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Akaraka Exhibition Showcases Anambra's Beauty Through Photos

By Izunna Okafor
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Awka, the capital city of Anambra State was agog over the weekend, as the first Anambra photo exhibition showcased the amazing beauty of the state and also told her stories pictorially.

The two-day event, tagged "Akaraka; Anambra Through A Lens" was organized by and an Anambra youth, Mr. Benneth Nwankwo, and featured photo exhibition of scenic and historic places in the state, spoken words, mbem (Igbo Poetry), musical performances, and comedy, among others.

Held at the Prof. Kenneth Dike Central E-Library, the well-attended event received the presence of some top government functionaries, art and literary enthusiasts, students and other members of the public who from within and outside the state.

Speaking, the state's Commissioner for Youth Empowerment and Creative Economy, Mr. Afam Mbanefo described the event as laudable, owing to its usage of pictures to tell both the known and the unknown stories of Anambra, which he confessed, was very rare in this part of the world.

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While appreciating the host for venturing into such a rare area, Mr. Mbanefo, who highlighted some of the lined up and ongoing programs of the state government and the ministry for the benefits of Anambra youths, further called on every Anambra youth to visit www.anambrayouths.ng to register himself, so as to be qualified to benefit from the programs and the opportunities therein, as they unfold.

He said, "By March/April this year, we'll be running a program —Anambra Star Search —where we'll be searching for talented and creative Anambra youths, to be able to take them to our upcoming program —Anambra Concert —where they'll be having a proper platform to showcase, maximize and utilize their talents to do well in the society.

"So that's why it's essential that every Anambra youth go online at www.anambrayouths.ng to register himself and have his profile, skills, contact and other details stored in our database, so that he'll be able to benefit from all these and many more programs, as they go on."

On his own part, the MD/CEO of Anambra Newspapers and Printing Corporation (ANPC), Sir Chuka Nnabuife called on the youths to hone their skills and trail the path of creativity with ardency and defined long-term vision.

Being himself an artist and art promoter, Nnabuife who has held and still holds different positions in art-oriented associations (nationally and internationally), further dosed out some creativity-enhancement tips to the participants (who are mostly youths), even as he avowed his consummate support and that of the Anambra Newspapers and Printing Corporation, to the organizer of the event.

Earlier in his address of welcome, the convener of the event, Mr. Benneth Nwankwo said it was aimed at telling the stories of Anambra State through photographs, thereby bringing people's attention to the cultural, and historic places in the state, with a view to boosting the state's tourism and IGR, creating jobs in the sector and reducing crime, by giving the unemployed youths jobs in the tourist industry.

He appreciated the state's ministry of Youths Empowerment and Creative Economy, Anambra Newspapers and Printing Corporation, Anambra Broadcasting Service, as well as other agencies and individuals who contributed towards the success of the event.

A Special Guest at the event, and President, Ohaneze Ndi Igbo in Anambra State, Chief Damian Okeke-Ogene charged the youths to discover and harness their potentials as a means of livelihood, rather than hanging around in search of white collar jobs that are no where to be found today. He further called for collective effort towards preserving and promoting the Igbo language and culture, as according to him, there are also greater benefits and opportunities that abound therein.

In attendance to the event were the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. James Ezeh; US-based Nigerian Medical Practitioner and Philanthropist, Dr. Godwin Maduka (represented by Engr. Obinna Okafor); the member representing Orumba North/South Federal Constituency, Hon. Okwudili Ezenwankwo (represented by Mr. Chibuike Ezenweaora); Nollywood actor, Mr. Kingsley Abasili, among others.