COME BACK TO AFRICA FOR THE BLACK HERITAGE FESTIVAL,APRIL 4-11,2010-LAGOS/BADAGARY,NIGERIA!

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from ladybrillanigeria.com

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Lagos prepares for ‘Black Heritage Festival’
By Emmanuel Oladesu Published 3/02/2010 Life Midweek Magazine Rat

For seven days, Lagos State will host the world in April for the historic ‘Black Heritage Festival. The hosts are the people of Badagry Division, the haven of tourism Fin the state. The communities are full of eagerness. The three councils in the area are cooperating with the state government to ensure a hitch-free festival.

Visitors from across the globe will comb the history of horror that made the town memorable. The lamentation of slaves, who passed the town on their way to plantations in distant Europe and America, would be recalled. The return of their descendants to their roots in April will rekindle their attachment to Africa, the most populous African country and largest supplier of the unwilling slaves, and the beauty of the titanic liberation war that shook the universe.

The visitors are expected to pick works of arts and artifacts that gave content to the culture of their forebears before they went into captivity. Many of them will locate the under-development of the Dark Continent in the centuries of disruptions, cultural dislocations, neo-colonialism and lack of reparations.

Governor Babatunde Fashola(SAN) has enumerated the conditions for the success of the third Lagos Black Heritage Festival, urging the royal fathers and people to tap its abundant tourism and economic opportunities.

His Deputy, Princess Sarah Sosan, who is from the division, asked the towns and villages in the three local government area to prepare for the inflow of tourists and visitors from across the federation and abroad into the area.

The commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon. Rotimi Agunsoye, who represented the number one and two citizens at a stakeholders meeting in the ancient town, said the visitors who will live, eat and interact with local folks expect a “To have a meaningful festival, our environment should be clean. Many people will come from far and near. Not long ago, we came here to clear the gutters. The governor and deputy governor who I am representing here asked me to tell our royal fathers, chiefs and community leaders to mobilise people and ensure a clean environment,” he told the people at Badagry Town Hall.

The Special Adviser to Governor Fashola on General Matters, Prince Sunny Ajose, who highlighted the elements of the festival, said the division would savour the economic boom and project the cultural heritage of the towns and villages.

He expressed concern for the disposition of the communities to the notion of hygiene.

“In the past, Badagry was neat, from Seme to Ajegunle. Population explosion has led to an unclean environment. Refuse dumping is a challenge. Instead of dumping refuse at Ilewo, we want LAWMA to create another dumping site near the Badagry area,” he said.

Ajose warned that, if the atmosphere is not conducive for the visitors, they would relocate to Ikoyi and Eko Hotel where they will buy souvenirs, thereby making the people to lose their patronage.

Programmes slated for the festival include symposium, painting competitions, cultural performance, traditional dances, and ‘fitila’ procession.

Ajose said no township festival would be allowed to coincide with the Black Heritage Festival. He enjoined townspeople to preoccupy themselves with the removal of shanties in the neighbourhood so that the towns could wear a new look.

“We want to showcase what we have, including our masquerades. We have tools for slave trade in the Heritage Festival Museum. Black writers have works on slave trade. They will also come to talk about the trade and its implications for us. They will like to visit Iyana Gberesu, the terminal exit route for the slave trade. We have Oduduwa shrine in Ilogbo. We should improve on what we have to be able to get what we want. We want to prepare for all these and record success so that there will be an improvement next year,” added Ajose.

The traditional ruler, Aholu Menu Toyi of Badagry, Oba Babatunde Akran, said the festival is the responsibility of all, urging his subjects to cooperate with the government to ensure its success.

He enjoined the authorities to conduct training sessions for the school pupils who may be useful as tour guides to the visitors during the programme.

‘The visitors will be in our markets. They want to see how we are living .They want to take photographs with us. We should be good hosts’, he added.

The Alabarin of Ikaare, Oba Kayode Akinyemi, said the onus is on the council chairmen in the division to rise to the occasion and embrace their roles towards making the festival a success.

Another royal father alerted the government to the danger of inadequate medical facilities in the local governments. He said the hospitals in the area lack ambulance facilities. He also said, since April falls within the raining season, flooding may mar the festival because the drainages are bad.

Agunsoye said the government has taken note of these challenges and all these facilities would be in place before the commencement of the festival.

The festival which brings to memory the historic pains of forceful separation of kindred holds in Lagos State at a time of intense campaign for greater exploration of tourism, one of the most neglected sectors of the economy. In the days of yore, the ancient town which served as a route for ferrying the black slaves to Europe and America was thrown into monumental panic .It took the earlier generations a long time to erase the terrible experience from their memory. However, the incident has also become a blessing to the town.

Nobel Laureate Prof Wole Soyinka visited Badagry early last month for a meeting with the community leaders and elders on the importance of the carnival and modalities for a successful outcome.

