Ahead of the World Tourism Day, which holds this week (on September 27), Lagos residents are eagerly awaiting the opening of the 2020 edition of the Eko Oni Baje New Yam & Beach Festival, which kicks off on September 25, and runs till September 27.Regarded as the melting pot of cultures amongst the over 20 million residents of Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial city, Eko Oni Baje Festival, which has held consistently for 12 years has grown to become a crucial part of the activities highlighting the World Tourism Day in Lagos, with robust participation by various art and culture agencies, especially the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation, NTDC.
Cultural troupe performing at festivalThe 3-day fiesta which will hold at Ekoonibaje Festival Ground located at Ibeju-Lekki, near Eleko Junction, has various programmes on parade this year. These include: Children’s Cultural Fiesta and Arts Exhibition (September 25); Beach Soccer/Gala Night (September 26) and Traditional Wrestling Competition and Grand Finale (September 27).According to Chiedu Idezuna, the proprietor of Castledown Art Centre, the organisers of the event, the 2020 edition, promises to be more exciting than the previous editions in spite of the odds posed by the corona virus pandemic as well as the demolition of the festival ground by Lagos State government.
Art works on display“This festival has metamorphosed into a cultural melting pot of all tribal nationalities living in Lagos. Unfortunately, we will be celebrating the 2020 edition on rubbles as a result of the harsh teeth of the bulldozers. We appeal that the Lagos State government should approve this acquired arena for us to continue hosting our cultural event. We are willing to pay the fees for its ratification by the government. We do not want this festival to go the way Lagos Boat Regatta did”.The theme of this year’s festival is: Promoting Tourism as a Learning Tool; while its mantra is ‘One Man, One Yam’.