COMMUNIQUE OF THE 1ST KEBBI CULTURAL DAY ORGANIZED BY KEBBI STATE CHAPTER OF HILL-TOP CREATIVE ARTS FOUNDATION IN COLLABORATION WITH KEBBI STATE GOVERNMENT HELD ON WEDNESDAY, 26TH JUNE, 2019 AT THE BANQUET HALL OF THE PRESIDENTIAL LODGE, BIRNIN KEBBI.
The Kebbi State Chapter of Hill-Top Creative Arts Foundation in collaboration with Kebbi State Government organized the maiden edition of Kebbi Cultural Day to mark the 2019 World Day for Cultural Diversity, Dialogue and Development on Wednesday, 26th June, 2019 at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Lodge, Birnin Kebbi. The theme of the event is ‘The Prospects of Cultural Heritage in Kebbi State in the Promotion of Sustainable Peace and Development”.
The Kebbi Cultural Day is aimed at showcasing the rich cultural heritage of Nigeria, particularly in Kebbi State. It is geared towards appreciating the value of cultural diversity, with a view to promoting national cohesion, sustainable peace and development.
In laying the tone for the event, the Kebbi State Coordinator of Hill-Top Creative Arts Foundation, Mallam Jamilu Magaji underscored the Foundation’s commitment to its role in mentoring and training teen artists mostly from secondary schools across the country. He said the Foundation seek to inculcate reading and writing culture among
students. According to him, the Foundation published a teen author in 2018 in Kebbi State, with three other mentees to publish their poetry collections in two months time.
The Chairman of the occasion, Professor M.K. Abubakar in his opening remarks lauded the effort of the Foundation in its resolve to revive the cultural heritage of the State. Represented by Professor Danladi Mahuta, the former Minister of Science and Technology emphasized the importance of safeguarding the cultural norms and tradition of the society, saying “people who lost their culture have lost their identity.’ He called on the State Government to establish arts centre for the Foundation in order to consolidate on the giant strides made.
In her Keynote Address, Hon. Aisha Augie-Kuta; the Founder of the Centre for Arts and Creative Talent, described Kebbi State as the most prominent home of knowledge and culture in Nigeria, considering its massive cultural heritage and the contributions of the famous Islamic scholar, Sheikh Abdullahi Bin Fodio to the attainment of knowledge in
country. She explicated the significance of sustainable development as a means of stimulating change in the way our cultures are practiced.
Mrs Augie-Kuta maintained that Kebbi is a land of great opportunities where everything could thrive if the cultural heritages are sustained. The Keynote Speaker further called on the State Government to document a comprehensive history of Kebbi state for posterity.
Professor Ailyu Bunza, a renowned Hausa linguist who discussed the Keynote Paper extolled the manifestation of Kebbi Culture aimed at reviving the culture of Nigeria, Kebbi State in particular. He
stressed that promotion of sustainable culture and commitment to reviving it would maximize standards and quality of our culture in Nigeria and beyond.
Prof. AM Bunza also happed on continued neglect of mother tongue in
our educational system. He expressed regret that Nigeria relegated and neglected mother tongue in favour of foreign language as means of instruction and communication which posed negative consequences. Prof. Bunza added that lack of use of mother tongue in our education setting prevented many Nigerians from acquiring education in its deepest sense. He argued that any education acquired by any person at any level with the use of foreign language, such person could be said to have acquired education of a fraction of what it ought to be. He recommended the use of mother tongue as means of instruction her Nigeria’s educational policy. The Discussant undertook to review and translate the Keynote into Hausa language in view of its richness for use by Hausa speaking audience.
In a goodwill message, the Emir of Gwandu and Chairman, Kebbi State
Council of Chiefs, His Royal Highness, Muhammadu Iliyasu Bashar, enjoined parents and government to inculcate good cultural values in children for a better and peaceful country. Represented by WazirinvGwandu, Abdullahi Umar, the Emir commended the Foundation and Kebbi State Government for organizing the event which he described as apt and significant.
