2018 Francophonie week
The 2018 Francophonie Festival celebrated the diversity and richness of the French language and Francophone communities around the world through a series of cultural events and outreach programs. The embassies of the French-speaking countries and the French embassy collaborated to present an array of events all rooted in the Francophone culture, through concerts, cuisine, films, literature, fairs, etc.
The Institut français in Nigeria and the French Embassy decided to promote French language with the campaign “Et en plus, je parle français”. “And I speak French, too!” The campaign took a modern approach to the French language and those who speak it by presenting French as a language of employment, innovation, technology, and business around the world. 19 portraits of people in diverse fields were exhibited at the Institut français from March 19th to 25th.
On the 21st of March, the Institut Français du Nigeria gave room to Ishmael Baeh, a well-known Sierra Leonean writer, for a talk in easy French about his experience as a writer, his life, books and the practice of the French language. On this same day, the Embassy of Burkina Faso in Nigeria held the screening of the film “Frontières” by Apolline Traoré, as part of the celebration of the French language.
The week ended with a full day of festivities at the Institut Français on Saturday the 24th of March. In the morning, 90 children from 9 partner schools participated in a performance competition and a quiz on French culture. The winner of the quiz won a trip to France courtesy of Air France. The International Food Fair brought together 6 francophone communities (Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso, France, Ivory Coast, and Cameroon) as well as Nigeria, who all showcased traditional cuisine. The Embassy of Belgium, in partnership with the Institut français du Nigeria, organised a closing concert, celebrating the saxophone, invented by the Belgian Adolphe Sax in 1846, and the spirit of Afrobeat Music with a concert by Bita Kola, a Nigerian band from Lagos. The event recorded a turnout of 400 people.