At the weekend meeting presided over by Agunsoye, prominent leaders of Badagry Division took their seats with eagerness. They include Oba Moshood Asafa, Onijanikin of Ijanikin; Oba Oyekan Adekanbi, Alapa of Apa; Oba Olanrewaju Aina, Oloto of Oto; Oba Abedeen Durosinmi, Prince Dele Kosoko, Moses Dosu, Amuda Abidu and Joseph Bamgbose.

Agunsoye congratulated the people for hosting the world for the important event, saying that the division is being immortalised by the focus on it.

“Many years ago, many people suffered for our freedom. Some black men died for us to have today. Badagry is one of the famous routes where our forefathers passed to Europe. It was sad. Now, we are happy. History cannot forget Badagry. That is why we want to discuss how to immortalise the ancient times,” the commissioner said.

He said the governor and deputy governor attach much value to the festival because of its implication for the black community in the world.

The commissioner said they acknowledged the fact that an unclean environment would breed disease, adding that sanitary inspectors would be in the towns to ensure compliance with sanitary rules.

“Our black brothers abroad want to come home to mix with us. But they need a clean environment,” he emphasized.

A LAWMA official told the meeting that: “All households must have dustbins. The PSP will do its work, LAWMA will evacuate the refuse. LAWMA sweepers recruited from Badagry will be on the roads. The ‘street captains’ will distribute refuse nylon to households.”

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2 Responses to “Lagos prepares for ‘Black Heritage Festival’”
kazeem balogun at 18 Feb 2010 2:41:58 PM WAT kazeem balogun Rating: Unrated ( Author/Admin)

said this on 18 Feb 2010 2:41:58 PM WAT
its a welcome development,we shall participate
(Reply to this comment)(Cancel this reply)(Comment Replies Disabled)

EKO1CITY at 19 Mar 2010 8:48:40 PM WAT EKO1CITY Rating: Unr

said this on 19 Mar 2010 8:48:40 PM WAT
Ola Jones Lagos Black Heritage…… nice 1,but, so far i cant connect the vision of the group their objectivity pursuit, pro grammes and strategy I a son of the soil by interest in badagry thus am in total cooperation with any social articulate school of mission that set to project badagry historical value.meanwhile here is an overwhelming challenge, so much is been orchestrated in the median while all the node featuresthat makes the history are not preserve,e.g slave route,harboure,artenuation well and the gbelefu point- of- no- return. etc

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from ladybrillenigeria.com

Home » Events
3rd Annual Lagos Black Heritage Festival 2010
by Ladybrille®Nigeria on March 1, 2010No Comment
3rd Annual Lagos Black Heritage Festival

Place: Badagry Township, Lagos, Badagry

Date: April 4th, 2010

“For over a millennium, African indigenes South of the Sahara have been hunted, bartered, and sold into slavery by European and Arab slavers, often, alas, with the active connivance and participation of Africans themselves. Millions perished even before destination along the Trans-Atlantic route, the Trans-Saharan route, and the Indian Ocean route to Iraq and Persia, now known as Iran.

For centuries, and even till today, many could neither recall nor manifest the slightest interest in their antecedents. By contrast, especially since the latter half of the twentieth century, hundreds of thousands of descendants of the victims of this execrable commerce have embarked on the return journey home – some in search of their true origins, others in the spirit of a symbolic pilgrimage, and yet others to re-claim and re-settle in their ancestral space. Whichever way, for many, this has proved an emotional but fulfilling experience.

It was in fulfillment of this yearning for the healing of dislocated sense of identity that the Lagos State government instituted, with the support of UNESCO, the Black Heritage Festival in the symbolic town of Badagry, one of the more infamous departure points, with surviving landmarks, a Festival that seeks to enshrine the place of Memory in the history of peoples, and to celebrate survival and the resilience of the human will.

The third, 2010 edition of this Festival, appropriately billed as MEMORY AND PERFORMANCE IN THE RETURN TO SOURCE, is planned to raise this awareness to new heights, broaden and deepen the linkage between the African continent and its Diaspora. . .”

Visit Lagos Black Heritage Festival.org for more info.

You might also like:

Abuja Food Festival 2009
Lagos Carnival 2010 – April 3rd-5th, 2010

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from ladybrillenigeria.com

CELEBRATING BLACK HISTORY WITH THE LAGOS BLACK HERITAGE FESTIVAL
Feb 22nd, 2010 | By Ayo Peters | Category: LOCAL GOVERNMENT NEWS, TOURISM DEVELOPMENT
The 17th century will forever remain in the hearts of Africans. This was when its history was taken backwards through a trade that was inimical to its growth – Slave Trade.

