The Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilisation (CBAAC) has called for collaborations from the South African and Libyan Governments to host the 45th anniversary of the Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC”77).

Chief Oluwabunmi Amao, Director-General of CBAAC, in a statement on Monday said that the two countries participated remarkably during the festival in 1977.

Amao said that their participation would contribute to the success of the 45th anniversary of the festival slated for Dec.5 to Dec.11.

The Director-General, who paid courtesy visits to the High Commission of the two countries in Abuja for further consultations and deliberations, recalled some of the remarkable events of FESTAC’77.

She said the festival was the largest Pan-African event that featured expression of African arts and culture in various forms.

She revealed the theme for the festival as “Celebrating Black and African Arts and Civilization, reliving the memories of FESTAC’[email protected]”.

She urged for full participation and partnership of the two countries to showcase their rich cultural heritage and to promote cultural dialogue among Nigeria, South Africa and Libya.

She made reference to the epoch performance of the South African music icon, Miriam Makeba, the epitombe cultural troupe and the amandla symbol of struggle which were in the centre’s archives.

She said these were testimonies of the brilliant contributions of the South African delegation at FESTAC’77.

“Also of a very worthy note was Nelson Mandela’s visit to CBAAC office in Nigeria after his release from prison to collect his certificate of citizenship of Glasgow which was as at that time in the centre’s custody.

“The arts and culture of the South African people is very dynamic and we consider it quite of immense importance to be fully incorporated in this programme.

“To this end, exhibition pavilion would be made available for each participating country and High Commission at a token fee as indicated in our promotional brochure,” she said.

Amao noted that the Libyan contingents had some of the most remarkable performances and participation in different art forms during FESTAC “77.

She said the footages and archival materials available in the centre’s custody were testimonials to the outstanding feats the Libyans achieved in Nigeria during FESTAC “77.

She noted that in this regard, a replication of the country’s historical performances 45 years ago would be something to look forward to.

In response, the South African Deputy High-Commissioner, Dr Bobby Moroe, expressed the South African Commission’s interest to collaborate with the centre toward the actualisation of the event.

Moroe promised to visit the centre’s Black and African Hall of Fame in due course and also to give the centre all the necessary assistance where possible toward the success of the event.

Likewise, Libyan Ambassador to Nigeria, Ambassador Ayad Attayary, promised on behalf of the Libyan Government through its commission in Nigeria to give their utmost support toward the programme.

He said this would be an opportunity for African nations to celebrate those aspects of African culture that unified the continent.(NAN)