Opinion

MY CULTURE CRUSH ON HANNATU MUSA MUSAWA

There is something exciting about fear of the unknown and, in particular, failure. Fear pumps adrenaline of excitement to help us successfully run a race, break or set records, leave a legacy, and inspire others.

My daughter Adaeze Udom is the queen of Maritime International. Come August 27th, she will unveil an art exhibition at the Oriental Hotel with expository theme” squeeze excitement out of fear.”

Adaeze is not my biological daughter, but she desires mentorship to mentor young persons, particularly female girl children, to take plunge into the world of Maritime economy through painting the beauty of ocean and brown water ecosystem

Adaeze found me. She swore to look for me anywhere I maybe, and she did, in most exciting encounter, confident, fearless, and with a courageous warm smile on her face. Her eyes sparkled with can do it spirit.

In less than a week, she had graced the covers of Arts page of the vanguard newspapers edited by one of the most creative arts writers, Dr Osa Amadi.

Thursday, I dragged her before the microphones of Creative Nigeria at Mainland 98.3 FM, and the world heard her voice, bold and beautiful.

Adaeze is not all about painting. She is a beauty queen of the Maritime sector, an economy yet unbundled but with huge potentials to bring about changes in our economy.

That young lad, even though she came to be mentored, stirred up my natural instincts to encourage and support her. Today, our country desires men and women who can squeeze excitement out of fear of the unknown, and that is a winning way.

This crush testimony is not about Adaeze Udom. Hannatu Musa Musawa, by Monday, shall be inaugurated as Nigeria’s first Minister of Arts and Culture. She is my new Culture industry crush, and usually I don’t fail in my adventures.

Hannatu is not a beauty queen, but she is brilliantly loaded, and I wonder why she kept a low profile in Nigeria’s leadership scene. A lawyer with an interesting profile in the Maritime domain and oil and gas yet so clipped until Tinubu found her.

Hannatu Musa Musawa is not lacking in influence, and neither does she crave fame. She writes well, and for the first time, I saw her on the Arise Television Morning show as one of the spokespersons of APC, something, a crush for beauty and brain, gushed.

I really don’t fancy political cravings, but when national issues are presented in an exciting expressive revelation, trust me, to be the fall guy.

Humanity excites me so much that I can do anything positive to bring about changes. Great selfless and patriotic men excite me, but the women more!

Women are great breds, and in the church or mosques, cultural gatherings, they populate to bring about changes, stand in gap for nations and peoples, wiping away tears, assuring a better glorious tomorrow.

Women are fearless. One of my industry crushes is South Africa’s Minister of Tourism, Patricia de lille. She is bold and fearless.

Back home before Hannatu Musa Musawa, I had crushes on Tereza Ojo ( ezeobi), one of the most powerful and impactful female presidents of the National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies ( nanta).

Ezeobi found me while I was in the vanguard newspapers and pushed me to the front of cultural tourism reportage. She is Nigeria’s travel trade story. Susan Akporiaye, current president of nanta thirty years after Tereza Ojo ( ezeobi), left the scene, is also my crush of the industry.

Indeed, I have a long list of women and ceiling breakers whom I have admired over the years for their courage and commitment to bring about changes in their corner.

There are also men whom I crush on . Otunba Segun Runsewe is my greatest cultural tourism crush in Nigeria. Today, his boldness, tenacity, and courageous efforts in the industry have brought about Nigeria’s first Arts and Culture Ministry.

So why focus on Hannatu Musa Musawa? Indeed, you may pass or tag her a green horn on this beat, but instincts tell me she will pull surprises.

Her job is done but not dusted. Her first assignment is not waste time and effort listening to the many troubles of the private sector players. To do that, which is significantly key and primary, should be preceded by close and detailed interactions with the heads of the agencies that may form the nexus of the ministry.

