Lagos Black Heritage Festival 2014 lights up Freedom Park

Posted: April 17, 2014 in arts/culture

black heritage fest 2014The 2014 Lagos Black Heritage Festival (LBHF) took off on a colourful note Monday at Freedom Park, Broad Street, Lagos.

The Eko Brass Band, Footprints of David, Oyo State Cultural Troupe, masquerades from Ogun State and Meboi (Brazilian masquerade brought by the Brazilian Descendants Union in Lagos) were among those that set the park agog with their performances.

Declaring the festival with the theme ‘The Music Makers’ open, Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola, who was represented by the Commissioner for Tourism and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Disun Holloway, thanked Lagosians for supporting the fiesta since its inception.

He assured that this year’s festival will not be different from previous ones and disclosed some slight changes in the schedule.

The Governor, who thereafter declared the festival opened also watched some of the performances and viewed paintings by children participating in the vision of the child painting competition.

Framed works by the 32 finalists vying for the top prize in the competition sponsored by Diamond Bank Plc were neatly arranged in the Kongi Harvest Art Gallery while the children explained their works to the commissioner and guests on his entourage.

The awards night of the contest themed ‘The Rule of Law and The Law of Impunity’ and which required participants to interpret the theme in the form of a poem, essay or short story before they painted it, holds on Friday, April 18 at the Civic Centre, Ozumba Mbadiwe, Victoria Island.

Speaking to newsmen after viewing the works, Holloway admitted surprise at the level of the works by the children which he further described as excellent interpretation of the theme.

“I have been most impressed by what I’ve seen today. When Professor Wole Soyinka told us the title, some of us were a bit sceptical about the ability of the children to interpret it. We thought it was a pretty difficult theme but you can see what the children have done and I am most impressed. Each one of them, they have taken their time to express what they see of our society and it’s a little bit depressing actually to see that children of this age, they are looking at us, the grownups and this is what they see as us. It’s a bit depressing but that’s reality.”

The Commissioner also touched on why organisers chose to tone down the intellectual part of the festival, noting that: “In previous years, the theme of the Black Heritage Week has been cerebral and based on speeches but it’s moved from that this year to something that we can be engaged in. Music is not just the kind of music we hear at home, it goes beyond that. That’s what we are trying to achieve this year and we have achieved it.”

The carnival queen pageant holds on Saturday, April 19 at Freedom Park while the Fitila Procession happens in Badagry the same day. There will also be a repeat of ‘Lanke Omu’ on the day.

The boat regatta coordinated by Engineer Seyi Jawando will happen on Sunday, April 20 while the Lagos Street Carnival wraps up proceedings on Monday, April 21. Some streets on Lagos and Victoria Islands including Bourdillon, Onikan and Igbosere will be closed for the carnival.

Highlife maestro, Tunji Oyelana will perform on five nights of the festival at Freedom Park before he is joined for the closing jam on Monday by another highlife great, Jimi Solanke

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