council for arts and culture//akwa ibom state


stopped by the akwa ibom state council for arts & culture a couple days ago to see what's good. akwa ibom's cultural dance troupe placed second at the abuja carnival this year and have been grabbing up awards all over the country. i met council director mrs. jessey ekpo, who says they would have gotten more awards if it weren't so political--the power sits in abuja and, frankly, they don't want akwa ibom outshining them.

i asked her why traditional dance isn't seen as much as it used to be, in those days when people would go from compound to compound performing for whatever people would dash them. she said that 'people don't dance for nothing' anymore, but are looking for ways to package and sell a product for revenue, particularly in the realm of tourism. i was both heartened and disheartened by that revelation--happy that folks are stepping up their game, but sad that i'll never see those good old days again.

the cultural troupe's latest music/dance project is about good governance in anticipation of the 2011 election. i was thrilled to hear the men's choir perform/practice a beautiful song about nigeria and akwa ibom. if not for their angelic voices, i probably would have tuned out all the propaganda about good roads, an international airport etc. (eish, that stuff weirds me out, makes me think of chairman mao.) the women performers i saw were a lot less thrilling and a lot more pop without the substance.

sorry no pictures, i wasn't allowed; all i've got is the building. and why don't they have a website? all i found was this listing. --AL.

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