By Constaincia Uruakpa
The Director of Social Communications, Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, Rev. Fr. Anthony Godonu has urged Catholic youths to be ambassadors of Christ, and role models for other youths through their talents in drama, arts, and culture, which can be used as a leeway to excel in the entertainment industry. Godonu made the appeal at the media brief and unveiling of Lagos Archdiocesan Cultural and Drama Festival, LACDRAFEST 2021, with the theme, ‘With a Father’s Heart”, held at the Corporate Office of Social Communication, Ojota, Lagos. In his welcome address, Fr. Godunu said that a picture is worth a thousand words, adding that no human expression can give life meaning and reality than drama, arts, and culture, as they represent true human situation and condition. He said that it is in the light of the importance of these expressive elements, that the directorate unveils to the ecclesiastical world of the Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos and the public in general, the 2021 edition of the Lagos Archdiocesan Cultural and Drama Festival. Speaking on the significance of the festival, he said that LACDRAFEST is a brainchild of the Directorate of Social Communications of the Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, which was conceived in the year 2010 as a tool for evangelism.
He said: “The festival was conceived primarily as a means of promoting the use of Drama and Culture as tools for evangelism among youths and Catholic Artiste and Entertainers Association of Nigeria (CAEAN) members, from the various parishes in the Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos. “This year’s edition, the third in the series, is scheduled to commence in the first week of May 2021, with the Regional competition, while the grand finale will be held at the Archdiocesan level in July 2021. The Festival will showcase performances by representatives (groups) from the various parishes competing in four categories, namely: Cultural Dance, Drama, Contemporary Singing and Comedy. This year’s theme is ‘With a Father’s Heart’, in line with the Pope’s declaration of 2021as the Year of St Joseph “It is hoped that the various expression in cultures and drama of this year’s edition will enhance the evangelization goals of the Archdiocese with more souls converted onto the Lord.
” On the making of LACDRAFEST, Fr. Godonu said: “It is worthy of note that since its inception, the festival, which has the full endorsement of the Archbishop of Lagos, Most Rev. (Dr.) Alfred Adewale Martins, has lived up to its billings in discovering highly talented artistes and entertainers, some of who have become household names in Nollywood. Over 50 parishes have participated actively in the festival. “Worthy of note is that this very festival gave birth to the Lagos chapter of the Catholic Artistes and Entertainers Association of Nigeria (CAEAN). It is our hope that through this festival, many more of our talented youths would use it as a leeway to make giant inroads into the mainstream entertainment industry where they would serve as role models for other youths and true ambassadors of Christ. “In past editions, we had the active participation of great actors and actresses like Chief Dejumo Lewis, Chief Julie Coker, C.OC Nze, Tony Akposheri, Paul Julius, Amina Ndim and Valentine Agwuloni, amongst several others as ambassadors of the festival.
“Due to the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic, the regional event which will involve the various participating parishes in each region of the Archdiocese will be held online. Participants are required to upload six minutes videos of their entries on the Lagos Catholic Network (LCN), and on a dedicated youtube channel. Parishes with the largest number of likes would emerge regional winners. They would, in turn, perform live at the grand finale in July, 2021. There are fantastic prizes to be won. “To be part of this festival, potential participants are to access google play store to download Lagos Catholic Network App. Participation fee is N5000 per category, and can be paid into: Archdiocese of Lagos, Directorate of Social Communications, Zenith bank, 1017588152. There is no limit to the number of categories a parish can participate in.