The governor noted that since inception in 2014, the festival has continued to grow bigger and better, and it presents itself as the most unique instrument for the consolidation of peace and unity. Okalia Bilai did not only congratulate the vision bearer of Limbe FESTAC, Motanga Andrew Monjimba, but also the entire Limbe populace, who massively turned out for the event.
Going memory lane, South west governor talked about the coming of Rev Alfred Saker to Victoria in 1858, at which time he maintained “there were no Anglophones/Francophones, they were simply an indigenous coastal people…people who have gone ahead to constitute our country Cameroon.”
Also, he urged investors and the private sector as well as internal and external elites to put more effort in investing, sponsoring and supporting the powerful initiative.
Vision bearer of Limbe FESTAC, Motanga Andrew Monjimba described the population of Limbe as friendly, peace-loving and dynamic. He greatly appreciated Governor Okalia for presiding at the ceremony for the 3rd time since inception.
Motanga mentioned that the festival has not been a bed of roses but they are ready to stay the course.
“Five years on, Limbe FESTAC has become a reference festival…we are unshakeable in our resolve to make Limbe FESTAC become not only a strong symbol but a leading and reference festival in Cameroon and well beyond our borders,” he said.
He equally talked of the festival’s next level - the introduction of a raffle draw. “The objective is two-fold; increase a wider participation by our community members and also to increase means of self-sustainability”. He went further to urge the population to buy their tickets of FCFA 1000 so as to stand a chance of winning the lofty prizes offered in the raffle draw, notably the Toyota Yaris car worth FCFA 15 million.
Going back to the reasons behind the organization of the yearly cultural jamboree, Motanga explained that “The Limbe City Council, convinced that development is a wholesome process, decided to invest in our arts and culture just as it has done in other areas. We have done so because of the inherent values in our arts and culture”, he explained, and urged other partners and sponsors to get on board and support the mission. He noted the efforts of partners like CDC and SONARA, as well as sponsors like Dangote Cement, for their material and financial support. He equally appreciated the entrance of Camtel, which has decided to begin partnership with the festival in this 6th edition.
Impressed with the massive crowd which turned out for the opening ceremony, Motanga pressed on that “This year, more than ever before, we want to see the massive participation of each and every member of the Limbe community. Limbe FESTAC is by the people, Limbe FESTAC is for the people, Limbe FESTAC belongs to the people. Limbe FESTAC is a vivid manifestation of the peaceful co-existence of all our cultures and tribes in Limbe and here in Limbe, we live together as one”, the vision bearer emphasized.
At the end of the ceremony, the authorities present, including among others the General Manager of CDC Franklin Njie, Board Chair of SONARA Bertha Ndoh, Fako East MP Gladys Etombi and other MPs, visited the various stands at the cultural village where they got to see the caliber of artifacts and products on display at Limbe FESTAC 2019.
The colour and ambiance during the opening ceremony of Limbe FESTAC 2019 proved that indeed, the festival has gone to the next level. The beautiful parade of the caravan depicting beauty, culture, history, sports, strength and spiritual battles as well as displays from neighbouring countries like Nigeria and Benin caught the attention of all present and many attested to the fact that, truly, Cameroon is Africa in miniature.
The raffle draw takes place on Friday April 12 while the festival ends on Saturday.