The Nigeria Carnival USA has unveiled its ambassadors for the second edition of the yearly Nigeria music, cultural and comedy event in the United States of America.
The carnival, which is an initiative of TKY Global Investment Limited, has announced that actress, Deihlar Musa, comic actor, Abiodun Ayoyinka aka Papa Ajasco, Nkechi Blessing Sunday, also known as Omoge Lekki, Abdul Mohammed, teen reality TV prodigy, Ibukunoluwa Ayomikun Sobowale, and comedian, Kelly Ighoyota, also known as Kelly Blind as ambassadors for the 2017 edition of the carnival slated for July 23 through 31, 2017, in Maryland, U.S.A.
Chief Operating Officer of the carnival, Benson Rorole Akinkuede, said: “Many do not believe in our dreams, in our project, when we started the carnival in 2016. Thank God, the maiden edition was successful.”
Akinkuede, said the carnival recorded over 300 audiences in the maiden edition, adding that the aim of the project is about selling Nigerian culture to the outside world and unite Nigerians in the diaspora. According to him: “Apart from sports, there is no other thing that can bring Nigerians together than culture and entertainment. We are bringing Nigerians together through culture and make them cherish their culture like the Chinese and other culturally-inclined countries.”
On the choice of ambassadors, he said, “We picked Kelly Blind to represent the South-South region and also the physically challenge persons; Papa Ajasco from the South-West, Deihlar Musa and Abdul Mohammed to represent the North-Central and North-east, and Ibukunoluwa, who is 11 years old, to represent teenagers. Since it’s a Nigeria thing, we have to bring everyone together.”
When asked if the emergence of Donald Trump as U.S. president could affect the number of spectators, Akinkuede, who is projecting 10,000 spectators for the carnival, remarked: “America is a country where no man can come as a president and change things to suit himself. The law is there to guide everyone, and it’s a country where true federalism is practiced. And besides, the Nigeria carnival is legitimate; we are not going there to smuggle but to promote our culture; we have nothing to do with Trump.”
Nollywood actress, Foluke Daramola Salako, who is also the Public Relations Officer of the carnival, said: “The first edition has only one person as ambassador but we decided to expand and capture the whole Nigerian region in the second edition. We wanted to be specific and precise in picking ambassadors for the event in order to infuse everybody and to ensure every Nigerians is carried along and that at the end of the day, brands or government parastatals will have enough reasons to get involved.
“As part of the event, Nigeria Carnival will be visiting royal fathers in different zones in the country to relate our culture with what we want to do abroad. It’s not about travelling abroad for the carnival but we want to take culture to the outside world, and this is coming at the right time, to douse tension and allay the fears of Nigerians living in the U.S.A. and other parts of the world, especially now that we have a lot of tension in the land, with people becoming more sentimental about their ethnic group and increase in religious crisis. So, this is like an infusion of all the geo-political zones in Nigeria in love, to entertain and celebrate our different cultural heritage.
“The coming together of different ethnic groups would put the mind of Nigerians in diaspora, who have voiced concerns over the unity of the country, will go a long way to explain the state of the country.”