Senegal, Cote D’ivoire, Trinidad and Tobago have indicated interests to showcase their countries’ culinary arts and musical performances at the forthcoming NIHOTOUR Gastronomy Festival scheduled on 17th June 2023 in Abuja.
The three countries made the commitment to participate in the 2023 Gastronomy Festival through their Ambassadors in Abuja.
It will be recalled that since inception of Gastronomy Festival in 2021, Nigerian and International cuisines and cultural displays have been regular features of the event.
The Trinidad and Tobago High Commissioner in Nigeria, His Excellency, Wedell VC De Landro, promised to host a Pan Music rendition, as part of his country’s cultural display.
The High Commissioner explained that “Pan Music is indigenous to Trinidad & Tobago even though the genre has become popular among Caribbean countries and long been exported to North America and Europe. Sadly, Pan Music genre has poor showings in Africa, hence the High Commission here is driven to promote Pan Music in Nigeria and NIHOTOUR Gastronomy Festival avails us a workable opportunity.” He revealed that he also plans to encourage future Pannists among secondary school students in Nigeria.
In his response, the Director General of NIHOTOUR, Nura Kangiwa, expressed delight at the introduction of Pan Music rendition among other cultural displays during Gastronomy Festival. Stating that “the participation of Trinidad & Tobago in this third edition of the food festival with Pan music colourful entertainment will not only enthrall visitors, it will create opportunities for Nigerian tourism stakeholders to partner with Trinidad & Tobago and also expand the reach of the Gastronomy Festival in future editions.”
Similarly, the Senegalese Ambassador in Nigeria, His Excellency Nicolas Auguste NYOUKY, who received the Director General of NIHOTOUR at the Senegalese Embassy in Abuja, affirmed that the Senegalese Embassy will exhibit Senegalese cuisines at the Gastronomy Festival. He said, “the Gastronomy Festival is a unique project, and we will certainly come to showcase variety of our cuisines and other food products. Senegal is foremost in hospitality and tourism services because of our ‘Teranga’ attitude which is in the DNA of most Senegalese. We are a very hospitable people hence Senegalese receive visitors and tourists with warmth.”
The Director General of NIHOTOUR had earlier revealed that “Senegal is a famous country in Nigeria due to your rich foods and unique fashion-style. There is a popular dress-style here in Nigeria called the Senegalese. It is like the Nigerian Kaftan but very adorable and is in much desired here.” The Senegalese Ambassador replied in praise of Nigeria’s success in movies and creative industry. He said, your Nollywood is watched all over Africa and your music is a delight across the world.”
The DG of NIHOTOUR equally visited the Embassy of Cote D’ivoire, situated in Diplomatic Drive in Central Area Abuja, where he had a fruitful meeting with the Ambassador, His Excellency Kalilou Traore. The Ambassador accepted the invitation to participate in Gastronomy Festival and assured that “I will mobilize some of the best Ivorian chefs and restaurateurs in Abuja to exhibit at the Gastronomy Festival and showcase some of our most popular foods.”
Activities lined-up for this year’s NIHOTOUR Gastronomy Festival include exhibitions of cuisines by select African and European countries, and diverse culinary arts displays such as Knife skills, Fruit Carving, Cake decoration, essay writing/quiz for secondary schools, and cooking competition amongst culinary schools.
There would also be conferences involving Nigeria’s leading tourism and hospitality stakeholders and business operators, especially those that are members of the Hospitality and Tourism Sector Skills Council of Nigeria (HTSSCN) of which NIHOTOUR is the sole National Coordinator. Additionally, NIHOTOUR would deliver training and masterclasses for members of the Association of Nigerian Journalists and Travel Writers (ANJET).
NIHOTOUR’s Gastronomy Festival is one of the most culturally eclectic culinary arts and related gastronomy event in Africa. The event attracts thousands of visitors and industry stakeholders who participate in the experiential learning of food production processes and indulge in free sampling of diverse Nigerian and international cuisines and beverages on display. Typically, the festival is laced with traditional gaiety and entertainments that highlight Nigeria’s rich cultural diversity, including musicals and dance choreography.