Carnival enthusiasts around the world have been waking up to the rich cultural heritage of the Giant of Africa – Nigeria. The country has its own long tradition of masquerade, but more recently Caribbean-style urban street carnivals have been introduced to encourage tourism. The best known is Calabar Carnival, but a relative newcomer in Imo State has been gaining a lot of traction recently. And this year, you can take part in Imo Carnival…

Like the carnivals in Seychelles and Zimbabwe, Imo is inviting overseas groups to take part in their celebration. Giselle Carter, Artistic Director of Gemz Mas is tasked with putting together an international contingent of masqueraders who can represent the following countries: Barbados, Brazil, France, Grenada, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, the UK and USA.

All the organisers ask is that you love Carnival, love playing mas and know how to have a good time. Each country will put on a 10-minute dance routine on the main stage, so you will need to be willing to rehearse and perform the routine.

The package includes a brand-new costume; flight (from/to Gatwick) complete with visa and travel insurance; transport from/to the airport, hotel, the carnival and other activities; four/five-star hotel and meals. Flights between 20 and 26 December 2018.

This is a rare chance to be part of a well-organised carnival in a friendly and vibrant country with a heritage that centuries ago provided many of the elements of Caribbean Carnival.

For more information on Imo Carnival, see: www.imo-carnival.com. If you’re interested in taking part, call Giselle on 07581 485307. Deadline for registration is 30 September.

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