Her blueprint to success lies with Segun Runsewe. My father in the Lord, Dr Daniel Olukoya of the Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministry, told us a story of Mohammed Ali, who mentored a young boxer who later lined up to fight him in a boxing contest. Ali, when asked if the young lad will not floor him, having taught boy the ropes, smiled, and retorted that he only taught the guy what he should know and not all he, Ali knows.

Hannatu at the learning desk must be humble to learn deeper interpretations about Nigeria’s diverse cultural heritage and history.

In the cultural tourism economy, collaboration with stakeholders and the people is paramount. Snide and neglect these owners, will escalate distractions and, in its stead , come cries for demotion.

Indeed, critical to Hannatu assignment is the training and retraining of the culture workforce. In this respect, Ado Yahuza has brought about quality training in cultural studies, partnering with Nassarawa State University to give more opportunities to those desiring to build careers as cultural officers.

This is deep and should form one of the key deliveries of the minister because the lack of professionalism in the industry fertilised the poor performance of the industry and also ambushed the gains.

There are few culture experts, but many are lacking in the critical exposure regime, thus engendering amputation of our cultural growth process as the next oil.

To properly structure the new Culture Ministry, careful and detailed research must drive the recruitment process. It will be sad to pupil the new ministry with fly by night and academic paper tigers instead of passionate, verifiable, and committed persons irrespective of their tribe or religion.

Maybe staff auditing will help determine the various critical human resources needs to help fly the new ministry. A good accessible and well equipped office accommodation must also be determined.

There is a strong connection between work environment and delivery output by workers, and for a culture ministry, it must be the pride of Nigeria, nay Africa. For a meaningful measuring standard, the ministry new accommodation should be better than Ncac New culture House in Gudu, Abuja .

On the international scene, and since culture is on the global diplomatic plate, critical studies of the Chinese cultural currency should excite the minister.

Japan, Taiwan, and even India have successfully used their cultural strength to change their local socioeconomic and political development, powering indigenous culinary and agricultural technology, empowering rural women and youths, and exporting their value chains abroad, winning converts to their languages, fashion, music and food offerings.

Hannatu must also avoid the typical Nigerian over “sabi” posturing. It breds eyes service around you and booth licking, all which leads to a fall.

Work with the private sector trade groups and unify them. No to divide and rule, but a strong threshold on collaboration and partnership. Here, communication is key, so the minister must avoid aides who will create enemies within and outside for her time out in the ministry.

It will do the minister, a world of good to know that Nigeria is looking for trusted leaders who can make something out of nothing. We are at socioeconomic and political crossroads and need tough game change agents.

We don’t need banal sermons or cat walks on the podium of our economic challenges. We don’t need everyone who will come to adorne our national colours as pretext to define patriotism.

We want new leaders in the mould of the biblical Deborah. Women who will sit at the gate and burn their hands to provide food for Nigerians. A Deborah that will encourage the weak and the willing and stand shoulder to shoulder with them to bring about changes and victory.

We don’t want globe trotters just for the sake estacodes. We don’t want a minister who is not culturally people centric. We won’t shake hands with those who won’t respect our humanity, our diversity, and identity.

Hannatu Musa Musawa must not waste time sleeping. There’s no comfort zone in the cultural tourism domain, but work , work, and work.

Finally, don’t ignore the cultural tourism media, many has done so in the past to their shame and failure. Nigeria has the largest tourism and culture press in Africa, and it will be wise to seek their support and collaboration in the quest to transform the ministry of arts and culture. Head up warning, though, watch those who will visit you with a list of persons you must avoid. Plenty of them are hungry and like cryptic demons, looking for who will join them in their game of pulling down others.

Sadly, we have them plenty across the board. Even some of our agencies’ heads who are afraid that the dark sides of their life on national call will be exposed, are also part of these gangs.

Good luck, madam Hannatu Musa Musawa. From now on, remember that the end of the day, the buck, failure, or success comes to your table. May God help you as you squeeze excitement out of the fear of your new assignment for Nigeria and her depressed people.

By Frank Meke

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