Without hassles, Lagos entertains self for eight days

Image result for oNE lAGOS cONCERT
From next year, top artistes who fix their concerts for December in Lagos may have a rethink. They may see wisdom in moving their dates backwards because of the threat that the One Lagos Fiesta, organised by the Lagos State Government, now seems to pose to them.
The OLF, as was the case in the last week of December 2017, practically shut down the entertainment scene as scores of musicians took turns to smash the hearts of large crowds that gathered at various venues in the five divisions of the populous state. From legend-in-the making called Tuface (Tubaba), to Davido, Olamide, D’Banj, Peter Okoye to oldies, such as King Sunny Ade and Sir Shina Peters, the artistes, fired by the massive and passionate crowds that confronted them, sought to outdo one another.

Image result for oNE lAGOS cONCERT
So also were stars of the traditional genre such as fuji’s Adewale Ayuba, Saheed Osupa, Abas Akande Obesere and Wasiu Alabi Pasuma. So loud were the vibes that the OLF, naturally became a music festival that competed favourably with the acclaimed Calabar Festival/Carnival, at least in terms of residents’ acceptance and the impact on the national scene.

Blessing for Peter Okoye

At different venues, Mr. P (Peter Okoye) cut the picture of an artiste determined to make his nascent solo career a success. Perhaps, unlike his other colleagues who performed for fun and cash, Mr. P bore a special burden he dared not fail to discharge well. Since he is still nurturing his solo fame, having been estranged from his brothers in the PSquare group, he needed to convince music fans that he was out to succeed. And he did not disappoint himself based on the audience’s response to his performance.

For instance in Epe, his outing was prolonged, but it was never boring. He engaged the crowd in occasional banter, just as he created a mini-competition among some of them. In terms of songs, he did well in content and style. Some discerning stakeholders may, indeed, choose to give him the highest mark in the area of dance – which is generally believed to be the forte of his twin brother, Paul Okoye. Peter not only tried to dance out his heart, he also showed evidence of serious work in terms of the chemistry with his band members. Only a man out to prove a point would quickly invest in the kind of grand choreography they displayed.
Image result for oNE lAGOS cONCERT

Gentleman Ayuba

From his dressing down to that of his band boys, you could smell the simplicity governing the artistic instinct of gentleman of fuji music, Adewale Ayuba.  In the simple buba and sokoto he wore, he delivered his compact but exciting performance in a rhythm that kept many dancing at the Epe centre. After dishing out some of his old numbers, the artiste, who broke into limelight through his Bubble album, gave a slice of ‘gospel’ fuji when he burst into the popular Christian song, ‘There is something making me coming to your presence/ My helper…’

Of course, he paid homage to Lagos – especially to  the Lagos of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, who was also at the event alongside his wife, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode, and many other dignitaries. The musician performed My Lagos, a song he recently released on Ambode’s achievements. By the time popular comedian, Omo Baba, who was the master of ceremonies, described Ayuba as ‘the most educated fuji artiste’, no one was in a hurry to argue with him.

Battle of the Atlantic

When the fiesta peaked at the Eko Atlantic on December 31, the previous jams had foretold how big it would be. Raves of the moment – Wizkid, Olamide, Davido, Adekunle Gold, Simi, Humble Smith and a host of others – all proved their worth. Even where some of them were either too nervous or overconfident, something was waiting to play in their favour: the audience were very familiar with many of their songs. The sing-and-dance-along treat that thus characterised their performances strengthened the bond between each of them and their fans.

Like Tuface, like Obesere

In terms of setting, the Agege centre boasted a facility that appears more flexible than others. Agege Stadium is not only expansive, but it is also beautifully laid out and made to yearn for action beyond football. This is where a huge crowd daily held musical trysts with several of the stars.

Watching Tuface and Obesere engage them was interesting. Both are not young artistes, based on the number of years they have reigned. Some of the young members of the audience might not even be as familiar with their songs as much as they would with those of the Davidos and Falzes of this world. Yet, there were many who were ready to throw their hearts to them. Besides, the singers displayed so much energy that it was a big task for the crowd to match them. Besides, they had a fat repertory to last the entire nights that they respectively performed there. Like Pasuma, Osupa and Alao Malaika too, they also did more than miming to their songs as each had his band on stage.

SSP’s endless salute to Ambode

Another major act of the OLF was Sir Shina Peters. SSP, as he is otherwise called, has also proved that he is a great performer from one show to the other, as he demonstrated when he rattled the Eko Hotels and Suites during the grand finale of the All Africa Music Awards a few weeks ago. He tried to maintain the record again in Epe on Christmas night, but there was a rite he believed he must perform as elaborately as possible.
This was the need to salute Ambode, who he not only described as a performer, but also thanked for a special favour that the governor, according to SSP, recently did him. He crowned this by dedicating his African women beautiful song to the governor’s wife, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode, who was also at the event that many members of the cabinet also attended.

OLF: A blessing to many

Based on the opportunity the OLF has given many artistes since it came on stream three years ago, they seem to owe the government some kudos. This they did at the various venues where they interjected their performances with commendation for the government. The masters of ceremonies, including Omo Baba, Tunde Adewale (Tee A)  and Toyin Abrahams, also never forgot to fete Ambode and the organising committee.
For some of the artistes, even if no business comes throughout the first 11 months of the year, they know that December ending is bound to fetch something, courtesy of the OLF patronage. The project has, indeed been kind to emerging, ruling and old artistes, who are usually forgotten in the scheme of things. It also accommodated a competition for new talents, won by Master Sola Idris, who went home with N1.5m, leaving N1m and N500,000 to the runner-ups.
It is good enough that, although government events usually flop, the OLF scored highly in various departments. It was able to attract corporate sponsors that supported the administration in financing and projecting it. It recorded no security scare, just as the artistes had all they needed to exercise their talents as the organisers got things right on the technical ground.

Interestingly, the government says it means to go beyond keeping the musicians busy. According to the governor, the OLF is part of a grand idea to energise the art, culture, entertainment and tourism sector. He and his aides, including the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde; and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Tourism and Culture, Mrs. Giwason, said the government would keep up the tempo to open up the industry for a mutually impactful growth.


Related Post