BY IYANU OLUWAJOMILOJU
The best of Nigerian culture, fused with the rich cultural heritage of Okirika came on stage last weekend in Lagos as Heritage Bank sponsored Seki Dance drama before a select audience of movie and arts enthusiasts.
The well attended event which was compered by a Nollywood star, Kate Henshaw, transformed into a night a fun and entertainment as the convention center of Eko Hotels, the venue of the show, was filled to capacity.
Seki, which was an official entry to the 10th anniversary of the National Black Arts Festival in Atlanta Georgia, is a collaborative rhythmic agreement of dance patterns of five different masquerade groups of the Okirika clan in the Lower Niger Delta Area of Rivers State.
The Dance was aimed at recreating the indigenous response to the struggle in resistance against foreign culture and the promotion of indigenous tradition. It was targeted at identifying the African traditional theatre with specific reference to the Okirika people.
The Information and Culture Minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who was the Special Guest of Honour at the event, commended the bank for the initiative, stressing that the dance drama showcased the rich culture of Okirika people.
The Minister added that the SEKI is a good source of entertainment, education and information. The nation, he emphasized, is united by her different cultures and appealed that Nigerians must celebrate their diversity by reinforcing the things that unite them.
Also speaking at the event, Ifie Sekibo, Managing Director of Heritage Bank explained that as a bank that seeks a balance between tradition and innovation, it always respond positively to the rich African tradition through various art forms as a way of promoting cultural diplomacy.
“The name Heritage Bank was born out of a desire to project an essence that fosters a generational mind-set, and is reflected in the unique physical and ideological atmosphere that defines our business, Sekibo said.
Yibo Koko, the Director of the dance drama explained that culture is the totality of a way of life evolved by a people in their attempt to meet the challenges of living in their environment and stressed that SEKI remains a traditional representation and dramatic imitation of the belief system of the Okirika people.