TEXT OF ADDRESS DELIVERED BY THE SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO THE EXECUTIVE GOVERNOR OF KWARA STATE ON ARTS, CULTURE AND TOURISM, HON. FEMI ADEBAYO ON THE 2016 EDITION OF SHAO AWON MASS WEDDING CULTURAL TOURISM FESTIVAL, 26TH OCTOBER, 2016
I am highly delighted to welcome you all to this very important press briefing on Awon Mass Wedding Festival 2016 Edition holding in Shao Community. The grand finale of the festival comes up on Friday 28th October 2016 at SDA Primary School playing ground.
On our part as the State Committee, which I chair, it is highly necessary and expedient that we parley with the media on a very significant festival as Awon Mass Wedding. And so, with this press briefing, I have the privilege to intimate all Nigerians and the rest of the world of yet another moment of festivity in Kwara State and particularly in Shao community. This is in fulfilment of the annual celebration and practical realisation of one of the comic rhythms of life as reposed in marriage consummation especially in the pristine traditional mode.
Awon Mass Wedding, which event is being celebrated annually, every last Friday of October or 1st Friday of November, is a unique cultural festival among the indigenes of Shao in Moro Local Government Area of Kwara State when all marriageable maidens are given out in marriage in one day. The Festival is listed in the National Tourism Calendar of the National Tourism Development Corporation NTDC, Abuja and it attracts crowds from far and near parts of Nigeria as well as Tourists from across the world.
This year’s celebration (2016) will be boosted with a new touch and finesse. One of the leading Fuji Musicians, Alhaji Wasiu Alabi Pasuma, is billed to perform live at the grand finale on Friday, 28th of this month. This is in addition to the array of artists from Kwara including Kwara State Council for Arts and Culture, State Branches of Theatre Arts and Motion Pictures Association of Nigeria (TAMPAN) and Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) already mobilized to add colours and grandeur to the occasion. Other events preceding the grand finale include football match, film show, Ayo contest, procession etc. Ace actress, Ronke Oshodi Oke is expected to anchor the programme.
For the efforts made so far, we want to express our gratitude to His Excellency, Alhaji (Dr) Abdulfatah Ahmed, Executive Governor of Kwara State for his support and blessing for the 2016 Awon Festival celebration. Her Excellency, Deaconess, Omolewa Ahmed has equally been wonderful in this respect and this is highly appreciated. We also appreciate the supports received from the Secretary to Kwara State Government, Alhaji Isiaka Shola Gold, the Head of Service, Hajia Zahra Omar, Chief of Staff to His Excellency, Hon. Wahab Babatunde Yusuf, and the Hon. Commissioner of Information, Mr. Ajeigbe Babatunde for their readiness to support the Committee. We are grateful to our sponsors such as Nigeria Bottling Company (Coca Cola), Olaniyi Badmus Nig. Ltd., E-Phoenix, Leah Water, Laviva Buka, Fresh Hotel and J15 Media Network for supporting partnering with us on 2016 Awon Mass Wedding festival. The motherly support and role played by the Hon Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Hajia Iyabo Jolaade Adewuyi to the State Committee on Awon Festival is highly appreciated.
At this juncture, I am proud to announce to you all that all is now set for an eventful celebration of Awon Mass Wedding Festival in Shao which commences forthwith It is an open field event to which we invite all and sundry. Come one come all.
Once again, I want to thank you, our media men for honouring our invitation. We charge you all to positively project and broadcast the 2016 Edition of Awon Festival.
Thank you and God bless you all.
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