The third edition of the Nigerian Cultural Festival /Adire Carnival took place in the historic city of Vienna on 29-30 June.
The event showcases the rich Nigerian cultural heritage and promotes the country’s tourism potential. It also helps to foster the friendly relationship between Nigeria and Austria.
The event started with the African drums exhibition on Friday, the 29th of June at the Welt Museum in the Austrian capital city with a display outside the museum by a Nigerian drum exponent Mr Santos. The brilliant display caught the attention of passers-by who quickly trooped into the museum to see what was going on.
The spectators were treated to an exhibition of hundreds of drums from different African countries. They were also given the opportunity to touch and beat the drums on display.
The drums collector, Nicolas von Jenny, also took time to explain the origin of the drums and how they were collected and maintained.
The exhibition was officially opened by the Nigerian Ambassador to Austria and Slovakia, Her Excellency Vivian Okeke, after a welcome address by the director of the Welt Museum Vienna, Dr Christian Schicklgruber. This was followed by a goodwill message from Ambassador Ayoola Olukanni the Director General of Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA).
The event was also graced by the presence of His Royal Majesty Oba Prof. Adeyemi Obalanlege, the Olota of Ota, Aworiland, Ogun State of Nigeria, and the president of NACCIMA, Iyalode Alaba Lawson, who is also the Iyalode of Yorubaland, and other VIPs, including Mr Bashorun Muyiwa Oladipo, the Ogun State Commissioner of Culture and Tourism, Mrs Yewande Amusan, the Senior Consultant to the Ogun State Governor on Culture and Tourism, and Mrs Sally Mbanefo, the Anambra State Commissioner for Diaspora Affairs, Indigenous Artworks, Culture & Tourism.
The highlight of the day’s event was the brilliant performance by the German African drummer Ayantunde Anselm Ramacher who took the audience by surprise with his perfect interpretation of Nigerian drums. This was received with a standing ovation by the audience.
The performance was followed by a brilliant drum display by group of African drummers present at the event. The VIPs and the audience then took to the dancing floor as they could no longer be held to their seats.
The exhibition was brought to an end by a short vote of thanks made by the moderator, Engr. Oluyemi Ogundele.
The day 2 event, the Nigerian/Adire Carnival tagged “Carnival of Peace and Unity”, started on Saturday, the 30th of June in front of the Nigerian Embassy in the 3rd district of Vienna.
The lead trumpeter, Richmond Ojobor, blew the trumpet and the drummers joined with the beat of the African drums.
The Parade was led by the Nigerian Ambassador to Austria and Slovakia, Mrs Okeke, and her spouse, Chief Okeke, side by side with the Oba Prof. Adeyemi Obalanlege. Also in the front row were the Iyalode Alaba Lawson, Ambassador Ayoola Olukanni, Aare Olanrewaju Fagbodun, President of Egbe Omo Oduduwa Austria, and a host of other personalities.
The Carnival uniform for the year 2018 was a yellow and lemon green colour combination Adire which was so colourful and could be sighted from far away.
Participants at the carnival included members of the Nigerian community in Austria. The event also attended by visitors from Ireland, UK and USA. They were joined by friends of Nigeria from Brazil, Paraguay, Bangladesh and Macedonia.
The Carnival parade route passed through Rennweg street, Schwarzenberg square and the ring road in the city centre of Vienna. The parade terminated at Hoffburg, in front of the Welt Museum Vienna near the office of the Austrian President and Prime minister.
The second part of the event was the stage show in the Welt Museum which was declared open by the Nigerian Ambassador to Austria, and which witnessed stage performances cultural groups representing Bangladesh, Macedonia and Paraguay, and a brilliant acrobatic show by the Kenya flex group.
The stage performance was concluded with a Yoruba cultural dance by the Egbe omo Oduduwa women group followed by a spectacular show of talent by a Yoruba girl Oreoluwa Are, who recited a poem in Yoruba language and counted from 1 to 20 in Yoruba language.
Some distinguished personalities were honoured during the event, including the current Vice President of the Egbe omo Oduduwa Austria, Mr Felix Adetola, Ambassador Ayoola Olukanni,, Iyalode Alaba Lawson and the Royal Father of the day Oba Prof. Adeyemi Obalanlege.
The event was brought to an end with a short vote of thanks by the President of Egbe omo Oduduwa, Aare Olanrewaju fagbodun.