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Lagos Comes Alive in Colours as Carnival Train Hits the Street

Carnival procession in Lagos
Carnival procession in Lagos
Lagos State will on Esther Monday come alive when thousands of residents, including boys and girls will storm the streets in colourful regalia to herald the grand finale of the eight day event.

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Kicking off at Awolowo Road, the procession will march on through King George, Catholic Mission Street and terminate at the Tafawa Balewa Square.
It will however be preceded by a Boat Regatta scheduled for a day before at the Civic Centre, Ozumba Mbadiwe Street, Victoria, Island.

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Speaking on the development, Commissioner for Tourism and Intergovernmental Affairs, Mr. Disun Holloway said a number of roads in Lagos Island, Ikoyi and Victoria Island would be closed for the carnival procession.

For Chairman, Water Reggata Committee, Otunba Olusegun Jawando, the Heritage week is designed to celebrate the rich cultural heritage of Lagos State and Nigeria as a whole in an entertaining, competitive and in a relaxed manner.
In his vision of the child to the fiesta, Festival Consultant, Professor Wole Soyinka said the 2014 edition has been designed as an interactive test to stretch youthful creativity even more than in the previous editions.

“Instead of the uni-disciplinary interpretation of the given theme, participants will now express their vision both in paining and the literary arts”, he said, adding that the journey begins with the literary section , a poem, essay or short story of fixed length, on the chosen theme”, he said, adding that those who scale through will be invited to Freedom Park and provided with brushes, paint and easel and set to illustrate their literary presentation in the complementary medium of painting.

According to the Nobel Laureate, the 2014 edition is the premier edition of what can be regarded as a mini Artistic Decathlon, tailored to the capabilities of the child . The festival already envisages an even more intensive contest, with a disciplinary repertory whose menu will change from edition to edition – but all that is in the future”, he said .

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For many, memories of the music, arts and drama will linger for long . For the first time after the departure of the late Steve Rhodes, the musical group by the name Steve Rhodes Voices was privilege to assemble and delight Nigerians with their lovely voices. Eko Brass Band founded by Lekan Babalola also had a shot at the fiesta.

In terms of drama, Nigerians will never forget Oba Koso, a stage dramatic presentation put together by Duro Ladipo company. It is the story of Sango, a king in ancient Yoruba land. His two generals, Gbonka and Timi were animals always waging wars against the inhabitants of Oyo town and the surrounding districts.

Worried about the incessant warfare, Sango decided to put an end to it by plotting to have either of the generals killed. He sent Timi on an assignment he considered fatal but Timi survived it, performed creditably and became even more popular and powerful. Timi was eventually killed in a duel with Gbonka, a feat that boosted Gbonka’s profile among the people, who now regarded him more highly than king. To save his face, Sango abdicated the throne and eventually committed suicide by hanging. But in order to perpetuate the myth of the power and influence of Sango, the story was told that he did not commit suicide, hence the expression , Oba Koso. Gbekude is another drama, a hilarious variation of the Biblical David and Goliath contest.

Beyond all these, the Palm Wine Drinkard produced by Tunde Kelani and directed by Tunde Awosanmi was also another landmark event of the festival. Adopted from Amos Tutuola’s novel, Palm Wine Drinkard, premiered on stage at the Department of Theatre Arts, University of Ibadan in 1963.

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