Mr. BM Dzukogi, the Founder and President of the Hill-Top Creative Arts Foundation, appreciated the Kebbi State Government for the support rendered to the Foundation in the State. He pleaded with the Government to look into the appeal made by the Chairman of the occasion to build an art centre for the Foundation.
Meanwhile, the Executive Governor of Kebbi State, His Excellency, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, described Kebbi state as the home of Rich Culture which has helped to bind people together as one family. Represented by the Deputy Governor, Retired Colonel Samaila Yombe Dabai, Governor Atiku Bagudu specifically mentioned Argungu Fishing
Festival, Huttungo in Gwandu Emirate, Regatta in Yauri and Uhola in Zuru being held annually to attract tourism and provided fora for displaying the rich cultural values of the people of Kebbi which optimally strengthened their unity.
Governor Bagudu identified with the ideals and concept of the philosophy of Kebbi Cultural Day which he pledged to uphold and sustain. The Governor praised the Discussant who used dramatization
and poetry to send his message across to the audience in the course of reviewing the Paper presented at the occasion. He thanked the people of Kebbi state for their massive support to the APC ruling party in the last election, affirming that the Government would deliver dividends of democracy to all nook and cranny of Kebbi state.
OBSERVATIONS & RECOMMENDATIONS
Arising from paper presented and discussions at the first Kebbi Cultural Day, the following observations were made:
i. Kebbi State Government identified with ideals and concept of the philosophy of Kebbi Cultural Day.
ii. Kebbi State has historical monuments worthy of preservation such as tomb of Sheikh Abdullahi Fodio in Gwandu; Kanta Museum in Argungu; Yelwa Museum of Archeology in Yauri and the Isgogo Slave Market and Girmache Shrine in Zuru.
iii. There were exciting exhibition of arts and crafts such as painting, sculpture, poetry, traditional and historical weapons as well as cuisine and dress peculiar to the State.
iv. There are Argungu Fishing Festival, Huttungo, Boat Regatta and Uhola being held annually to attract tourism and became fora for displaying rich cultural values of the state and strengthened unity across Gwandu, Argungu, Yauri and Zuru emirates, respectively.
v. Kebbi State was classified as the most peaceful state in Nigeria because of the rich cultural heritage that connects its people.
vi. The Argungu Fishing Festival is listed as a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Representative on its list of intangible cultural heritage in the World.
vii. The hand-written scripts of Sheikh Abdullahi Fodio are on the verge of extinction.
viii. Language is an integral part of cultural heritage. Mother tongue interference impedes Nigeria’s educational policy.
ix. Ten secondary schools made dramatic presentations, representing Gwandu, Argungu, Yauri and Zuru emirates of the State.
x. Mentees of the Foundation made artistic presentation on morals, norms and values.
xi. Kebbi State’s abundant natural resources and unique cultural heritage when fully explored could pave way for sustainable economic growth.
xii. Tourism sector can build a thriving hospitality and real estate industries to create more jobs in the society.
i. Nigeria should adopt the use of mother tongue as means of instruction in the country’s educational policy.
ii. A comprehensive documentary on the history of Kebbi State should be produced to benefit posterity.
iii. Government and parents should strive to inculcate good cultural values in children for a better, peaceful and more prosperous country.
iv. Government and other development partners should support the Foundation towards sustaining the event annually.
v. Government should continually support initiatives aimed at reviving and persevering the rich cultural heritage of the State.
The Foundation wishes to express its sincere appreciation to Kebbi State Government and Medicaid Cancer Foundation for proving an enabling environment to host the event. We are grateful to the Keynote Speaker and Discussant for sparing time to share their experiences and also reinvent this conversation for revitalization of our cultural heritage. We also thank our vibrant mentees and participanting schools for their invaluable contributions.
Jamilu Magaji Ambursa,
Kebbi State Coordinator,
Hill-Top Creative Arts Foundation
July 2, 2019.