After a two-year break, the Adire Carnival returned with a bang to the Austrian capital city of Vienna this year. The festival celebrates Adire textile made in southwestern Nigeria by women who use a variety of resist-dyeing techniques. Oluyemi Ogundele* writes about the festival, its history and what it seeks to accomplish
The Adire Carnival, a Nigerian cultural festival, was successfully held on 20-25 June in Vienna, Austria.
The event, organised by the Egbe Omo Oduduwa Austria (Yoruba community in Austria) through one of its subsidiaries, the Festival of Music, Art and Culture, was the 5th edition of the cultural festival.
The first edition of the event took place in Vienna in the summer of 2013, followed by another one in 2016 and then in 2018. The festival was held virtually in the summer of 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions.
This year’s celebration was however second to none with the appearance and support of dignitaries like Dr Suleiman Dauda Umar, the Nigerian Ambassador to Austria and Slovakia; MrThomas Schlesinger, the Austrian Ambassador to Nigeria; Dr Modupe Irele, Nigerian Ambassador to Hungary; His Royal Majesty Oba Abdulazeez Oluwatoyin Akinde, Oloja Ekun of Igbesa Awori land, Ogun State of Nigeria; Nollywood superstar Lateef Adedimeji and his wife Mobimpe; Dr Dayo Olomu, a London-based human capital development and business transformation strategist, and his wife Sade; Professor (Dr) Oluwatoyin Odutola of the University of Florida, Gainesville, USA; and many other VIPs having made a great difference.
The event, organised in collaboration with the Nigerian Embassy in Vienna, Austrian Embassy in Abuja and the Weltmuseum Wien (World Museum Vienna), started with an exhibition of made-in-Nigeria products and an Adire fabric market from the 20th to the 25th of June 2022. The exhibition was hampered by the absence of exhibitors,who were unable to attend due to visa constraints.
The highlight of the event was the Adire International Carnival, also called Nigerian Carnival. This year carnival was tagged the “Carnival of Peace and Unity”.
The Carnival parade which commenced in front of the Nigerian Embassy in the third district of Vienna passing through Rennweg street, Schwarzenberg square and the Vienna ring road in the city centre of Vienna terminated in Hoffburg in front of the Welt Museum Vienna near the office of the Austrian President.
The second leg of the event was the indoor programme which took-place in the big ceremonial hall of the Weltmuseum Wien (World Museum Vienna), which was declared open by Minster Ibrahim Hamidu of the Nigerian Embassy, Vienna, who stood in for the Nigerian Ambassador, Dr Suleiman Dauda Umar, who was unavoidably absent.
The welcome address was delivered by the director of the Weltmuseum Wien, Dr Jonathan Fine. Goodwill messages were also delivered by Dr Modupe Irele, Nigerian Ambassador to Hungary, and Dr Dayo Olomu from the United Kingdom.
Guests was entertained by the Kenya flex group with their acrobatic performers and the Yoruba Cultural troupe with their Eyo and Egungun masquerade dancers. The European Fuji Ambassador, Alhaji Mutiu Ishola, also gave a brief performance singing for the masquerade.
The highlight of the evening was the stage performance by the Nollywood superstar Lateef Adedimeji who performed the music of the legend Alhaji Ayila Omowora live on stage.
Despite all odds, this year’s Adire Carnival is the best so far since the inception of the cultural festival, which fosters the friendly relationship between Nigeria and our host country Austria and promotes the cultural heritage of our great country Nigeria as well as presenting it as a tourism destination.
* Engr Oluyemi Ogundele, who reports from Vienna, Austria, is a member of the Egbe Omo Oduduwa Austria