The Slave Trade (known as the trans-Atlantic slave trade) started with the exportation of blacks to Europe by Portugal in the 15th century. Other European countries like Spain, Netherlands, Britain, Denmark etc soon followed suit. It was not until the 17th century however that the trade got to North America. It was there that it gained real currency.

Thus, in 1619, a Dutch warship brought the first cargo of twenty blacks to Virginia in the then British colony called New World.
Consequent upon the traffic in blacks, scores of black men and women were separated from their African homes and carried into the New World before the Slave Trade was ended. Although a lot of black men like Olaudah Equiano, Candido da Rocha, Samuel Johnson, Mojola Agbebi and others regained their freedom and found their way back to Nigeria, millions were totally separated from their families.

These Africans were not slaves but were made to work in an environment where they were referred to as slaves. Back in Africa, these men were free and respected farmers and herdsmen, craftsmen skilled in pottery and weaving, wood-carving, and blacksmiths. Some of these Africans brought out of the continent against their will were traders and hunters, musicians and dancers, poets and sculptors. Many were princes and warriors, feudal chiefs, rulers of kingdoms and empires.

These important men of African descent were taken to Europe and the New World through ports marshaled by these European masters. A lot of these slave ports existed in West Africa but some stood out. These were: Goree Island (Senegal), Whydah (Benin Republic), Elmina (Ghana) and Badagry (Nigeria).

The slave port in Badagry was notorious because hordes of Africans were taken through it. Little wonder, this port was dubbed: “Point of no Return.”

One Nigerian who suffered greatly as a result of the slave trade was Gustavus Vassa (Olaudah Equiano). Gustavus Vassa was born in the ancient Benin Kingdom in 1745. He was kidnapped from his family and sold into slavery. He was later sold again to traders and chained on a slave ship bound for America. He passed on to a Virginia planter, and then, to a British naval officer, and finally to a Philadelphia merchant who gave him the chance to buy his freedom. In his autobiography, ‘The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa the African,’ he narrated some of the ordeals he and his fellow African brothers went through on shore to the New World. For instance, a black man was flogged while on deck so unmercifully with a large rope that he died in consequence of it. Olaudah wrote that some of his countrymen were chained together and when they were weary, preferred death to such a life of misery and somehow, “made through the nettings and jumped into sea.”

The narrative by Gustavus Vassa was a fraction of the hardships blacks were made to undergo in the New World and in Europe. Many blacks died as a result of this hardship. Slaves like Nat Turner and John Brown who revolted were murdered in cold blood while one of the most brilliant Americans of the nineteenth century who started his life as a slave on a Maryland plantation, Frederick Douglas, in his autobiography asked: “Why am I a slave? Why are some people slaves and others masters? How did the relation commence? He wrote that he didn’t know he was a slave until he found out he couldn’t do the things he wanted.

Indeed, not having anything to say about the use of your own time and labour is probably what makes you feel bad. This is the absence of freedom. As providence would have it, that is all gone; total history.

Slavery and slave trade have been abolished after series of protests here and there and the great grandsons of former slaves have now become free men in Europe, Caribbean, and North America. These men after careful study, based on the ‘reign of terror’ of the slave port in Badagry, have decided to remember their roots, history, culture, and land of their forebears by celebrating the Lagos Black Heritage Festival.

Logically, Badagry is the preferred host as it is poised to hoist the Third Lagos Black Heritage Festival starting from the 3rd of April, this year.

Badagry, it will be recalled, was the departure route of these ‘slaves’. Once they got to Badagry, they were certain they would not return to their homes.

Today, Badagry still retains a lot of slavery artifacts. This includes one of the largest slave markets – Vlekete slave market – in West Africa. Here, slaves were sold at competitive prices. Hence, most countries that traded in slaves had their forts in Badagry. This included Portugal, Britain, Spain, Brazil, France and the Netherlands.

The Mobee slave relic is another of the artifacts that survived the infamous trade. It is housed by the Mobee family. We also have the Seriki Abbas compound, the Egbado-born businessman, who settled in Badagry and partook greatly of the obnoxious business.

In truth, the Lagos Black Heritage Festival has come to stay. This feat was achieved by the Lagos state government and the United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). According to Emeritus Professor, Wole Soyinka, the third edition of the Black Heritage Festival “seeks to enshrine the place of memory in the history of peoples, and to celebrate survival and the resilience of the human will.”

The third edition, which starts on April 3rd, this year, is tagged: Memory and Performance in the Return to Source, has been planned to broaden and deepen the linkage between the African continent and its Diaspora. In the words of Soyinka, “this will be effected through a focus on the lives and works of three eminent representatives of, and close collaborators in this racial mission… pan-Africanist and cultural activist, Aime Cesaire; prime mover of the Journal Presence Africaine, and the publishing house of that name, Alioune Diop; and statesman, Leopold Sedar Senghor.”

