Economy has affected our cultural exchange programmes – Director

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THE School of Music at the MUSON Centre in Lagos on Thursday said that the national economy had in the last three years affected its students’ engagement in cultural exchanges.

The school’s Deputy Director, Mr Emeka Nwokedi, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the sponsors of the programme have become disenchanted because of the economy.

According to him, the cultural exchange programme has always afforded young Nigerians the opportunity of displaying the value of Nigerian music to foreign countries.

“Let me say that the last time that our students embarked in any form of cultural exchange programme was three years ago.

“Every year, we have always received invitations from different foreign countries for cultural exchanges, but within the last three years, we had no sponsorships.

“Before now, we have always engaged our students in cultural exchanges to China, Italy and other foreign countries of the world.

“The economy in the last three years has not really been buoyant and people were really no longer interested in such sponsorships,’’ he said.

Nwokedi said that the exchanges had in the past afforded young Nigerians the opportunity to meet people from other cultural backgrounds and be able to showcase Nigerian music.

The school’s deputy director said that it was important that the students be supported to embark on the cultural exchange programmes to other countries.

Nwokedi said that such exposure would help promote the uniqueness of the Nigerian music to the rest of the world and possibly change their
negative perception of Nigeria.

“When the students engage in cultural exchanges with foreign countries, they are able to know some things about other countries
culture and more importantly, be able to display the uniqueness of Nigerian music to them, as well.

“We need to see our music as a channel to showcase our country and be able to change the negative perceptions of Nigeria.

“But, we are praying and hoping that our economy will soon get better because our students really need these exchanges,’’ he said.

MUSON Centre, otherwise known as the Musical Society of Nigeria, is a performance hall in Lagos.

The multipurpose civic auditorium is located in the heart of Lagos Island, situated conspicuously between the National Museum, the City Mall, the Onikan Stadium and the former official residence of the Nigeria’s Governors-Generals and adjacent to Tafawa Balewa Square. It was founded in 1983. (NAN)

– Feb. 28, 2019 @ 16:19 GMT |

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