“Before governance came into play, traditional rulers were the first to discover different things which later becames forces of civilisation such as: smelt iron, we were the first to weave cotton, this and many more started from the Yoruba race and now used all over the continents tho in an improved format.

Ooni further corroborates his claims saying that, “Antiques/artefacts all over the world made from Africa has shown that civilization started from us.

“Traditional leaders were the forces behind everything we are benefitting today because rulers set that pace in Africa and pioneered before the advent of modern day Government” Hence, Traditional Rulers need to be properly included and blended with modern day government. This arguably, will make a significant change.”

“A nation that intends to grow must uphold the heritage and tradition of that nation, We must not lose touch with our root” heritage and tradition.”

Before the advent of colonialization we had kingdoms across Africa. Colonialists had to go through the traditional leaders.

“Northern and southern protectorate were in 1914 merged to become Nigeria. This had to be done through traditional rulers and several African monarchs were either elected or appointed to serve in government”.

“At the Nigeria’s Independence, Former Ooni of Ife, Sir Adesoji Aderemi was the first Indigenous African Governor. The government across Africa couldn’t do anything without the inclusion traditional leaders in decision making, administration and policy making. That was a beautiful system!”.

“To date, it is commonplace in Nigeria, for most politician vying for pisitions of power to go through the traditional institutions. This system can be properly synchronized and aligned in a fair and civil manner.”

Ooni said Nigeria is at the forefront of leading Africa and urged the government to join hands with the traditional institutions to take that continent out of our current state, saying the continent is the fastest growing population with 70% of its population as youths mainly between the age of 16 – 25, which is an added advantage to our human capital if properly utilized.

He added that Africans should go back to the root.

“Very important to rise-up to that occasion and know that at some point things were running well in Africa when the traditional rulers were at the forefront. Let us blend our tradition and culture in everything we do today”.

“Asia is still holding on to their heritage and culture. Africa should not lose theirs. We need to know the roles of culture and this is achievable by involving our tradition rulers in the day to day running of our system in Africa”

“Africa has lost its roots. We must learn to project the continent as positive!” The monarch exclaimed.

“You must know your history, in order to know where you’re going, which is your future.”

Signed ;
Comrade Moses Olafare,
Director, Media & Public Affairs,
Ooni’s Palace.

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