Badagry local government is leaving no stone unturned towards ensuring that Badagry had a hitch-free festival. Accordingly, the local government has ensured its cleaning every day.

Most residents of Badagry are eager to see the D-day. Hon. Husitode Moses Dosu, the executive chairman of Badagry local government says the “Lagos Black Heritage Festival connotes a return to the source.”

Activities lined up for the festival includes a symposium, feature films, documentaries, a book exhibition, contemporary art, theatre, concerts, traditional and modern dances, a boat regatta, a Children’s Heritage Village and African tradition games.
We await this reconnection, revaluation, and revindication.

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Tags: a boat regatta, a Children’s Heritage Village, African tradition games, Alioune Diop prime mover of the Journal Presence Africaine, Badagry Local Government, Badagry Nigeria, book exhibition, Brazil, Britain, Candido da Rocha, concerts, contemporary art, documentaries, Elmina Ghana, Emeritus Professor Wole Soyinka, feature films, France, Frederick Douglas autobiography, Goree Island Senegal, Hon. Husitode Moses Dosu, John Brown, Lagos Black Heritage Festival, Lagos state government, Leopold Sedar Senghor, Memory and Performance in the Return to Source, Mobee slave relic, Mojola Agbebi, Nat Turner, Netherlands, Olaudah Equiano Gustavus Vassa autobiography, pan-Africanist and cultural activist Aime Cesaire, Point of no Return, Portugal, Samuel Johnson, Seriki Abbas, Spain, symposium, theatre, traditional and modern dances, United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Vlekete slave market, Whydah Benin Republic
One comment
Leave a comment »
uzoh hilary March 5th, 2010 9:21 pm :

as a fashion designer and loving arts i like to participate in the black heritage festival. so please can you detail me on the event. thank you.

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from travelintelligence .com

The Badagry Route by Pelu Awofeso
Anyone can understand why callers to the slave ports at Elmina (Ghana), Goree (Senegal) and Ouidah (Benin) weep and wail after they have walked round the remains of the transatlantic slave trade in those regions. To even see images on the screen is enough to affect the senses sorely. The Black Heritage Museum—just opened to tourists in palm-and-coconut-rich Badagry, western Lagos—is another of the kind. Maybe the place won’t stir you to tears, but after going in and out, then up and down its nine galleries, it is certain to make any visitor sober.

The National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM) in Nigeria, which helped with the research and installation, displays sketches, sculptures, photos, documents and dated shackles to tell the touching tale of over 300 years of ‘trading’ of which the African people were the ‘goods’.

We are now inside the building and this ad published in 1784 in the U.S. stares me in the face: “NEGROS FOR SALE: a cargo of very fine stout men and women, in good order and fit for immediate service, just imported from the windward coast of Africa…” Another in New Orleans, this time in 1835 described its ‘ware’ in detail: Chole…aged 36 years. She is without exception, one of the most competent servants in the country, a first-rate washer and ironer, does up lace, a good cook, and for a bachelor who wishes a housekeeper she would be invaluable. She is also a good ladies maid, having travelled to the north in that capacity.”

One learns a typical slave’s safari goes something like this: A freeborn is kidnapped, captured at war or despatched to a creditor to offset a debt. He is kept in custody and made to do simple menial duties at first. A time comes when a white businessman, sailing across from the west, seeks out the community’s head and demands for people to serve him and his wealthy colleagues back on their own soil. He proffers gins, guns and some other processed goods in exchange.

The deal sounds sensible enough and both parties come to an agreement. So starts the tortuous trip of an unfortunate African, the fall guy of unfeeling men (much later, markets were established to service the rising need for cheap human labour). He never travels alone; there are thousands of them at any occasion, group-chained, flogged to submission and silence, and ‘arranged’ in ships in patterns that guarantee little breathing space and more anguish. Not all of them survived. The dead were tossed overboard.

Sons and daughters, too, no matter how underaged, were hauled across the Atlantic from the African coast to the New World. The survivors were later put on kegs and boxes and auctioned like articles at Sotheby’s. Once sold, they toiled on the cotton, sugarcane or rice fields of their white masters—and it was almost round the clock—with the cruellest of punishments administered to those who attempted to bail (one exhibit shows a dog, purposely trained, biting at the throat of one). Others worked as domestic hands. There is more inside what used to be the District Officer’s administrative block in the colonial years and is a three-minute stroll from the white structure earmarked as the first storey building in Nigeria.

The opening of the museum in August 2002 put the inhabitants in the mood for the second Black Heritage Festival, said to be styled after Ghana’s decade-old Pan-African Historical Theatre Festival (PANAFEST) and organised to conform to UNESCO’s ‘Slave Routes Project’. Lagos State Waterfront and Tourism Development Corporation, the planners, intends for the festival with time to pep up the tourism receipts of Nigeria’s most commercialised city; for the time being, though, it is finding a sure footing and winning more participants from the Diaspora each year that are the goals.

