In a recent thank you post written by Mr Ikechi Uko, chief consultant of Jedidah Promotions and mastermind behind the logistics and planning of the International leg of Carnival Calabar. We’ve read through many foreign nationals comments and expressions of what the Calabar Festival has un-lurked in the way they saw and envisioned Africa.
one Sharon Palacio wrote
” I take this opportunity to say a very big thank you to the organizers of Carnival Calabar 2017 . This was a dream come true for the Mexican delegation along with my husband and I. It was quite an experience and adventure of a lifetime to set foot on the soil of the continent from which we originated. It remains an overwhelming life changing experience. The warm welcome at the airport by Paul touched our hearts. Excellent hospitality from arrival to departure. In Calabar we were met at the airport by our outstanding and caring Chairman Gabe Onah and team. We cannot forget to mention the warm welcome by a team of Tour Guards to mention a few: Bassey, Joy, Samuel and Comfort along with dedicated and pleasant drivers. I spoke to the friendly media about our impressions every step of the way. We were escorted to our hotel VIP style. Our esteemed and distinguished Tourism Consultant Ikechi Uko and team went all out to make our trip comfortable and memorable. Coordinating such a mega event can only be done by giants. Again massive congratulations to the Calabar Commission.
The cultural presentations were very impressive and educational to say the least. We now know the rich cultures and history of our people. Our continent is wealthy in natural resources, beauty, talent, intelligence cultural and family values. It was imperative that we missed nothing.. and we didn’t! The tour of the slave museum wasn’t a pleasant experience for most of us, even with what knowledge we had about slavery and the slave trade but it was something we had to see, because we carry the ( DNA) of our people who endured that horrific ordeal; for that we must all be very grateful. That however seems to be the general consensus within our group.
Words cannot accurately describe how humbled we are by your warm reception an kind hospitality, we received from you and your team. We certainly left the homeland with a wealth of knowledge that we will now pass on to our people here in Belize and Mexico. In the Americas lamentably the media has done injustice to Africa. We are eternally grateful to the Calabar Commission for erasing our erroneous perceptions.
I cannot express how happy I was with my African Cultural immersion: the cuisine: Yams, Ripe Plantains, fish, chicken and the way it was cooked. So delicious for the stomach of a Garifuna woman. How I loved the African cotoure. The music remains with a beating sensation in my entire being deeply rooted in the seat of my soul that keeps me swaying my hips. What joy to embrace our very own black people!
We are hoping to do this again in 2018. We definitely anticipate to lead a mixed Belizean, Mexican and Guatemalan team. We love our continent and our people.. Thank you very very much.
The Miss Africa Pageant remains indelible in our psyche. Impressive and well organized pageant fully loaded with Beauty and Brains.
Powerful experience meeting our brothers and sisters from South Africa, Ghana, Senegal, Ethiopia, Swaziland and much much more too numerous to mention. Calabar Commission you’ve set the stage for future cultural language exchanges that will create bridges for a lifetime.
The power of the drums remains transformational. Music definitely connects us!!!
We learnt so much Long live Calabar Carnival. Long live the digital, super intelligent, all inclusive Governor Professor Ben Ayade, well balanced and best charismatic leader Chairman Gabe and tourism expert Ikechi Uko and team!! See you in 2018!!!
On a closing note kindly convey our profound gratitude to Governor Ben Ayade and Chairman Gabe for such a priceless gift granted/bestowed upon the Mexican-Belizean delegation. Both gentlemen understands the power of people connectivity. Indeed we are one people and as Chairman Gabe said when we first met at Calabar Airport: “Welcome home..welcome too the Motherland”! Africa is our root and our mother earth indeed!!! We remain eternally grateful for the best gift ever! ”
Trust us, we worked hand in, all night and day to get the little things we were assigned going and we have a glimpse of what really goes on behind the scenes.
We applaud Ikechi Uko’s team, Cross River Tourism Board and all those who have made these series of events come true; from the local organizing committee to those who stood at borders and airports to bring in everything/one we needed to host another ground breaking event.
Long Live Cross River State.
Long Live Carnival Calabar.