The 2018 calabar festival theme was unveiled by Governor Ben Ayade of Cross Rivers State who disclosed that plans are underway to reposition the annual calabar festival and transform it into a veritable platform for African discourse.
Ayade was speaking during the unveiling of the theme for the 2018 edition of the Carnival Calabar which included a short video presentation on illegal mining exploitation across Africa by a few rich foreign aristocrats held at the State Executive Chamber, Calabar.
The governor who said he was elated by the theme of this year’s carnival, “Africanism” , further remarked that ” time has come when Africa must start thinking as a continent and provide a shoulder for weaker African countries to lean on.”
The governor further disclosed that he intends to bring intellectualism as a more rewarding adventure to the Calabar carnival and indeed African heritage to represent every sector of African structure in the global space.
Ayade charged the band leaders of the 2018 carnival to make Africa proud by talking big about the continent as according to him, “Africa has grown and will war no more”, adding “make the streets gliter with things and colours that truly represent Africa as only this will show we have come of age.”
Ayade said he was of the view that youthfulness and vitality of Africa must be expressed in their dance, story precession and sub- themes as these will bring about the reverse of immigration to assure young men and women that Africa has realised itself and on the part of restitution and enhanced growth. “Let the carnival tell the reverse hypothesis of these stories and create a new cortosis that create a direction and focus that accentuates and celebrates the African man and let’s use this year’s platform to tell the true story that the real wealth lies in Africa and that Africa is indeed the leader”, Ayade stressed.
Speaking at the event, Chairman of Cross River state Tourism Commission, Gabe Onah said the calabar carnival remains the main factor that has changed the narrative about Cross River and put the state and Nigeria on a global map.
Onah praised Ayade for introducing international carnival, Bikers’ parade, Miss Africa Beauty Pageant among other innovations into the Calabar carnival thereby taking the yearly event to unprecedented height.