Day four of the festival was all traditional stuff: The dozen delegates, all of them living in the U.S., had to go through a ceremony of ‘ethnic adoption and traditional robbing’ to choose the local names they wished to bear henceforth. Two home priests in the full glare of the town’s royal head, the Akran of Badagry, conducted that. The idea is not for the new names to replace the initial, but for the recipient to either add them on or to “keep it close to my heart”. The naming was performed with honey, sugarcane, salt, kola, and the other regulars in day-to-day Yoruba naming rites.

The Yoruba in Nigeria look to the Ifa for the same reasons Christians and Moslems search through the Holy Books. No move is made without consulting it. It gave its consent to the names the home comers preferred. At different times during the festival, the kola nut and bitter kola were tossed in another form of customary inquest. Each result turned out a pleasant omen: The land of Badagry agreed with the coming of Mayor Hawkins and co.

Badagry today is a smiling and struggling population of close to two hundred thousand. The Atlantic Ocean, its bane for centuries, flows subtly and quietly; the breeze still blows over it-and onto the mainland, and one can still sight natives paddling away in their canoes in the distance. The one thing it needs now is a rise in stature. The New Nigerians may well make that happen, because already, the group has promised to revisit its scholarship promise to the community’s bright minds; the other project will be to erect another impressive monument to the slave trade a la the ‘Point of no Return’.

The Akran, on behalf of the people, has promised pieces of land to the new natives, because they need, he says, to have their own homes—one they can come to whenever they please.
See all travel writing by Pelu Awofeso.

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from 234next.com
http://234next.com/csp/cms/sites/Next/Home/5527680-146/story.csp

Council mobilises for Lagos Black Heritage Festival

February 16, 2010 10:38PM
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The Oto/Awori Local Council Development Area says it will mobilise the people to showcase their rich culture at the forthcoming 3rd Lagos Black Heritage Cultural Festival scheduled for April 3- 9.

The festival themed, “Lagos/Badagry 2010”, is aimed at celebrating the creativity of Lagos State in dance, music and theatre regatta.

The Council Chairman, Bolaji Kayode, told News Agency of Nigeria in Badagry on Tuesday that the Council’s contingent had been fully prepared for the festival.

“Our participation in the festival is part of Oto/Awori LCDA’s commitment to promoting arts and culture. We will mobilise our people to feature in the festival particularly in Gelede and Ajegbo events,” he said.

Mr. Kayode expressed the hope that the council’s contingent would lift the laurels in the two events.

The organisers said the festival would be a forum for showcasing Africa’s diverse cultural heritage. The maiden edition of the festival was held in 2001 and was declared open by the former governor of the state, Bola Tinubu.

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from punchng.com

http://www.punchng.com/Articl.aspx?theartic=Art20100319035970

Lagos Black Heritage: A festival of reconnection, revaluation
By Mudiaga Affe, Published: Friday, 19 Mar 2010

Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka

Inspired by the spirit of convergence for which the most populous state in Nigeria remains pre-eminent, Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, has said that the forthcoming Lagos Black Heritage Festival would be an event of reconnection, revaluation and re-vindication.

Speaking on the festival tagged, Memory and Performance in the return to Source, Soyinka said, in a statement obtained by our correspondent in Lagos, that the event would celebrate the creativity of Lagos within a ”Carnivalesque of tradition and contemporary dance.”

The LBHF, which holds between April 3 and 9, 2010, is an initiative of the Lagos State Government.

According to Soyinka, the LBHF is a seven-day cultural manifestation during which hundreds of performers will animate the ancient city of Badagry and cosmopolitan Lagos in a blend of the traditional and the modern.

On the theme of the festival, Soyinka, who is the Festival Coordinator, explained that for over a millennium, African indigenes South of the Sahara were hunted, bartered, and sold into slavery by European and Arab slavers often with the active connivance of Africans themselves.

”Millions perish even before their destination along the Trans-Atlantic route and the Indian Ocean route to Iraq and Persia, now known as Iran. For centuries, and even till date, many could neither recall nor manifest the slightest interest in their antecedents.

”By contrast, especially since the latter half of the twentieth century, hundreds of thousands of descendants of victims of this execrable commerce have embarked on the return journey home – some in search of their true origins, others in the spirit of symbolic pilgrimage, and yet others to reclaim and resettle in their ancestral space. Whichever way, for many, this has proved emotional, but with fulfilling experience,” he said.

He said that it was in fulfillment of this yearning for the healing of dislocated sense of identity that the Lagos State Government instituted, with the support of the United Nations‘ Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, the Black Heritage Festival in the symbolic town of Badagry.

The playwright said the Lagos State Government plans to serve the discerning palates from within the country, the continent and the Diaspora of the Caribbean and Americas.

