Sunday, 13 August 2017

Churches blame for declining of Igbo Arts and Culture

By Okechukwu Onuegbu
Christians across other denominations have been urged to join in promoting Igbo arts and culture rather than viewing it as fetish arts.
Mrs Pamela Nnenna Agu, the Assistant Director, National Council for Art and Culture, Enugu Zonal office, who made the call while interacting with Blueprint in Awka, lamented that it is only Roman Catholic Church that is promoting it through their activities.
According to Agu, it is incumbent on Igbo to emulate the Yoruba and the Hausa in speaking their language, patronizing alternative medicine, ways of dressing and other identities of the race which are currently going into extinction.
“Igbo culture like ways of dressing, language, food, alternative or herbal medicine and several others are dying off. While the catholic is marrying them with religion other religious denominations are busy casting aspersion on it. Our people should take pride in promoting them. The good one should be accepted while the fetish things should be dropped.
“We should stop patronizing foreign things against ours to avoid sending them to extinction. Anyone without culture lacks identity. Why do we take pride in preaching Christ and other religious activities in English language in Igbo land? Go to other tribes in Nigeria to see how they use the languages of the localities in preaching,” she added.
She said they deal more on cultural artifacts artists collecting their works and keeping them in safety, cultural festivals concerning those areas. We have the masquarde galarry which is in Enugu and it cvers every thing, including the natural herbs.
She equally reiterated the needs for private and government partnership in rejuvenating the country’s arts and culture sector, which according to her, is more lucrative than oil and gas.
“The government of today and individuals find it difficult paying attention to sectors like arts and culture believing that it would yield quick money. I want them to have a rethink and seek partnership in developing the fields of art and culture. They can help in creating jobs, training and empowering entrepreneurs.
“Nigeria should pay much attention to alternative or herbal medicine. Countries like China developed theirs without depending on western medicine. We have herbal garden at Ekwulumili in Anambra state. Paying adequate attention to them will help in growing our economy especially pharmaceutical industry.
On what the agency is doing to encourage Arts and Culture in Igbo land, Agu said they have zonal annual festival of arts and culture in alternative medicine, and currently developing a plot of land been giving to them in Awka for building Craft centre for entrepreneurship.

“We are working on it but paper works and other formalities are delaying it. But we believe it will soon be over. The place will engage thousands of artisans in craft once completed. The place will also open the community where it is located, as well as create other employments” she noted.



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