No fewer than 10 Nollywood actors and numerous Nigerian top musicians are set to arrive in Johannesburg ahead of the FIFA World Cup on June 11, as part of efforts to shore up Nigeria’s potentials during the competition.
“ Nigeria is set for a fantastic outing outside the football field,” the Director-General, Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Johannesburg [streetview width=”100%” height=”250px” lat=”-26.118416″ lng=”28.056156″ heading=”0″ pitch=”0″ zoom=”1″][/streetview] on Monday.
“We are here ahead of time to make a statement which will see the gains of the first World Cup on African soil rub off tremendously on our tourism industry,” he said.
He said the focus was to see an upward climb in investments into the nation’s tourism sector which peaked at N50 billion in 2009.
‘We are bringing our best so we can use our strengths to promote the country and reposition our image as we clock 50,” he said.
Runsewe said the best component of sports was tourism as soccer fans descending on South Africa will spend only a fraction of their time at stadia, leaving the rest to exploring tourism opportunities.
“If you invest in Nigeria, you can`t make a mistake and the story of MTN and South African Airways are some examples,” he said.
Runsewe said that the artistes and musicians being flown to South Africa would also help sell the nation’s rich culture which suffered greatly due to exposure of youths to western culture years back.
“We almost lost it all in our customs and cultures about five years ago as our youths were imbibing western culture which is dangerous for us.
“But now it is improving as we have been able to convince our youth that we have a rich culture and we can capitalise on it.
“The kind of village we are putting up in Johannesburg, I don’t see any other country coming close to it .
“We will really showcase Nigeria and use the village to reposition the country,’ he said.
Runsewe said worship centres, VIP facilities, giant screens and Nigerian cuisine were part of features of the village which would be home away from home.