The event was declared open by the Minister for Arts, Culture and Tourism, Senator Bello Jubril Gada, who said he was delighted to be at the event and pleased about the idea of the exhibition. “I am delighted to be here to see the outgoing ambassador who has been a brother and a friend. He has also done his best to strengthen ties between Greece and Nigeria. I am particularly appreciative of the idea of an exhibition of Nigerian costumes. It really is an opportunity for all to see the wealth of our cultural heritage through our traditional clothes,” he said.
The exiting envoy, Harris Dafaranos, was full of gratitude over the cooperation he received during his tenure in Nigeria and also about the turnout of guests at the event. “I am most grateful to everybody who in their various capacities has made my stay in Nigeria a most rewarding one. I am also thankful for the fact that so many people have come here today to be a part of this event, which celebrates one of the many riches of Nigeria.”
Mrs Eva Dafaranos, who was curator of the exhibition, said for her, “exhibiting Nigerian costumes in their various colours and dimensions is about one of the best gifts I could give back to a country that treated me so well.”
The envoy was then decorated with the awange, which is a staff of office peculiar to the Tiv, Ikpa iabwolatar, a leather bag and the anger, which is a cloth wrapped across the body, all from the Tiv region of Benue State. The exhibition featured various clothings made from intricately-woven fabrics of cotton, raffia, lace and a host of other materials for male and female of each state.
Mrs Esther Aluko, a guest, commended the initiative. “It is a beautiful and welcome idea. My hope is that it will not be the last and other envoys follow in his footsteps, which is another way of promoting mutual relationships and legacies that people can relate with later.”
She added, “I have also learnt more about traditional clothing of states outside mine, which I didn’t know about before now. I can also see similarities between some of them.”
Another guest, Mrs Edith Daniyan, said, “It is a brilliant effort and it’s something that should be improved upon. Even though all that was shown were one outfit of each state, the display still makes a statement about the creativity and wealth of Nigerian traditional attires and culture as a whole. The extensive compilation of the brochure is one that could serve as reference material for researchers for a long, long time to come.”
Also on display were art works by Lagos-based artist, Godwin Edozie.