The Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola has unveiled the annual Lagos Black Heritage festival with the opening of the new exhibition gallery at the Freedom Park in honour of Nobel laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka.
The opening of the gallery named ‘Kongi’s Harvest Art gallery’ on Monday was the official flag-off the week-long cultural fiesta.
Describing the festival as a festival of colour which promotes the cultures of the people with a proud heritage, the governor acknowledged that participating states had sent delegates and representatives to the event.
Present at the flagging off event were cultural displays and performances by the Igunnuko masquerades, Ekpe masquerades from the South South, Agere performers and Gelede dancers.
“I thank you very much for adding a lot of colour, a lot more verve to the 2012 edition of the Heritage week. This also signals the beginning of our tourist week that climaxes on Monday with a carnival that builds up with a boat regatta that has the spice of a beauty pageant and so many other events that will take place in this very hallowed grounds of Freedom Park”, he added.
The Governor who also welcomed guests from outside the country as well as participants from within and other parts of the world to the tourism week had earlier inspected the Art exhibitions and paintings mounted in the Freedom Park alongside Professor Soyinka and Commissioner for Tourism, Mr Disun Holloway.
The Kongi’s Harvest is the new exhibition gallery built by the Lagos state government at the Freedom Park on Broad Street where Nobel Laureate Professor Wole Soyinka’s collection of arte facts and artworks will be housed.
Freedom Park was former former colonial prison used by the British authorities to jail dissidents.
Governor Fashola also went round the various facilities and recreational points at the Park before inspecting an installation artwork by Temitayo Ogunbiyi depicting the slave trade movement from Africa to the Mediterranean.
The ceremony was also attended by ace cinematographer, Mr Tunde Kelani, foreign tourists and arts enthusiasts.