In a remarkable royal endorsement trailing the contributions of Zuma Film Festival, Nigeria’s national and foremost film festival, His Imperial Majesty Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, Ooni of Ife, has accepted his appointment as the festival’s first royal grand patron.
Ogunwusi, in his acceptance letter, expressed his willingness to explore the most practical alliances with the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC) in resetting the nation’s film industry as the bedrock of our national identity, wealth creation and a viable export system.
This was contained in a press statement by the NFC’s director of Public Affairs, Mr Brian Etuk, issued in Jos, Plateau State, recently.
According to him, Nigeria must continue to unsettle the armchair and traditional mono economy reliance on crude oil,which has adversely affected the nation’s journey towards the desired and prosperous destination, achievable through the effective utilization of endowed human assets.
The film industry, he further said, has the capacity and capabilities of regenerating the nation’s creative culture economy for accelerated development.
Ogunwusi averred that Nigeria’s film industry, from several years back, has demonstrated its pragmatic and most dominant influence in the preservation of cultural heritages and identity, and is undoubtedly shaping the nation’s economy through the creation of jobs.
While paying tribute to the robust 21st century creative culture economy of the nation, Ooni Ogunwusi said stakeholders should continue to build on the legacies of those who laid the foundation for Nigeria’s film industry, saying,“We must be pragmatic and create the most long term strategic approach to establishing film culture as the symbol of our national assets and the emblem of patriotism”.
The Ooni, in the statement, commended NFC’s managing director and chief executive, Dr. Chidia Maduekwe, the Ishinka Ohafia, for his transformational leadership, which has characterized the film agency’s unparalleled commitment towards the sustainable development of Nigeria’s film industry and driver of its modern creative culture, through the development of robust collaborative and partnership policies that supports Nollywood’s steady and undisputedly rise as the exporter of Nigeria’s rich stories beyond Africa.
He equally paid tribute to President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, for approving and directing the implementation of policies and programmes that are redefining the contributions of the film industry to nation building, including the recently launched National Development Plan – NDP 2021 – 2025.
Meanwhile Dr Chidia Maduekwe has described the role of the Ooni of Ife, and royal grand patron, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, as a crest which will further enhance the film festival as a national event for domestic and foreign audiences and as a brand for Nigeria.
“His Majesty’s acceptance especially as a custodian of cultural heritages is indicative of his love for the nation and his avowed commitment towards nation building, cutting across cultures.
“It provides a rare opportunity for the total mobilization and integration of all Nigerians towards nation building,” Maduekwe added.
The official investiture of His Imperial Majesty Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, Ooni of Ife, as royal grand patron of Zuma Film Festival is scheduled take place in Ife, ahead of the festival scheduled for April 2–9, 2022 in Abuja.
The Film Festival is being jointly mounted by the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC) and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.