The third edition of the Beeta Arts Festival; an all-inclusive festival for African Arts and Culture ended on a high note. The five-day celebration of creativity held in the city of Abuja, Nigeria was undoubtedly a fusion of creative minds, spotlighting both emerging and established African performing artists, film, music, fine arts
The 3rd edition which held at Abuja Continental Hotel as the main hub amongst other locations did not only witness the attendance of reputable arts and culture professionals from within and outside the country, it also attracted members of the diplomatic community, government and celebrities. Attendees were treated to a rich blend of Workshops, conversations, Book readings, Cocktail evenings, Films, Stage Plays, Music, Competitions, Storytelling sessions, Games among other engaging activities including a Festival Market and curated experiences.
The pre-event activities included virtual and physical workshops and discussions including storytelling, singing, branding and communication, publishing, acting, producing, directing, Navigating your mental health, etc. The facilitators included heavy weights such as award winning Director of the 200 City Choir, Shallom Matthew, award winning director and scriptwriter Joshua Alabi of Kininso Concepts, award winning actor/director Olarotimi Fakunle and the Founder of Paperworth Books, Ms. Ibiso Graham-Douglas amongst others.
A star-studded cocktail event at 6ixx Bar and Grill Abuja’s premier Lounge with notable personalities in attendance such as Actor Anthony Effiong Edet (TTT), reality Tv personality OJ Posharella award winning actress Ivie Okujaye, award winning actor/director Olarotimi Fakunle, members of Abuja Literary society, the Deputy High Commissioner of Botswana, Israel Eboh NANTAP President, The Distinguished Senator of FCT Hajiya Ireti Kingibe represented by her Chief of Staff, among others were present.
The main festival activities took place at the Abuja Continental Hotel including Stageplays, Film screenings, Music, festival specially crafted experiences including storytelling by Aunty Shine Shine and Painting Corner by Fawzah, exhibitions, festival market, and additional physical and virtual workshops facilitated by Dr. Agozie Ugwu, Ms Nadira Shakur and MrMichael Afenfia. Films screened at the Beeta Arts Festival were curated in collaboration with Manyatta Screenings in Kenya and showcased work from Uganda, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda and Morocco. Also screened at the festival were home grown and diaspora Nigerian titles including work by KaghoIdabhor and Momo Spaine.
The Plays performed at the festival included work from the Alumni of the Beeta Playwright competition including AdesewaAkinyemi, John Ekpeno Ukut, Paul Ugbede, Ronke Gbede and new curated work by Olarotimi Fakunle. Directed by seasoned thespians including Abiodun Kazeem, Akinwumi Wealth, Olarotimi Fakunle, Mandu Okpako.
Some notable personalities who brought some of the characters to life included, Daniel Okosun, Bunmi Sogade, OJ Posharellaand Tony Edet (Thin Tall Tony) who were also goodwill personalities of the festival.
The 2023 edition of the Beeta Arts Festival showed solidarity with 16 days of activism in collaboration with the United States of American Embassy in Abuja the distinguished Senator of FCT Hajiya Ireti Kingibe, whose Gender Based Violence-focused NGO, Orange Initiative in conjunction with the American Film Showcase held a Spotlight Screening and Panel session, showing the film Nevertheless by Sarah Moshman and the Movement highlighting the soft power of storytelling to address social issues.
Also at BAF was a book reading event presenting the new work of Adaora Onyechere Sidney-Jack Power, Pu#%y and Politics, a gender advocate and media personality also alludes the commitment of BAF’s keen interest in women-related social issues. According to the author, the book was written to shed light on the important role women play in changing and reshaping the political landscape for collective growth and national progress.
The closing ceremony was a feast of spoken word, music, dance and the famous jollof rice eating competition.
According to the Founder and Festival Director, BikiyaGraham-Douglas, the goal of the Beeta Arts Festival 2023 tagged New Narratives, Limitless Possibilities is to bring creative minds and the community from across Africa together to showcase authentic African stories while opening up pathways for better storytelling, networking, collaboration and being a meeting point for different artistic expressions. In her words, “We are committed to giving rising stars a platform to showcase their creativity and provide room for networking that creates lifelong collaborations to enhance Arts and Culture and the creative economy in Nigeria and Africa.”
The 2023 Beeta Arts Festival was sponsored by ChairborneGlobal Services Limited, First Bank Nigeria, The United States Embassy in Abuja, Century Energy Group, Abuja Continental Hotel, Doyenne Circle, Development Bank of Nigeria,andsupported Diageo, Pepsi, Zenith Bank. Media partnerships include Cool FM, Wazobia FM, Nigerian Info FM, Classic FM, Beat FM, AIT, Channels TV, Arise TV, Bella Naija, Y Naija, Pulse NG among other media partners.
The closing soiree was a feast of spoken word and poetry by Sade the Hope Dealer from Chicago, painting, games, dance competition and Music by AJB Entertainment making the BeetaArts Festival an intervention event for growth in African arts and culture in Abuja for a global audience.
Ayomitide Adeyinka is a content writer, crypto journalist and editor with a Bsc in Political Science. He is also an egalitarian.