The Oba of Benin, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Ewuare II, has been honoured with Africa Travel 100 Global personalities awards by the Organiser of AKWAABA African Travel Market, Mr Ikechi Uko in recognition of his cultural and historical upstanding.
This was just as the Director-General, National Council for Arts and Culture, Otunba Segun Runsewe presented a branded royal souvenir to the Oba of Benin for hosting all the states’ contingent at his palace in Benin on Thursday.
It could be recalled that African Travel Quarterly, (Atqnews.com), unveiled the first shortlist of the winners of the Africa Travel 100 Global personality’s awards a few months ago with the Oba of Benin among six other global personalities in the Heritage and Culture category.
The Heritage and Culture category have Oba of Benin, Ewuare II, Custodian of Benin Moat and Igwe Festival; Professor Zahi Hawass, Egyptologist and Former Curator of the Heritage of the Pharaohs; Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, King of Yorubas and Promoter of Olojo Festival and Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, Custodian of Kano walls and Durbar Festival.
Others include the Obi of Onitsha, Nnaemeka Alfred Achebe for promoting Ofala Festival; King Mswati that held the Swaziland Reeds Dance Umhlanga Festival with high esteem and the Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, who passionately promote AKwasidae Festival (Kumasi, Ghana).
Some of the categories were honoured at the 15th AKWAABA African Travel Market at Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos on the 23rd of September, 2019.
According to the Organiser of the Award, Mr Ikechi Uko “The award is in recognition of personalities in the travel and tourism sector that have exemplified themselves in the industry and contributed to the growth of the sector in Africa and in the Diaspora and when we talk of revere royal of global reputation, the Oba of Benin is one of the respected with historical, cultural and traditional norms evident across the world.
The year 2019 marks 400 years of slavery which Nigeria was a major nation invaded. Slavery is a very sensitive topic that has created an uncomfortable relationship between Africa and its diaspora.
Africa with 54 countries and a population of 1.2 billion has unbelievable tourist attractions. The Caribbean and African diaspora have unique culture, rich heritage and beautiful destinations for tourists, hence the need to connect and combine these wonderful cultures and population together, creating a huge global market and Benin is one of those market rich in brand products to lure tourists to Nigeria.
“So we have the singular honour though the help of this NAFEST platform made possible by the Director-General, National Council for Arts and Culture, Otunba Segun Runsewe to present this global award to his majesty, Oba Ewuare II.
Also, the DG NCAC, who earlier presented a branded royal souvenir to the Oba of Benin for his support and steadfastness in promoting and preserving the cultural pride of the people said Benin play a pivotal role in the cultural landscape of Nigeria and urged the people to hold it with high esteem.
He said the hosting of NAFEST in Edo State is a turning point for the state leverage on to attract the world not only to see but also to generate revenue from their rich cultural potential viz-a-viz empowering the people through the free skill acquisition avenue the Edo NAFEST 2019 created for people in the state.
By Wale Olapade