By Taiye Olayemi
The Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilisation (CBAAC) on Thursday commended Nigerian afrobeats star, Divine Ikubor, popularly known as Rema for an outstanding performance during 2023 Ballon d’Or awards held in Paris.
Its Director-General, Mrs Oluwabunmi Amao who recounted how electrifying Rema’s performance was said Africans had contributed significantly to global arts and entertainment growth over the years.
Amao, during the 2023 Black History Month celebration organised by the centre with the theme “The Contributions of Africans to the Arts” noted that quite a number of blacks had continue to make notable contributions to the growth of arts.
The programme held at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife in Osun State was done virtually and physically.
She said just like in the sciences and engineering, black Africa had made giant strides in the arts and its different facets such as music, literature, fashion, filmmaking, performing arts and many others in the modern world.
“I had the opportunity of watching the performance of one of Africa’s finest pop musicians called Rema at the World largest football award ceremony, the 2023 Ballon d’Or and indeed it was a very proud moment for me as an African and a Nigerian.
“I watched with admiration how Rema held his audience spellbound at this prestigious event.
“Indeed, this was a typical example of the contributions of Africans in the area of music and it is little wonder, that many believe music is Africa’s and Nigeria’s biggest export in the creative industry.
“It is only right that we continue to recognise, celebrate and honour Africans who have made significant contributions not just in the arts but the various facets of live,” she said.
Amao noted that the black history month celebration had been deliberately organised to create platform for advocacy to the children.
She urged students present to take pride in their Africanness and black identity.
“I want you all to be conscious of the fact that your African identity is never a limitation to what you can achieve and become in life.
“Pls take deliberate efforts to acquaint yourselves with African history.
“We have carefully instituted this event to celebrate and appreciate black and African history, as well as reecho the giant strides of Africans over forces of domination, discrimination and exploitation.
“Our celebration of the Black History Month is also geared towards showcasing to the world the tremendous contributions of Black people to world civilisation,” she said.
The DG noted that the black history month celebration began in the United States as Negro History Week and instituted by the renowned African-American historian, Dr Carter Woodson.
She said the sole aim was to protest the exclusion of the contributions of African Americans from history textbooks in the United States.
According to her, since it began nearly a century ago, the celebration of the black history month had grown and gained global acceptance.
Earlier, Prof Gbenga Fasiku, Director, Institute of Cultural Studies, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife described music rendered by David Adeleke, “Davido” and majority of Nigerian artistes as distinctive.
Also, Speaking, Prof Adetayo Ogunlewe, professor of literature and cultural studies, Lagos State University explained that Africans’ contributions toward world civilisation was mostly from literature, with minimal from history.
He said Africans must work on liberating themselves from mental colonisation which was responsible in perceiving African culture as inferior.
“Pls be proud of your colour, regardless of what you are called. In Africa, we take pride in honour, integrity and achievements.
“We all must continue to work hard to ensure we remain people of integrity, great honour and loaded with achievements,” he said.
The event witnessed series of beautiful cultural performances by different cultural troupes and drama l, as well as poetry presentations.
Students present for the programme were all made to speak on what the black history month means to them, reawakening their consciousness to the beauty of being an African. (NAN) (nannews.ng)