When many distinguished guests received their Invitation Cards to this year’s Culturati event, many were blown over by the beautiful look of the IV, which came in a box. You had to open the box to see the proper Invite which was embedded in it. And to even read the message, you had to unfold the 3-page invite to read the message of Culturati 2020.
All of this is a taste of what to expect at this year’s event which promises to be Classy. It is Africa’s largest Cultural Fusion with the Theme: Unleashing African Potentials.
What is Culturati all about?
The organiser, Idris Aregbe wrote in his Foreword to the invite, that Culturati is Africa’s largest cultural fusion, a culture oriented brand, fanning the embers of artistic creativity in various crafts and customs. “For 13 years, we have been empowering SMEs in the creative industry, celebrating cultural icons and empowering cultural enthusiasts whose works have pushed the boundaries of African arts to the global stage, all of which have built Culturati a towering pedigree”.
“We have other the years worked with commitment, diligence and enthusiasm to deliver historic festivals, birth business partnerships and cross-continent alliances through strategic networking and rewarding engagements which have transformed the lives of many.”
“This year, the event promises to be even more inspiring and exciting with a variety of music and dance performances, lifestyle sessions, fashion modelling and a beauty pageant, while serving as a hobnob to network and ally for cultural business and social opportunities”.
With the theme: “Unleashing African Potentials”, Culturati 2020, the 3-day event is once again poised to showcase the diverse beauty and uniqueness of African culture and even more crucial than ever, in identifying opportunities and building bridges through cultural exchange, as we gradually navigate away from the Covid-19 pandemic.”
City People Magazine asked him a few days ago on what to expect at the 2020 Culturati event. “Let me start by saying The Culturati is a movement and we can’t afford to stop that movement. We can’t afford to break it. Whatever happens, we would stand by our goals. We have to constantly see how we can continue to standby our goal which is to constantly engage with our people.”
“We also learn more about it. As we try also try to transfer some cultural values, we are also learning a few things. It is something that has come to stay. A lot of people learn more about our values and traditions through Culturati. Its also a bridge between the older generation and younger generation”.
“Most importantly, what we have done this year is to see how we can let people know that are need to start looking inwards. We need to start looking at Africa & Africans and we need to start looking at Nigeria and Nigerians. We should start looking at what we have. We should promote our own. We need to double up our efforts to encourage and support more youths to turn their Passion into Profit, what they believe in. Our message is how we can help the youths to turn what they know how best to do into business, into profit. We need to sell Nigeria to the world. That is our focus for this year and as you know our theme is Unleashing The African Potential to the world. That is the point at we are right now”.
So, Culturati embraces Fashion, Beauty, Entertainment and what else we asked him? “Yes, Culturati is about Fashion, Music, Dance, Food and our belief and how we can convert all these to good use and even export some of them. If we don’t believe in ourselves, then we are nobody. We cannot continue to buy everything that the Western World produces. We must try and see how we can try to create a platform that we believe in and for others to also buy-in. And the most important thing is that if you get it right, they are also willing to buy from us. What the Culturati movement is all about is believing in it and pushing others to buy into it. So we want to seek a lot of partnership with the Food industry, Music, & Fashion Stakeholders”.
“So everything about Culturati is not just about Entertainment, it is about an event that has Value, that has ripple effects, and that you can see. As you can see, there is so much value attached to it”.
How many years has he been doing this? And why did he change the name of the brand to Culturati”. I have been running Culturati for 13 years now. We started with the Sisi Oge Concept”.
“But now, we are taking a bold step forward to let people know that it is not just about Entertainment. It’s not about we are coming to watch a Beaty Pageant or Music. It’s about raising people. Last year, we started by creating the Culturati Academy. What you are going to see this year comes from there. 60% of what you are going to see this year are things produced by the Culturati Academy. They have learnt a lot from us and they are willing to share it with our audience on the final day. I am sure a lot of people will be impressed with what we have been able to do in terms of music, dance, acting to inject this real core value into the younger generation. I give thanks to God whenever I look back at where I started and what I have been able to achieve. We got the older generation to transfer the core values to us and we are also transferring it to these coming behind, I mean the African value. You can see how our music is doing, how our food is doing now. Everybody is buying our music. Everybody is buying our food”.
