It was a night of festivities marked by cultural trappings. There were drumming and singing of Brazilian and Nigerian songs.
The night also witnessed dance of all sorts, acrobatics, art, African local drums and musical displays. But it was the rendition of Brazil’s national anthem in a Nigerian jazz-like manner that set the mood for the night.
“Brazil and Nigeria have a lot in common, but sometimes we don’t realise how much we have in common,” Brazil’s Head of Missions in Nigeria Helges Samuel Bandeira began as he welcomed guests to the event.
“Look at our music, listen to our Samba. Do you honestly think that we learnt to play the drums with the Europeans? Of course not! We learnt that from the Africans. And that is part of our heritage as Brazilians too. So, in some ways, being Brazilian is also being Nigerian. It is important to put it on the table,” Bandeira, who became the Head of Missions in Nigeria last month, said.
From the Brazilian anthem to some medleys by Fritots Jazz band, performers took guests to Brazil and back and paid a special music tribute to the late singer Joao Giberto at “A Night of Culture”, organised by the Consulate-General of Brazil in conjunction with Fritos Global Communication (PTY) Limited.
The event, Bandeira stated, was meant to bring Nigerians and Brazilians together. “We have always been having these events in the consulate. The idea here is to bring us together. And I intend to continue organising such for our Brazilian expatriates and for Nigerians so that we can enjoy our common cultures.
“I think it is exciting to see Nigerians watch Brazilians enjoying Nigerian music and the other way round too – seeing Nigerians enjoying Brazilian music. And that is why I’m here, to bring our people together and not just to stamp visas,” he said.
Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage also came alive as diverse cultural groups rendered energetic displays even as Olumidan Bata group thrilled guests. Other acts included famed musician Buga, Dami, C Steppers and MickyPee.
Another highlight of the event, which drew guests from Brazilian and foreign missions and expatriates as well as dignitaries, especially from the Nigerian culture sector, was the screening of a documentary on the recent visit by the Consulate-Generals of Brazil and Spain to the Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi.
Appreciating Nigerians for their hospitality, especially to tourists from Brazil to Osun-Osogbo festival, Bandeira said: “I would love to tell Nigerian people “thank you for being so welcoming to me, to the Brazilian people that come visit Nigeria. Thank you for being yourselves”.
In attendance were Spain Consul-General, Juan Moreda; United Arab Emirates Deputy Consul-General, Mohammed Alyammahi; Commercial Consul, the Consulate-General of China in Lagos, Li ke; UAE Public Relations Officer, Joanna Mendora; Chairman, Cross River State Carnival Commission (organiser of Carnival Calabar), Gabe Onah; Nigerian actor, Wale Ojo; founding member, Ikechi Uko and Isaac and Nneka of Goge Africa TV.
Other guests Brazilian and American visitors who came from Osun-Oshogbo festival; representatives of Nike Art Gallery; Nigerian women artists (Omovo Ayoola, Mayen Goodluck, Aisha Idirisu and this reporter) and Jennifer Zerano of the Unity Project Nigeria.
For the founder of Fritots Global Communication (PTY) Limited, Omooba Adesoji Talabi JP, promoting African culture and heritage was what inspired its partnership with the Consulate-General of Brazil in organising the event. “The onus is on us to do all to ensure that our culture and traditions do not die.
We no longer appreciate our culture anymore as we should. We are saying this must change and are bent on promoting it so that people all over the world would know the wealth of culture that we have. And we have taken our culture to South Africa, Israel, Turkey, Egypt and Tanzania.”
By EVELYN OSAGIE