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Benue plans Swange cultural festival

Governor Samuel Ortom.

The Benue State Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism has concluded plans to stage Swange Music and Dance Festival as part of efforts to reposition the culture and tourism sectors in the state.

Daily Trust gathered that the event will be organised in collaboration with the National Troupe of Nigeria and Makurdi Area Traditional Council.

The Principal Special Assistant to Governor Samuel Ortom on Culture and Tourism, Tahav Agerzua, in an interactive session with journalists in his office at the weekend explained that the festival was being organized to explore the potential of the non-oil sector in promoting entertainment.

Agerzua said that some of the objectives of the festival include, developing brands that could attract foreign and local investors and generate the much-needed foreign earnings for indigenous artistes and the country.

He added that the collaboration with the National Troupe of Nigeria was informed by its capacity and experience, which could be deployed to package the State’s local Swange Music and Dance in accordance with best professional standards for marketing.

The governor’s aide stressed that the involvement of Makurdi Traditional Area Council was to ensure grassroots participation in the festival.

He noted that Swange Music and Dance of the Tiv people of Central Nigeria has been of high demand as an accepted product that has foisted Nigeria’s flag at the international scene even before the country’s independence in 1960.

The Principal Special Assistant disclosed that the festival which has been scheduled to hold from 23rd-28th December, 2019 will feature at least 20 Swange groups for the competition to select the best.

Agerzua emphasised that participants who are expected to make presentations spanning traditional, secular, and Christian Gospel genres will get handsome take home prizes at the climax of the six-day event scheduled to hold at the Aminu Isah Kontagora Arts Theatre Complex in Makurdi.

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