Idris Says “This year’s Culturati event, Africa’s largest cultural fusion, has been projected to redefine the world perception about the continent’s culture, boost tourism development and attract foreign investors, the convener, Idris Aregbe, has said.
Aregbe added that the 2020 event would provide a platform to synergize African culture and that of other continents to foster strong collaborations and explore the rich diversities of different cultures, giving Africa especially Nigeria the edge to become a destination for tourists.
The culture aficionado further disclosed that this year’s event would, as against previous editions, has been designed to take the promotion of African culture, growth of local businesses and human development thus restoring Africa’s eroding cultural pride, while arresting the cycle of poverty and unemployment.
Speaking at the Culturati dome in Lagos about the 13th edition of the cultural fiesta scheduled to hold December 18, the Convener of the globally attended event disclosed that these were reasons this year’s event theme was ‘Unleashing African Potentials’, and would hold at Amore Gardens in Lekki.
According to him, the event was expected to kick off with a Red carpet and promises to be an exciting, educative and inspiring event with a number of features including, Arts & Cultural Fair, Symposium, Fashion show and Runway, Music & Dance, Drama, Cocktail, Special Recognition and Awards.
Aregbe explained that the Cocktail event, a Special Edition, would also serve as an avenue to introduce the movie ‘This is Lagos,’ designed to showcase Tourism and Investment opportunities in Lagos, essentially to bring to visitors’ notice developments, capture important landmarks in the state, while also presenting an exciting adventure for attendees, as the state gradually navigates into a post-pandemic economy.
He said: “At the event, we will be integrating different cultures inspired the theme of Culturati 2020, where we intend to create a synergy between African culture and other continents as a means to foster rewarding collaborations while exploring the rich diversities of different cultures”.
According to him, Culturati reflects the cultural diversity of African societies, and is a vehicle to establish a revival of Africa’s fading culture, while also promoting cultural tourism.
To ensure sustenance, he pointed out Culturati would continuously make greater use of Africa’s creative talents in the continent, of its drama, films and music as effective tools for raising awareness among the African people, on the need for a change in negative attitudes and values, in the drive to boost economic development.
The convener added that the dedication was inspired by the need to acquaint younger generations with the values, beauties, and legacies of the continent’s cultural heritage
Aregbe, a visionary, entrepreneur and youth leader par excellence, further described Culture as a vital factor that could unleash the latent economic potentials propel more development for Africa.
“A force capable of unleashing the latent economic potentials in the African culture, knowing that the various unique underpinnings thereon, readily form a veritable source of creative expressions, , value creation and youth empowerment, all of which resonate with global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”.
In order to, not just boost economic development but also sustain such, Aregbe believed that Cultural values must be in place and governed by Transparency, Accountability, Trustworthiness and Empowerment.
It would be recalled that since inception in 2008, Culturati has been fostering proper understanding of African culture through art exhibitions, fashion shows, dance, poetry, music, cuisine, crafts and others, rewarding the invaluable contributions of cultural icons, while motivating young and upcoming creatives in turning their passion into profit.
He added: “More than just a celebration of Culture, Culturati has carved a niche for itself as a one-stop-shop for African cultural enlightenment, appreciation and celebration, while remaining an effective vehicle for social cohesion and motivation”.
Aside from the annual event, the convener launched Culturati Academy, to empower and provide opportunities for the people especially the youths to learn a trade or craft, in a bid to provide economic relief, more so in the face of the negative effects of COVID-19 which have brought economic hardship to many families.
The prime goal of the initiative was to make graduates of the Academy manufacturers and self-sustained economic agents who will add value to the economy.