Home Tourism Akwaaba opens with colour packed activities, captivating dances

Akwaaba opens with colour packed activities, captivating dances

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..Sen. Otu unveils Calabar Carnival theme, ‘Season of Sweetness’, Night of Kings and Queens, Children’s carnival return


The 19th Akwaaba African Travel Market on Sunday, 3rd September, 2023 opened with pomp and ceremonies at the Eko hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.

The opening ceremony was filled with colourful activities from the electrifying dance moves of the Calabar Carnival dancers, the Lagos State talking drummers, the mascot on display amongst others.

Also adding colours to the opening event were exhibitors with the colourful, beautifully decorated stands and painstakingly arranged leaflets, cultural and handcraft materials and products to catch the attention of participants.

The Governor of Cross River State, Senator, Bassey Otu who declared the event opened commended the organizer, Ambassador Ikechi Uko for his consistency and sustaining the market for 19 years.

The Governor also used the Travel Market to unveil the theme of the Carnival Calabar for 23 entitled: ‘Season of Sweetness’.

Cross River State Governor, Sen. Bassey Otu cutting the tape to declare the event opened, on his right holding the mic is the organizer Amb. Ikechi Uko, Sen. Ita-Giwa on the left of the Governor.

He said, “Today, we are here to witness another theme unveiling, which stands our carnival out as an intellectual platform to entertain, educate, and inform our publics and audiences”.

Sen. Otu also seized the opportunity of the gathering to explain to participants what the Calabar Carnival is all about and the activities performed during the carnival which includes amongst others colourful parades, acrobatics and magic through 12 kilometer routes.

He emphasized that, his administration is poised to ensuring the carnival is sustained, adding that more private sector participation would receive a boost.

“It is the belief of my administration that the Carnival has come of age and should deploy all efforts at sustainability and inclusion to achieve set goals exploring a robust Public Private Partnership framework to achieve mutually beneficial relations”. 

The Governor disclosed that, he has directed that the children’s carnival, aqua show and the exciting and colorful Night of Kings and Queens to return to the Carnival Calendar to create more opportunities for sponsors visibility.

Also speaking at the event, Senator Ita-Giwa said, in Cross River State, the dances during the carnival are not just ordinary dance but a dance laced with meanings and to send messages or educate people about specific issues like climate change, industrialization, effects of coastal erosions and children amongst others.

“My greater joy today is that, we have a man that comes from where the carnival started, a Calabar man that understands the carnival and today, through Cross River State Nigeria has found a place in the world social calendar”.

Highlights of the opening was the presentation of the Travellers  awards to deserving individuals and organizations.

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