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U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria calls for ethnic tolerance, acceptance among Nigerians

Ambassador of the United States of America to Nigeria, Stuart Symington
By Joshua Olomu
Stuart Symington, U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, has called for ethnic tolerance and acceptance among Nigerians of all backgrounds for a united and great nation.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the envoy made the call on Wednesday night during the screening of an American film,“The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble” at his residence in Abuja.

NAN reports that the film is a world acclaimed music documentary featuring Yo-Yo Ma, an American cellist and a collection of artistes from over 100 cultural backgrounds, drawn from Asia, America and Europe.

It tells the extraordinary story of the renowned international musical documentary that follows this group of diverse instrumentalists, vocalists, composers, arrangers, visual artists and storytellers.

All the artistes, irrespective of different languages and cultural divides, explore the power of music to preserve tradition, shape cultural evolution and inspire hope.

Symington said just like the Music of Strangers casts; Nigerians from its 250 ethnic groups should speak in unity towards the building of that peaceful and great nation of their dreams.

“Film and music unites people, and the message in this film is how significant every note is to a beautiful music.
“There are as many notes as there are many people, from each background, and each of us is a unique note.

“We can encourage one another and live together that way in Nigeria by thinking about those `notes’ that bind us together.

“Every Nigerian, irrespective of their differences, should appreciate others and work towards collective national good,’’ he said.

Similarly, Dr Chidia Maduekwe, Managing Director of the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC), who was present at the screening, urged Nigerian artistes and filmmakers to use their works to promote what binds Nigerians.

He explained that film was a veritable tool that can be used to drive nationalism, build values of love, peace and tolerance among Nigerians.

NAN reports that the film is directed by award winning filmmaker, Morgan Neville, and it features Kayhan kalhor, Man Wu, Osvaldo Golijiov, Jonathan Gandelsman and other artistes.

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