TEXT OF MEDIA BRIEFING ON THE 2018 EDITION OF SONGS OF NIGERIA FESTIVAL (SONIFES) HELD ON TUESDAY, October 16, 2018 AT SHERATON HOTEL AND TOWERS, IKEJA, LAGOS.
- It is my singular honour to welcome you all, on behalf of Afrocultour Limited, organizers and Seven-Up Bottling Company PLC, Official Sponsors of SONIFES 2018 respectively, to this year’s SONIFES Media Briefing.
- Perhaps I should start by restating that the Songs of Nigeria Festival (SONIFES) idea was conceived primarily to preserve the uniqueness of Nigerian music by promoting the local content of contemporary Nigerian songs in a world that has since become a global village.
- For us at SONIFES, it is the strong native flavour of our songs that will enable Nigeria’s thriving music industry remain globally competitive in the long run. Remove the native flavor, you would have stripped it of its intrinsic value and left it vulnerable to undue western influence.
- As it’s customary with us, we would like to pay tribute to the pioneer president and vice president of SONIFES respectively, His Excellency, late Chief (Amb) Segun Olusola OFR and Nigeria’s Lady of Songs, Chief (Mrs) Christy Essien-Igbokwe MFR.
- Our sincere gratitude also goes to past presidents late Alhaji (Dr) Maitama Sule CFR, Prof. Emmanuel Dandaura, Gen. IBM Haruna OFR as well as Prof. Ahmend Yerima and Malam Yakubu Ibn Mohammed who selflessly functioned as Chairman of the Advisory Board and National Coordinator for the maiden edition of the festival in 2009. We will also remain eternally grateful to Messrs Ejike Asiegbu, Oristz Wiliki and Tee Mac Omotsola Itseli for their invaluable roles as Executive Directors of SONIFES 2009.
- That said, we are pleased to respectfully invite you to the 2018 edition of Songs of Nigeria Festival (SONIFES) which has been scheduled for 5:00pm on Thursday, November 29, 2018 at the Shehu Yar’ Adua Centre, Abuja with the theme: “HARNESSING THE BEAUTY OF OUR DIVERSITY”.
- The theme for this year’s edition – HARNESSING THE BEAUTY OF OUR DIVERSITY – captures the essence of the festival.
- We believe that at a time like this, all patriotic Nigerians – individuals, groups and corporate citizens have a duty to deploy ball tools and platforms available to them for the urgent task of national healing, by optimizing the abundant benefits of our diversity.
- With SONIFES 2018, we aspire to sensitize the public on the need for non-state actors to effectively complement Federal Government’s efforts at stabilizing the nation; for it has become obvious that we cannot continue to ENFORCE national unity. A more desirable, more rewarding option is for us to begin to PROMOTE (as against ENFORCE) national unity. And this can only happen when we see, appreciate and harness the beauty of our diversity. Thankfully, music is that waiting vehicle that will take us to our destination.
- Consistent with the SONIFES tradition of functionality, this year’s edition is designed primarily to promote Nigerians’ diverse cultural heritage, Unity-in-Diversity and peaceful co-existence by means of creative deployment of art forms such as music, drama, dance-drama and a cocktail of other cultural performances, as well as rally a broad spectrum of the Nigerian public to the historic task of birthing a new Nigeria.
- The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha, is the Keynote Speaker and he will be speaking on the topic “THE IMPERATIVE OF HARNESSING THE BEAUTY OF OUR DIVERSITY” whilst the Wife of the First Military Head of State of Nigeria, Her Excellency, Lady (Dr.) Victoria Aguiyi-Ironsi shall preside at the historic event.
- In furtherance of our commitment to promoting Nigeria’s Unity-in-Diversity, this year’s festival will be offering Nigerians a variety of cultural performances by National Troupe of Nigeria, Katsina State History and Culture Bureau, Benue Cultural Troupe, NYSC Cultural Troupe, Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) choral group, Nike Art Gallery Cultural Troupe, Military Band, FCT Cultural Troupe and Radio Nigeria Choral Group, among others.
- You are therefore respectfully invited to join Afrocultour Limited and Seven Up Bottling PLC in our shared desire to fully harness the beauty of Nigeria’s diversity through Nigerian songs.
- Thank you for listening and please do look forward to witnessing this year’s unique festival – being lavishly refreshed by 7Up.
Barr. Chuks Akamadu, M.IoD
Executive Secretary, SONIFES