Director-general, National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, on Thursday advised Nigerian youths to embrace the nation’s rich culture and its opportunities for wealth creation.
Runsewe was speaking in Lagos against the back-drop of the World Culture Day, celebrated annually on May 21.
He said that Nigeria was endowed with a rich cultural heritage, and its potential had yet to be fully explored.
The director general urged the youth to look inward for areas to create wealth and be gainfully employed through culture, rather than toiling endlessly to leave the country.
Runsewe said that many had lost their lives in the Mediterranean sea due to desperation to travel through authorised routes, according to Agency reports.
He listed areas in which youths could benefit in the country as textile, cuisine, pottery, arts, crafts, sports, music, languages, among others.
According to him, youths should tap into such areas, make their contribution and turn Nigeria into a great country.
“There are numerous local sports content our youth can develop and transform to wealth. We have traditional sports of Kokowa (wrestling), Dambe (Boxing), Ayo, Abula (volleyball) and more.
” Mastery of these games can attract international recognition; likewise our local fabrics such as making of adire and aso-oke. These are areas the youth should look into.
He also urged parents to guide their wards to prevent them from travelling abroad aimlessly.
” Our herbs are still very much available to be developed; these are our cultural content which have not been well developed locally for international recognition.
” So, Nigerian youths must be able to think inward and groom what is ours here in the country, so that we can trully be the giant of Africa ,” he said.
The NCAC boss said that the lockdown period induced by the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic should be opportunity for Nigerian youth to engage in meaningful ventures and not be idle.
He implored Nigerians to have some self appraisal and reflection on how far they had been instrumental to the growth of nation’s culture on a day like this.
” We must all learn to respect, value and take pride in our culture, it is our identity as a nation, we must guard it jealously,” he said.