GOL, Crusaders For Peace End Audition For Selection Of Drummers And Traditional Dancers For Dubai Expo 2020


MONROVIA – The Government of Liberia (GOL), through the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism (MICAT), the National Investment Commission (NIC) and the Liberia Crusaders for Peace (LCP) have ended a day auditioning for the selection of traditional dancers and drummers to represent the country at the upcoming Dubai 2020 expo.

Dubai Expo 2020 was scheduled as a World Expo to be hosted by Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. It was originally scheduled for October 20, 2020 to April 10, 2021.

However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Arab Emirates, the new dates are October 1 to March 31, 2022. About 190 countries will participate in the world event.

Liberia is expected to participate in the event in November 2021.

In preparedness of the world event, the government and the LCP conducted the selection of talented Liberian drummers and traditional dancers to not only participate in the event, but to also bring accolades back home and make the nation and its people proud.

Speaking shortly after the audition, the Deputy Minister for Cultural Affairs at MICAT, Lance Gbagonyon, commended the participants for forming a part of the event.

He disclosed that the decision by government and the LCP to conduct auditioning was intended to make the selection process open and participatory.

He noted that though all of those who participated in the process will not be accepted, the best would be selected to represent Liberia in Dubai.

Minister Gbagonyon urged the participants to exhibit a high degree of respect for one another as they get prepare to represent their country.

He maintained that the spirit of unity and nationalism should be the hallmark of the delegates as they set the world stage on fire while representing their country.

He, however, pledged government’s commitment and willingness to support its delegation to the world event.

 “We call you here today to make the process more transparent. This is about teamwork and bringing proud to our country. You all were at your best here today. We are not the only ones that will decide your fate. Others will view your performances and you will be selected. Government does not have the resources to carry everybody”.

He encouraged those who may not be selected to represent the motherland during the auditioning to continue to turn out for the practice sessions in a bid to have them added to the delegation just in case of eventuality.

Minister Gbagonyon further stressed the need for new traditional dancers and others to be recruited on the national cultural troupe of Liberia to enable others serve their country through cultural activities and performances.

For her part, the Executive Director of the Liberia Crusaders for Peace (LCP), Madam Juli Endee, renewed calls for investment in the arts and entertainment industry of the country.

According to her, many hidden talents would be exposed if the sector is prioritized by national government and others.

She said Liberia would be placed on the world map again if keen attention is given to the arts and entertainment industry.

Madam Endee further stressed that Liberia’s delegation to Dubai will “shine and bring glory” to the nation and its people if government and other corporate entities provide the requisite support to the steering committee and the artists.

“I just want to thank you for what you have done. This is a way of showcasing certain part of our culture which is arts. I am very grateful and everybody was superb. Some of you here travelled with me to Libya, United States, Senegal-and I know that wherever we go, we always bring glory”.

She used the occasion to call on companies, concessionaries and others operating in the country to ensure the adequate representation of Liberia to the event by living up to their corporate social responsibilities.

 “I know that if the government can invest in the arts; with the 190 countries in Dubai, Liberia will shine. We have organizations and companies here that have corporate social responsibilities; so imagine if you can support just two or three artists, the team will make the stage beautiful in Dubai”.

At the event, she disclosed that Liberia will change the Covid-19 era to opportunities for the benefit of the nation and its people.

She said the team performances will also encourage and send a clear message to foreign investors that Liberia is free, ready, safe and open for businesses.

She expressed the hope that Liberia’s performances at the event will also attract investment into eco-tourism in the post-conflict nation.

Madam Endee, however, named President George Manneh Weah as the Chief Sponsor of this year’s world event.

“We are appealing to international partners and the Government of Liberia to support these artists. It is not a long term; we are going for a week to come back”.