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FESTAC '77 - 2nd World Black & African Festival of Arts

FESTAC '77 - 2nd World Black & African Festival of Arts and Culture

FESTAC '77 was a great art and cultural assembly of Africans and African-Americans that was held for one month in Nigeria from the 15th Jan. until the 12th Feb. 1977. It was truly a class act that brought people of all races and nationalities to Nigeria in celebration of acts and culture that has since not been surpassed.

Most of the festival took place in Lagos State - in the main, conference and cinema halls of the National Theatre, Iganmu which was built for the event; the National Stadium in Surulere; Tafawa Balewa Square in Lagos; and in the Lagos City Hall; except for the Durbar, a spectacular involving over 3000 horses which took place in Kaduna State.

The Grand Patron of the event was President Olusegun Obasanjo, the current president of Nigeria, who was then a Lt. General of the Nigerian Armed Forces and the Head of the Federal Military Government. The President of the 2nd World Black and African Festival of Arts was the then Cmdr Ochegomie Promise Fingesi, who was then Nigeria's Commissioner for Special Duties.

The 2nd World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture is an Event organized and staged by the International Festival Committee, and its conception can be traced to the first festival held in Dakar, Senegal in 1966, which was then simply known as the World Festival of Negro Arts.

The festival which was a great departure from the first festival in terms of scope and magnitude embraced all Black and African people from all over the world.

Participation is open to
a] all member states of the AU (formerly OAU)
b] all Liberation Movements recognized by AU (formerly OAU)
c] all Black communities outside the African continent.

The Principal objectives of the Festival are:
i] to ensure the revival, resurgence, propagation and promotion of Black and African culture and Black and African cultural values and civilization.
ii] to present Black and African culture in its highest and widest conception;
iii] to promote Black and African artists, performers and writers, and to facilitate their world acceptance and their access to world outlets;
iv] to bring to light the diverse contributions of Black and African peoples to the universal current of thought and arts;
v] to promote better international and interracial understanding among men.

*The Anthem "For My People" was written by Margaret Walker from Alabama, USA, while the music was produced by Akin Euba a Nigerian, who was the head of the music section of the International Secretariat of FESTAC. This was presented by a four-part choir, and included piano, drum set, conga drums and string bass. (*see below for lyrics)

It was a joyous occasion of celebration of culture for both Nigeria, the host country and the worldwide participants which included Miriam Makeba, Stevie Wonder, (fmr.) U.S. Ambassador, Andrew Young, the Ipi Tombi Troupe, as well as a train of dignitaries, Kings, Emirs, Ambassadors, Commissioners, Ministers, Diplomatic Corps members and other VIPs from worldwide.

There were different disciplines including: Dancing, Music, Drama, Cinema, Literature Recitals, Popular Dressing & Exhibitions.

Countries that participated came from worldwide and included all the African countries - Gambia, Senegal, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, Ghana, Libya, Zambia, Togo, Guinea Bissau, Sudan, Algeria, Mali, Sierra Leone, Tunisia, Liberia, Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Zaire, Congo, Benin, Cameroun, Gabon, Mauritius, Niger, Somalia, Equatorial Guinea, Egypt, Malagasy, Mauritania, Botswana, Lesotho, Chad, Central Africa, Upper Volta, Morocco, and Angola; USA came with representatives from several different sates; South American countries included Brazil, Guyana, Cuba, Haiti; Europe had representatives from England, and Ireland; Australia had representatives from their continent; Canada had it's own representatives, while the Caribbean was represented by Antigua, Barbados, Grenada, Bahamas, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago.

Performers in drama, literature, music and dance included Miriam Makeba; Osibisa; Letta Mbulu; the Angolan Modern Orchestra (one of many other Orchestras from many countries); the Nigerian Music Troupe; the Nigerian Dance Troupe; National Ballet groups from Algeria, Zaire, Congo, etc.; Aboriginal Dance Troupe from Australia; Ghana Festival Dance Co.; Darlene Blackburn, D.C. Repertory and Alvin Ailieys Dance Troupes (USA); Harambe Dancers (Kenya); Modern Pop Ensemble (Nigeria); Afro 70 Band (Tanzania); among several dance and music troupes and ensembles, national ballet groups, Orchestras, Drama groups.

In cinema, several movies from Nigeria and other African countries, as well as from Europe, the Caribbean and the USA were shown, including the popular Car Wash which was remade recently.

FESTAC '77 Anthem

1] Let a new earth arise
Let another world be born
Let a bloody peace
Be written in the sky.

Refrain: Festac 77 is here

2] Let a second generation
Full of courage issue forth
Let a people loving freedom
Come to growth

Refrain: Festac 77 is here

3] Let a beauty full of healing
And strength of final clenching
be the pulsing in our spirits
And our blood

Refrain: Festac 77 is here

4] Let the martial songs be written
Let the dirges disappear
Let the race of men now rise
And take control

Refrain: Festac 77 is here

With over 17,000 participants from over fifty countries, it is the largest cultural event ever held on the African continent. The Festival was a living proof that nations though differing in tribe and tongue can come together to embrace one another through arts and culture for a common joyous purpose which promotes human tolerance and world unity.

I pray that this kind of event will prevail and continue to promote love rather than the intolerance and hatred that underlies human interaction, even in this very day and age.

8th Nov. '05

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J. I. Alufa Reproduced the Queen Idia Mask Used for Festac

Joseph I. Alufa Reproduced the Queen Idia Mask Used for Festac '77

Questions re: The Original Queen Idia Mask

Festac '77 ~ Welcome To Nigeria & other music by Sunny Ade & His African Beat

Music Played at Festac '77

Music Played at Festac '77

The  Warrior   -  Osibisa  ( Festac -'77)

Ipi- N'tombia  - Ipi -Tombi  (Festac '77)

Shosholoza - Ipi Ntombi

Mayfield Small - FESTAC '77 - Lagos, Nigeria

1977 Jan - Tubeec & Magool @ the African Festival in Lagos

Golden Sounds of Cameroon at FESTAC '77

The History of the World Festival of Black Arts & Culture / FESTAC

After a 33 year gap, the World Festival of Black Arts and Culture (sometimes referred to as FESMAN) was revived by Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade, and given the go ahead by the African Union, to mark the renaissance and legacy of Africa in the 21st century.

FESTAC '77 Video

FESTAC '77 Video

FESTAC '77 was indeed a Festival that depicted "the joy of finding each other and being together." No other has been that elaborate or enriching since then.

FESTAC '77- News Report in The Black Scholar Magazine

The 1st Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC) was held in Senegal in 1966, the 2nd most renowned festival was held in Nigeria in 1977 and a 3rd was finally held again in Senegal in 2010.



Festival Mondial des Arts Négres [FESTAC '66]


Welcome To Nigeria - King Sunny Ade



Africa Festac 77

Africa - Festac 77 - (bloco 1)

Festac 77 Africa (bloco 3)

Festac 77 Africa (boclo 4)

Festac 77 Africa (bloco 5)


[Sénégal: 3500 Artistes au Festival des Arts Nègres]

African Renaissance: 3rd World Festival of Black Arts and Cultures, Dakar, Senegal, West Africa, 2010

Return to Senegal: Third World Festival of Black Arts & Culture

Universal at World Festival Senegal Dec 15 2010[/b]

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