As a prelude to the celebration of the International Day of Peace (IdP) celebrated every year on the 21st of September, Drum Majors for Peace held the 4th Entertainment & Peace celebration on the 20th at the China Cultural Centre, Abuja. I was invited as Guest of Honour and Speaker. The general theme for this year was 'Action for Peace: Our ambition for the global goals'. The specific theme for our engagement was 'Building harmony through entertainment & cultural diplomacy'.
Wednesday 4 October 2023
INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE 2023
Some of the participants were:
*Li Xuda - Cultural Counselor of the Chinese Embassy & Director, Cultural Centre in Nigeria
*Prof. Joseph Golwa - Former DG, Institute for Peace & Conflict Resolution (IPCR)
*Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa - Independent Conflict Transformation Strategist/Gender Specialist & Former Director, IPCR
*Dr. Constance Ikokwu - Arise TV Analyst
*Dr. Stella Dorgu - Founder, Ayamara Foundation & Member 7th Assembly of the House of Representatives
*Amb. Nsikan Paul - Convener/Founder/ED Drum Majors for Peace
*Dr. Chike Okogwu - PWD Rights Advocate
In my speech, I called attention to the fact that 'peace is not served a la carte'. We all have to work assiduously and consistently to make it happen. Since war starts in the minds of men, it is also in the minds of men and women that peace should start (UNESCO). Besides, entertainment is a viable tool for engendering peace via songs, dance, theatre, etc.
Li Xuda, Director of the China Cultural Centre in Nigeria, alluded to the fact that the Chinese Ambassador, Cui Jianchun proposed an initiative called 'Sharing Chinese Harmony & Performing Nigeria-China Symphony.' Harmony is the most important traditional value in Chinese culture and symphony is a metaphor used for win-win cooperation between Nigeria and China
After a few speeches there was the panel discussion where I pointed out the distinct difference between country, state and nation-state. I said that beyond the geographical entity, a country called Nigeria, we need to synergistically and organically evolve into a state where we genuinely voluntarily give up part of our sovereignty as citizens to the elected government and we expect in return protection of our lives and property. We the citizens also expect the protection of our fundamental human rights among other baseline demands. It is via this organic evolution that Nigeria can truly become a nation-state...
The 'Peace T-Shirt' was launched after the robust panel discussion on the theme: 'Engaging cultural diplomacy for peace...' There was so much entertainment - singing, dancing, poetry/spoken word and calisthenics. I look forward to the 5th edition of the Peace Summit next year.