One of the highlights of the Lagos-Badagry 2010 is a painting competition featuring artists drawn from Nigeria and the rest of the world.

An international jury will decide which of the 25 finalists will be rewarded in the Gold, Silver and Bronze categories which go with the award of $20,000, $15,000 and $10,000 respectively.

Comments :

Lagos Black Heritage…… nice 1, but, so far i cant connect the vision of the group their objectivity pursuit, pro grammes and strategy I a son of the soil by interest in badagry thus am in total cooperation with any social articulate school of mission that set to project badagry historical value. meanwhile here is overwhelming challenge, so much is been orchestrated in the median meanwhile all the node features that makes the history are not preserve,e.g slave route,harboure,artenuation

Posted by: eko1city , on Friday, March 19, 2010

Report this comment

The slogan makes no sense to me. What is Lagos black heritage? I’ll rather call it ’Lagos reborn of African Heritage’. It makes more sense and gives me something to look forward to. I do not want to use the slogan of racisim, because that is the way they will call it in a land where there are other colours.

Posted by: Enitan Onikoyi , on Friday, March 19, 2010

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from
http://lagosblackheritagefestival.org/

HISTORY
THE LOGO
THE TEAM

Welcome to the Official Website of the 3rd Lagos Black Heritage Festival!
For over a millennium, African indigenes South of the Sahara have been hunted, bartered, and sold into slavery by European and Arab slavers, often, alas, with the active connivance and participation of Africans themselves. Millions perished even before destination along the Trans-Atlantic route, the Trans-Saharan route, and the Indian Ocean route to Iraq and Persia, now known as Iran…
More >>

The First Edition of Caterina de’ Medici Painting Award took place in Florence in year 2002. Three Nigerian Artists participated. One of these artists, Olubunmi Ogundare emerged as one of the best ten of the world-wide competitors!
More >>

Présence Africaine

Présence africaine is a panafrican quarterly cultural, political, and literary revue, published in Paris and founded by Alioune Diop in 1947. In 1949, Présence africaine expanded to include a publishing house and a bookstore on the rue des Écoles in the Latin Quarter of Paris. As a journal, it was highly influential in the Panafricanist movement, the decolonisation struggle of former French colonies, and the birth of the Négritude movement.
More >>

**********************************************
The Black Orpheus

HISTORY
THE LOGO
THE TEAM

For over a millennium, African indigenes South of the Sahara have been hunted, bartered, and sold into slavery by European and Arab slavers, often, alas, with the active connivance and participation of Africans themselves. Millions perished even before destination along the Trans-Atlantic route, the Trans-Saharan route, and the Indian Ocean route to Iraq and Persia, now known as Iran.

For centuries, and even till today, many could neither recall nor manifest the slightest interest in their antecedents. By contrast, especially since the latter half of the twentieth century, hundreds of thousands of descendants of the victims of this execrable commerce have embarked on the return journey home – some in search of their true origins, others in the spirit of a symbolic pilgrimage, and yet others to re-claim and re-settle in their ancestral space. Whichever way, for many, this has proved an emotional but fulfilling experience.

It was in fulfillment of this yearning for the healing of dislocated sense of identity that the Lagos State government instituted, with the support of UNESCO, the Black Heritage Festival in the symbolic town of Badagry, one of the more infamous departure points, with surviving landmarks, a Festival that seeks to enshrine the place of Memory in the history of peoples, and to celebrate survival and the resilience of the human will.

The third, 2010 edition of this Festival, appropriately billed as MEMORY AND PERFORMANCE IN THE RETURN TO SOURCE, is planned to raise this awareness to new heights, broaden and deepen the linkage between the African continent and its Diaspora.

This will be effected through a focus on the lives and works of three eminent representatives of, and close collaborators in this racial mission, all three now ancestral figures: the Martiniquan poet, dramatist, pan-Africanist and cultural activist, Aime Cesaire; prime mover of the journal Presence Africaine, and the publishing house of that name, Alioune Diop (whose centennial anniversary comes up in the year 2010, and the poet, essayist, and statesman Leopold Sedar Senghor. With this emphasis, a further step is taken to diminish the fragmentations in a common race heritage that were created through colonization under competing European cultures on African soil.

The three ancestors led a closely intertwined career. Cesaire, it will be recalled, was a principal midwife, in company of Leopold Sedar Senghor and others, of the philosophy of Negritude, the Beingness of Black. In addition to the performance of Cesaire’s plays and readings from his poetry, rare archival material from Alioune Diop’s pioneering journal, Presence Africaine, of which Aime Cesaire was also past president, will be placed on exhibition for the first time in this country. At the same time, Lagos State pays tribute also to the late President Leopold Sedar Senghor who was the inspiration and spearhead of the first ever international Negro Arts Festival (1966), the second edition of which the late Alioune Diop, served as Secretary-General and principal organizer. That second edition was called the Black and African Arts Festival, 1977, better known as FESTAC.

