The annual Adire International Festival, arguably the biggest cultural gathering of Nigerians outside Nigeria, will be hosted in Vienna, Austria, after a three-year hiatus, occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tagged ‘Nigerian Cultural Festival,’ the Adire Street Party, which is part of the Nigerian in Diaspora Cultural Festival, is always celebrated with the Nigeria-Austria Business Forum in Austria.
The objective of the mega event is to showcase the rich cultural heritage of Nigeria, promote its tourism potentials and to further foster the good relationship between Nigeria and the host country, Austria.
As release by the coordinator, Engineer Oluyemi Ogundele, stated that this year’s event would be hosted in the historic city of Vienna on 25 June, 2022.
Other events lined up include: Nigeria-Austria Business Forum and the Nigeria Cultural Exhibition, tagged ‘Mask and Masquerade,’ slated for 22 and 23 June and 24 June, respectively.
Ogundele stated that the cultural event will start with the Nigerian Mask and Masquerade exhibition at the Welt Museum Wien, Austria, adding that the opening ceremony would be at 16.00 hours with a drum and cultural display outside the museum.
He added that the exhibition will be declared opened by the Nigerian Ambassador to Austria and Slovak, His Excellency, Ambassador Dr Suleiman Dauda Umar, after a welcome address by the Director of the Welt Museum Wien, Dr Jonathan Fine.
The coordinator said that this will be followed by various goodwill messages, noting that the Royal Father of the Day is Oba (Professor) Adeyemi Obalanlege, the Olota of Ota Aworiland, Ogun State.
Other special guests include former president of NACCIMA, Chief (Mrs) Alaba Lawson, the Iyalode of Yorubaland; Chairman/CEO of NIDCOM, Honourable Abike Dabiri Erewa; Ogun State Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Dr Oluwatoyin Taiwo; Dr Dayo Olomu from the United Kingdom; Film Director/Producer, Chief Tunde Kelani; Nollywood actors, Bolaji Amusan and Lateef Oladimeji, among others.
He said, “The Day-Two event, the Nigerian/Adire Carnival, tagged: ‘Carnival of Peace and Unity,’ will commence with the gathering of all participants by 12.00 noon in front of the Nigerian Embassy in the 3rd District of Vienna, Austria.
“The participants will be waving Nigerian and Austria flags and the street party would start after a short speech by the Ambassador.
“At exactly 13.00 hours, the parade will start with a fanfare. The lead trumpeter, Mr Richmond Ojobor, would blow the trumpet and the drummers would join with the beat of the African drums.
“The carnival uniform for this year carnival will be a black and yellow colour combination of Adire fabric manufactured in Nigeria.
“The Local Organising Committee, LOC, are also expecting participants from the Nigerian communities from other parts of Austria like Salzburg, Graz, Karten and Linz. Others would also include visitors from Ireland, UK and USA; and they would be joined by friends from Brazil, Paraguay, Bangladesh and Macedonia.
“The carnival parade route will pass through Rennweg Street, Schwarzenberg Square and the Vienna Ring Road in the city centre of Vienna. It would terminate at Hoffburg, in front of the Welt Museum Vienna, near the Office of the Austrian President.
“The event will continue with a stage show in the big ceremonial hall of the Welt Museum Wien, and will be declared open by the Nigerian Ambassador to Austria
“This will be purely stage performance by different Nigerian cultural groups and friends of Nigeria present, including Bangladesh Cultural Group, Macedonia Group, Paraguay Group, and an acrobatic show by the Kenya Flex Group.”
Meanwhile, the coordinator, Engineer Ogundele, had earlier visited Nigeria to unveil the fabric for this year’s event at the Conference Hall of the Abeokuta Chambers of Commerce, Ogun State.
He also paid a courtesy visit to the Office of the Austrian Ambassador to Nigeria, His Excellency Ambassador Thomas Schlesinger, and to the office of the Chairman/CEO of NIDCOM, Honourable Abike Dabiri-Erewa.
Both Schlesinger and Dabiri-Erewa appreciated the efforts of the organisers in fostering a friendly relationship between Austria and Nigeria, promotion of the Nigerian cultural heritage and presenting Nigeria as a tourist destination.
Engineer Ogundele and the President of the Yoruba Community in Austria, Egbe Omo Oduduwa, Austria, Aare Lanre Fagbodun, had earlier visited the Office of Dr Jonathan Fine, the new Director of the Welt Museum Wien, to inform him of the event and to thank him for the cooperation and support they have been receiving from the museum.
Aare Fagbodun promised a fantastic event this year and, in his message to all the invitees, he assured that all hands are on deck to make this year’s event the best ever.
The President of the Egbe Omo Oduduwa Austria also promised to work with the Nigerian Embassy in Vienna and all other Nigeria ethnic associations to showcase Nigeria at her best.