NICO handover UNESCO certificate of cultural heritage to Benue Govt

)Mr Muhammad Yahuza, the Executive Secretary (ES), National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) has presented certificate of inscription of ”Kwagh-Hir” theaterical performance to the Benue Government.Presenting the certificate on Thursday in Makurdi, Yahuza said the nomination of ”Kwagh-Hir” was adopted during  the 14th Session of the Inter-Governmental Committee for the Safeguarding of intangible Cultural Heritage held in Bogota, Colombia in

2019.Yahuza explained that with the Kwagh-Hir inscription, Nigeria now has five cultural heritage sites on the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) of Humanity.He further disclosed that with the approval of Kwagh-Hir inscription “Kwaghhir theatre can now enjoy the support and protection of UNESCO.”He commended Gov. Samuel Ortom and the people of Benue for their unending support towards the promotion of the Nigerian culture especially in Benue.“We appreciate your undaunting collaborative efforts towards the promotion of our cultural heritage which has led to the inscription of Kwagh-Hir theatre on the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) of Humanity.“The Inscription of Kwaghir theatre on UNESCO World Heritage Map is another land mark achievement of the Institute towards the realization of its mandate and a great privilege and honour for our dear country, Nigeria.“The benefits of this milestone achievement are not farfetched. Kwaghhir Theartre can now enjoy the support and protection of UNESCO.”

he saidAccording to him, the “inscription will also increase visibility for the element and at the same time enhance the dignity and pride of the performing communities.“Besides, Kwagh-hir theatrical performance has earned international recognition as a tourist destination and as such a potential foreign exchange earner for Nigeria and the State.”He said other cultures earlier unscripted in Nigeria on UNSECO world heritage map are the Oral Heritage of Gelede (2008), Ifa Divination System (2008), Ijele Masquerade (2009) and Argungu International Fishing and Cultural Festival (2016).“At this juncture, let me remind you that you are now partners with UNESCO in the promotion of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. I therefore implore your Excellency to ensure continued support to the safeguarding mechanisms of the Kwagh-hir Theatre.In his remarks, Gov. Ortom said:” Kwagh-Hir theaterical performance reinforces our traditional beliefs, uphold our culture and represent certain behavioral attributes of the Tiv people”

.Ortom who was represented by his Deputy, Benson Abounu said with the  inscription, Kwagh-Hir has come to stay in the world.He described Kwagh-Hir as cultural heritage performance of Tiv speaking people of North Central Nigeria which dramatists conveys deep meaning, with some kind of mysteries.He said the Kwagh-hir artists through animated characters in some cases expresses the deep rooted cultural heritage of the Tiv people and deserves world recognition.He said culture “defines a nation adding that without culture you are nobody as a nation” (NAN)