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Rakolojane: Leveraging Culture To Drive Tourism Between West and South Africa Is Key 

To promote partnerships for the greater good of Africa, there is need for serious collaboration between the creative and tourism industries between countries or regional groups. That’s according to the

R-L Thekiso Rakolojane, South African Tourism Regional Head; Lerato Makume, Marketing Manager Barcadi; Darkey Africa, Consul General South African High Commission; Naomi Edobor Art Curator Affinity Art Gallery.
To promote partnerships for the greater good of Africa, there is need for serious collaboration between the creative and tourism industries between countries or regional groups.
That’s according to the Hub Head,  South African Tourism, Thekiso Rakolojane,  during an art exhibition programme tagged, ‘West Africa Heritage and Culture activation’ in Lagos.
Rakolojane argued that the collaboration is critical to bringing African heritage to the limelight, and his country, South Africa is willing to leverage arts and culture to boost tourism between West Africans and South Africans.
Thekiso Rakolojane, Regional Head South African Tourism addressing journalists.
He also explained that culture and tourism sectors contribute to economic development by facilitating creativity, innovation and self-reflection, and as such recognise culture as a key component of the society’s wellbeing.
 While explaining the importance of art and culture in Nigeria and how it brings Nigeria and South Africa together, the SA tourism boss stated that there is a lot of music videos and movies in the past that were shot in South Africa, like “10 Days in Sun City” by talented Nigerian comedian and filmmaker, Ayo Makun, aka AY.
 “We’ve also seen a lot of South Africans coming to Nigeria to shoot videos aside collaborating with Nigeria artists.
He also stated that cultural festivals, film industry, music, art & craft products and cuisines are key drivers of sustainable tourism and the economic development of Nigeria and South Africa if fully harnessed.
While talking more on the West Africa Heritage and Culture activation, Rakolojane stated, “What we today are starting is a journey to foster the collaboration between South Africa and Nigerians in the creative art industries”.
L-R Thekiso Rakolojane, South African Tourism Regional Head; Mr. Yero Sow, Consul General of Mali High Commission; Makin Soyinka; Darkey Africa, Consul General South African High Commission.
“This is to make sure there is a lot more that can be achieved and to encourage both countries to travel to each other’s countries to experience each other’s culture, create stronger bonds between the two countries.”
 Rakolojane encouraged Nigerians to visit South Africa to have authentic holiday experience, just as South Africans would be encouraged to visit Nigeria to dispel the perception they might have about Nigeria and its citizens, which is critical to building relationships and most importantly brotherhood.
Talking on the beauty endowed in the Nigerian arts, he noted that South Africans purchase a lot of Nigerians arts.
“Many places in South Africa showcase Nigerian arts. I have Nigerian arts in my house. What it tells you is that there’s appetite for creative art and the two countries have similarities in the way we showcase our culture.”
The Nigeria National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) had earlier released a statement that the art and cultural sectors remained suitable economic diversification options to oil in Nigeria.
Noting that tourism-rich economies like the U.K, Israel, China and France reveal a common and consistent pattern of culture-based tourism with culture being the single biggest motivation for tourism.
Omotayo Araoye
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