BY George Odok
As the Yuletide season hits on in Calabar, the Cross River State Ministry of Culture and Tourism headed by Mr Eric Anderson has injected a new brand of cultural exhibition for residents in Calabar and for tourists wishing to visit the state for the Christmas celebration.
The Village, which is situated inside the Calabar Cultural Complex, has been designed to showcase the rich cultural heritage of the 18 local government areas in Cross River State.
In view of this, a boot has been created for each local government area to artistically showcase and promote their cultural arts and craft and display them for sell as well to tourists.
The Village was commissioned yesterday by the Speaker of Cross River House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Eteng Jones Williams, who was represented by Hon. Cynthia Nkasi, who is the Chairman, House Committee on Tourism and Event Management.
The event was also graced by the reigning Miss Africa Queen, Miss Irene Ng’endo Mukii of Kenya, key players in the tourism industries among many other stakeholders.
The Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Mr Eric Anderson, said that the Village was purely for exhibition of the state arts and crafts with a view to sustain and promote them.
According to him, the state has been struggling to take its craft and arts outside the state for exhibition, adding that the Village will now enhance the massive production of arts and craft.
He explained that Cross River was at the NAFEST event that held in Ogun state last week, and the state came back home with a gong.
“It is time for us to bring out all that we have so that we can run an assessment of them, pulish it up for next year and the years ahead.
“That is why you can see that every local government area in the state has a boot and we expect them to bring out their arts and craft and all of the things that the respective local government has for us to exhibit.
“This is also going to be competitive because there will be a price at the end of the month to the best local government, to the best cuisine, and we are going to have wrestling competition and all of that.
“CRUTECH have also keyed in and they have their arts and craft here. Right from the 70s, we have been winning gongs and just a few Crossriverians knows that we still have those gongs; that is why we have brought them here.
“Last week, we came back from Ogun state with one gong, we hope to do better in Ekiti state next year,” he said.
The Village also has a corner for refreshment, with a touch of fresh air that springs off from the trees within, couple with low tune music in an ambiance of a traditional beautiful setting.
Are you thinking of where to visit this period?
Think of the Calabar Arts, Craft and Cultural village.