Buffered by a symposium, films, documentaries, a book exhibition, a gallery of contemporary art, music, theatre, concerts, traditional and contemporary dances, a boat regatta, a Children’s Heritage Village and African traditional games, not omitting from the Nigerian Film industry, this promises to be THE cultural event to round off the first decade of the millennium. The City of a Thousand Masks – Lagos – will herself be a player in the events, since the Festival programme will feature a unique competition – in association with the Caterina de’ Medici Foundation – where artists of African descent will vie for the ultimate laurel with their painterly impression on the theme CITY OF A THOUSAND MASKS, a contest that will be held before a live audience.

To sum up, a Festival of RECONNECTION, REVALUATION, REVINDICATION – this is the feast that Lagos State plans to serve up to discerning palates from within the country, the continent, and the Diaspora of the Caribbean and the Americas.

HISTORY
THE LOGO
THE TEAM

The Activities for the 3rd Lagos Black Heritage Festival include:

PAINTING COMPETITION

(Collaboration with Catarina de Medici).

DRAMA / THEATRE

This segment will feature 3 plays:

– King Christophe
– A Season in the Congo
– Ireke Onibudo

Children’s play

DRAMA

CULTURAL PERFORMANCES

MUSIC

The Musical segment of the LBHF celebrates the indigenous Music and Culture of Lagos, Nigeria and the Black World. The segment encompasses every style associated with the city of Lagos. A wide scope indeed as Lagos State represents Nigeria and essentially the Black World.

From Traditional music to Contemporary – Juju to Afro Caribbean.
Ayo Bankole

Steve Rhodes Voices

Lagbaja

Seun Kuti

Fatai Rolling Dollar (Guest Appearance).

Tunji Oyelana – Guest Artist.

Fuji
(Kwam1 / Obesere/ Pasuma )
Apala
(Musiliu Isola / Apala-Porto-Novo)
Hip-Hop
(D Banj, 9ice)
Agidigbo (Eko)

Gbedu Oba (Eko)

CHILDRENS’ HERITAGE VILLAGE

(to be directed by Jimi Solanke).

DANCE & MASQUERADES

– Contemporary Dance

– ATUNDA Dance

Traditional

Ajogan (Badagry King’s Procession).

Vodun (Badagry)

Sato (Badagry)

Bolojo (Badagry/Ijio/Eko)

Obitun (Ile-Oluji/Ondo)

Bata (Lagos/Oyo)

Dundun (Lagos/Oyo)

Ijo Apeja (Epe)

Nyok (Calabar)

Ekombi (Calabar)

Sokorowo (Owo-all female troupe)

Fitila Procession
The sombre Remembrance procession.
Nasarawa Contingent

Masquerades
Zangbeto (Badagry)

Gelede (Badagry)

Eyo (Eko)

Ekpe (Akwa-Ibom)

Igunnuko (Eko)

GALA NIGHT

FILM SHOWS

-> Roots

-> Amazing Grace

CHILDREN’S THEATRE

FITILA PROCESSION

OLOKUN FESTIVAL

OPENING CEREMONY

CLOSING CEREMONY

CLOSING CONCERT

FOOD FAIR

AFRICAN TRADITIONAL GAMES

AFRICAN FASHION /LAGOS HAIR SHOW

ART & CRAFT ZONE

Crafts Artisans from the Lagos region of Nigeria and from around the world converge at Festival Crafts zone to demonstrate and sell their works. It is held at various locations around Badagry, Lagos and other selected locations around Lagos State.

Display Hours are 10am to 9pm.

SYMPOSIUM

The Lagos Black Heritage Festival Symposium creates a forum of Intellectual discourse of themes related to black history, heritage and the relevance of memory to contemporary concerns.

EXHIBITIONS

(a). Presence Africaine – Books Exhibition.

(b). Slavery Objects

HISTORY
THE LOGO
THE TEAM

Wole Soyinka

For over a millennium, African indigenes South of the Sahara have been hunted, bartered, and sold into slavery by European and Arab slavers, often, alas, with the active connivance and participation of Africans themselves. Millions perished even before destination along the Trans-Atlantic route, the Trans-Saharan route, and the Indian Ocean route to Iraq and Persia, now known as Iran. For centuries, and even till today, many could neither recall nor manifest the slightest interest in their antecedents. By contrast, especially since the latter half of the twentieth century, hundreds of thousands of descendants of the victims of this execrable commerce have embarked on the return journey home – some in search of their true origins, others in the spirit of a symbolic pilgrimage, and yet others to re-claim and re-settle in their ancestral space. Whichever way, for many, this has proved an emotional but fulfilling experience.

