The Heritage Africa Village Square (HAvis) Abuja, will celebrate this year’s Independence Day on October 1 with the vibrant cultural and artistic endowments of Nigeria and China. The celebration will take the shape conversations and performances around the theme: ‘China-Nigeria: Shared Legacy of Culture and Humanity’ to mark the independence anniversaries of the two respective giants of the African and Asian continents, said a statement released by Jerry Adesewo, programme director of HAvis.
Nigeria and China share October 1 as their National Day.
The event will hold at the sprawling HAvis facilities located at Plot 1633, Cadastral B09, Beside AA Zauro Plaza, Ahmadu Bello Way, Kado, Abuja, and including a 1000-seater Amphitheatre and a 5-floor gallery cum studio building, named The Whitehouse.
“Top-rated performers, troupes, visual artists and craftsmen will treat art lovers, culture patrons, members of the diplomatic circle and the general public in the nation’s capital to exquisite African and Chinese dance, music, poetry and drama performances. The culture fest will also feature poetry readings, moonlight-like storytelling and an African-themed fashion runway featuring designs by The Silhouette,” said the statement.
Headlining the programme is a lecture titled: ‘Global Diffusion of Chinese Culture: Case Study of the Confucius Institute in Africa (Nigeria)’ which is to be delivered by Professor Duro Oni, former deputy vice chancellor of the University of Lagos, and founding director of the Confucius Institute at the university.
To be chaired by Professor David Ker, a culture scholar and former vice chancellor of Benue State University, the lecture will lead to a panel discussion featuring four eminent scholars and experts on the blossoming Africa-China relationship. They will explore possible influence of the legendary Chinese philosopher, Confucius’ philosophical thoughts on the socio-cultural development of Africa.
The highpoint of the October 1 feast is a special exhibition featuring collections from Nike Art Gallery, which is curated by the international artist and iconic African culture advocate, Madam Nike Okundaye. Featuring over 100 pieces of paintings and sculptures, the works will remain on display in the Whitehouse gallery for the rest of the year.
There will also be art and craft workshop for about 100 students and youths drawn from around the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The sessions will be directed by Madam Okundaye herself, reputed to have trained over 1,000 women and youths in adiire fabric making, African body adornments and related accessories.
To further spice the robust celebration, a film, Africans in Yiwu, which is themed around the shared humanistic values and virtues between Nigerian and Chinese peoples, will be screened. It is produced by the Institute of African Studies, Zhejiang University China, which last June in Abuja, signed a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cultural and educational exchange programmes with the Heritage Africa and the University of Abuja.
HAvis is conceived as a one-stop pan-African centre for the conception, production and expression of the cultural resources of all the peoples of African descent. It was founded on a vision to assert the creative sector as a massive opportunity for Africa to harness the huge potentials inherent in the creativity of its peoples.
Aside the Amphitheatre and the Whitehouse comprising a gallery, a language institute, a library, a multimedia studio, a terrace/rooftop space; HAvis, which sits on the famous Jabi Lake, also houses a 9-hole golf course, a proposed boat club, a hotel and, a leisure among other facilities. Future development plans also include a setting up a tertiary institution dedicated to helping young Nigerians and Africans hone their natural talents, acquire skills and build their professional capacities and personality profiles.
The HAvis vision was motivated by the avowed policy commitment of the Federal Government in its readiness to tap the huge potentials of the creativity industries in pursuance of the inevitable diversification of the Nigerian economy. “We share in the values that the government, especially through deeply inspiring statements by the Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has placed on the Creative Industry as being capable of helping in the economic emancipation of Nigeria from its decades of dependence on oil”, stated Moses Ayom, founder and Chief Executive Officer of the HAvis.