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RUNSEWE ADVOCATES THE USE OF CULTURE AS THERAPY AGAINST COVID-19

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By Innocent Orok

Segun Runsewe, DG, NCAC

The Director General of the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Otunba Segun Runsewe has advocated the use of culture as a therapy against Covid-19 pandemic.
He stressed the potency of culture to address all human challenges, saying that culture is the totality of the ways of life of a people and therefore could be employed to solve all human problems.

In his words, the NCAC boss noted that the same way Medical Doctors use theatre as a place to heal the sick, and Artists use the theatre to educate and entertain, culture is a theatre of the mind and soul. He noted that when a body, mind or spirit suffers challenges, culture could be a tool for resolving such challenges.

Runsewe emphasized that, there is a global health challenge today arising from the outbreak of Covid-19.
He emphasized that to address this health challenge, we require a combination of medical solution and Cultural Therapy.
The NCAC boss recalled that when King Saul in the Bible suffered serious medical condition, he solicited the services of David whose musical instrument, the Harp brought him to normalcy each time he was tormented by evil spirit.

” In like manner, the Lagos State Government recently staged a musical concert at the Isolation Centre for people with Covid-19, while pointing out that theatre, music, dance drama and songs which are elements of our culture could provide the necessary balm to speed up the healing of Covid-19 patients.”

He further revealed that in addition to all the Council is doing to assist in the fight against Covid-19, it will soon stage a programme titled Cultural Therapy in the Midst of Covid-19.
Runsewe explained that in compliance with social distancing regulation, it will be a “drive in theatre” where audience will sit inside their vehicles and watch 8 man cast perform live on stage.

The programme, apart from serving to entertain the audience, would also target the four areas of the treatment of therapy which are behavioural, cognitive, humanistic and holistic.
Runsewe stated that the world now needs a cultural re-armament to reboot the global pulse brought about by Covid-19.

He added that Covid-19 should not be seen as a problem requiring a solution but a challenge calling on the world to think creatively on how to respond to emerging issues in the world.
“We must all begin to think outside the box to deploy our knowledge and special skills to fight the challenges of our time” Runsewe concluded.

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