It was in fulfillment of this yearning for the healing of dislocated sense of identity that the Lagos State government instituted, with the support of UNESCO, the Black Heritage Festival in the symbolic town of Badagry, one of the more infamous departure points, with surviving landmarks, a Festival that seeks to enshrine the place of Memory in the history of peoples, and to celebrate survival and the resilience of the human will. The third, 2010 edition of this Festival, appropriately billed as MEMORY AND PERFORMANCE IN THE RETURN TO SOURCE, is planned to raise this awareness to new heights, broaden and deepen the linkage between the African continent and its Diaspora. This will be effected through a focus on the lives and works of three eminent representatives of, and close collaborators in this racial mission, all three now ancestral figures: the Martiniquan poet, dramatist, pan-Africanist and cultural activist, Aime Cesaire; prime mover of the journal Presence Africaine, and the publishing house of that name, Alioune Diop (whose centennial anniversary comes up in the year 2010, and the poet, essayist, and statesman Leopold Sedar Senghor. With this emphasis, a further step is taken to diminish the fragmentations in a common race heritage that were created through colonization under competing European cultures on African soil.

The three ancestors led a closely intertwined career. Cesaire, it will be recalled, was a principal midwife, in company of Leopold Sedar Senghor and others, of the philosophy of Negritude, the Beingness of Black. In addition to the performance of Cesaire’s plays and readings from his poetry, rare archival material from Alioune Diop’s pioneering journal, Presence Africaine, of which Aime Cesaire was also past president, will be placed on exhibition for the first time in this country. At the same time, Lagos State pays tribute also to the late President Leopold Sedar Senghor who was the inspiration and spearhead of the first ever internastional Negro Arts Festival (1966), the second edition of which the late Alioune Diop, served as Secretary-General and principal organizer. That second edition was called the Black and African Arts Festival, 1977, better known as FESTAC.

Buffered by a symposium, films, documentaries, a book exhibition, a gallery of contemporary art, music, theatre, concerts, traditional and contemporary dances, a boat regatta, a Children’s Heritage Village and African traditional games, not omitting from the Nigerian Film industry, this promises to be THE cultural event to round off the first decade of the millennium. The City of a Thousand Masks – Lagos – will herself be a player in the events, since the Festival programme will feature a unique competition – in association with the Caterina de Medici Foundation – where artists of African descent will vie for the ultimate laurel with their painterly impression on the theme CITY OF A THOUSAND MASKS, a contest that will be held before a live audience.

To sum up, a Festival of RECONNECTION, REVALUATION, REVINDICATION – this is the feast that Lagos State plans to serve up to discerning palates from within the country, the continent, and the Diaspora of the Caribbean and the Americas.

Wole Soyinka
Emeritus Professor in Literature
Obafemi Awolowo University
Nobel Laurette in Literature 1986

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7 Responses to “COME BACK TO AFRICA FOR THE BLACK HERITAGE FESTIVAL,APRIL 4-11,2010-LAGOS/BADAGARY,NIGERIA!”

  1. Latoya Aduke Ekemode Omowale Says:

    I Pray that the Festival is a huge sucess. Being an African Returnee, I am a witness to the mess that was caused by slavery! I had the oppourtunity to perform in the first Black Heritage Festival in 2001 with my husband ORLANDO JULIUS . He actually was used to help organize the music side of things. We performed, it was interesteing for me to see the point of no return and to be there singing on stage was something that I will never forget. Despite the fact that we were treated very bad and was not paid for our hard work and efforts, we participated for the right reasons. We enjoyed Seun Kuti and our band the Nigerian Allstars really tried rendereing the hit song “Going Back to My Roots” Co-authored by Orlando Julius( I am not sure you people know him). But anyway, when I write my book of my expierences in Nigeria that will be one of the highlights! I hope Lagbaja sings “ka wa oma ranti e ranti ye o isedale baba awa ” for the massive audience of Africans from the Diaspora and the Festival go on to be the best that Africa has to offer. ASE!

  2. Hunsu Emmanuel Says:

    I wish Lagos state government hitch free celebration as we host the world.Not for getting royal fathers,sons and daughters of “GBAGI” at home and in diasporal.Finaly,i say welcome HOME to our visitors i also wish them happy stay.

  3. Mautin Oluwatoyin Ajulo Says:

    THIS IS A WELCOME DEVELOPMENT BUT I OBSERVE THAT NO PUBLICITY IN BADAGRY AT ALL AND I SAW VEHICLE IN LAGOS THAT CARRIES VARIOUS LOGO FOR PUBLICATION OF THE EVENT. I URGE THE COMMITTEE TO CORRECT THAT IMPRESSION BEFORE THE DEAL DAY. THANKS

  4. Clean Like a Man Says:

    I am also hoping that this event is a huge success. It’s sad that there is so little awareness after all these years, it’s still a fight.

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