The 33rd National Festival for Arts and Culture (NAFEST 2020) got underway in Jos with a command performance by host Plateau State on Sunday night.
The weeklong festival, which will end on Saturday, was themed, “COVID-19: Cultural Dynamism”.
The command performance by Plateau cultural troupe showcased the need for Nigerians to embrace peaceful co-existence through dance, music, poems, melodrama, and other cultural renditions.
The troupe also sensitized the audience on the need to adhere to COVID-19 pandemic protocols.
Earlier, Otunba Segun Runsewe, Director-General, National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), organizer of the annual festival, said Plateau had the best weather with numerous cultural potential capable of attracting tourists.
The Director-General said that the essence of the festival was to enable the participating states to showcase their culture to the world.
He commended Gov. Simon Lalong for the courage exhibited to host the festival amid the COVID-19 pandemic and security challenges confronting the state.
“This is the first state to host a big event as this festival amid COVID-19 pandemic, it is quite commendable.
“Jos is the new abroad for us now, considering the cool weather and natural environment, let us all take out time to explore the state,” he said.
Also, Tamwakat Weli, Plateau Commissioner for Tourism, Culture and Hospitality, urged states to also take out time to showcase and market their culture.
Weli commended the state governor for hosting the festival in spite of the challenges currently facing the state.
She also appreciated Runsewe’s zeal and innovative spirit in ensuring that the promotion of culture takes the front burner in spite of the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic
“Welcome to the cool city of Plateau, the state hosted NAFEST 24 years ago and we thank God it is happening again,” she said.