Nigerian Embassy in Austria gave a cultural and ceremonial character to the Business and Investment Forum at a Gala Award Night on Thursday, June 27, 2013. It was held at the Austria Trend Hotel Savoyen in Vienna, Austria. The occasion, which was attended by about 200 people including Nigerians and Austrians, provided another opportunity to recognize persons who have contributed to promoting friendly relations between Nigeria and Austria. Awards were presented to two Nigerians who have made their marks in Austria contributed outstandingly to integration efforts, and two Austrians who have contributed immensely to the promotion cultural ties between Nigeria and Austria. To honour these worthy people were no less VIP from Nigeria who came purposely for the presentation occasion, than H.E. Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State and Comrade Aba Morro, Hon Minister of Interior.
The two Nigerian Awardees were Mrs Joana Adesuwa-Reiterer, CEO of NGO EXIT who won the Austrian Merit Award 2012, and Mr. Fred Ohehen, nominated Man of the year for 2011 in the city of Graz. The Austrian Awardees were Professor Wolfgang DENK, Curator, Sussanah WENGER Heritage Museum/Foundation and Professor Norbert Cyffer, of the University of Vienna, an Austrian whose academic and professional life is closely related to the Kanuri people of Nigeria.
The Gala Night also served to acknowledge 15 persons of Nigerian origin who have made notable impact in Austria. The list included Alex Umole , Awoba Bagshaw-Macheiner, , David Alaba, Lydia Obute, Yemisi Reigler, Clara Akinyosoye, Dr. Mike Chukwuma, Emeka Emiakaroha and Reveren Ndubueze Fabian Nmagu among others.
Great traditional colour was added to the evening with the presentation of flute and Ibo dirge to the fallen Iroko, Professor Chinua Achebe by One Man Show and talented polyglot Waziri Samuel. Talking drum and Iyaniwura song tribute to Susannah Wenger was presented by Drummer Ayandare Alapa-Aro and Jemiriye. Other performances were by Nigerian Soloists Ola Egbonwon, Jemiriye of the Nigerian Idol, Awoba, finalist at the Austrian Grosse Chance. The house was treated to a talking drum rendition of the National Anthem by Ayandare Alapa-Aro. The Nigerian children were not left out as they also rendered the National Anthem and the Antenna Dance to display a high sense of participation and pride in their cultural and national heritage.
Indeed the atmosphere was awash with pomp and pageantry and the sense and spirit of national pride was further heightened with the drum and soulful rendition of Nigeria's national anthem. The talking drummer, also from Osun State captivated the audience with Yoruba traditional eulogies that compelled the Osun State Governor to rise to the occasion in a dance.