The fill and thrill of Baba Yetu concert
No doubt, Baba Yetu concert, which held at the University of Lagos Chapel hall recently will continue to remain green in the minds of audiences at the show, which comprised academics, students and guests from the university community. The venue of the yearly concert was filled to its capacity with those that could not get in, hanging outside and peeping from any available open space to watch happenings inside.
Photographers and students tried to outdo one another as they struggle to take vintage positions to capture every activity with their handsets and cameras. It was a day of glory and honour as the concert was dedicated to the outgoing Dean of Faculty of Arts, Prof. Muyiwa Falaye, whose tenure most people present, said was beneficial to the Department of Creative Arts.
Like a freeze, the hall became silent when the compere, Dr. Albert Oikelome, who doubled as the director of music, set the ball rolling with the dose of songs from different ethnic groups across the African continent. Tagged Baba Yetu (Our father), the yearly concert saw Mike Abdul and Minister Kenn, perform alongside the UNILAG Mass Choir, as well as other composers.
Reflecting on the performances, Professor Falaye said: “I feel happy and have come to the realisation that hard work pays. For the past four years, I have served the faculty to the best of my ability. I have gone beyond the call of duty to do what others never did.
“I will be four years as Dean by the end of July, which also would mark the end of my tenure. It’s been a wonderful experience. I have been able to meet the expectation of faculty members and the university. I have achieved all there is to achieve and I’m not looking for a third.”
On his view of the concert,, Falaye disclosed that he has always been very close to the students. According to him, “they call me the ‘People’s Dean’. Right from the first day of being a dean, I’ve always been with the students, shared in their dreams and aspirations, joy and pains. I’m down to earth. We all worked like a team and I have attended all their concerts and it is time for me to move on and I am moving on.”
The outgoing dean called on students and youths never to give up on themselves, saying suicide is no option to life; it is not worth doing. He noted that there is always hope, as no one in life is free of one difficulty or the other. “We all have one difficulty or the other and we are working to overcome them; so, there is always hope. If one must make it in life, he or she must be committed to a course and be hard working. There is no need killing oneself because you do not know what the future holds,” he advised.
Dr. Kenn, a senior lecturer in music, who featured in the concert, disclosed that this year’s concert is one of the very few he has performed within the university, as most of his performances hold outside the campus.
The multi-talented music teacher who said he plays different genres of music from classical to the contemporary, noted that concert is one of the ways to develop youths, give them platform to hone their skill and feel the vibes of good music. He said: “Concerts occupy the students from rehearsals to performance. It keeps them away from mischiefs, aside serving as avenue to showcase their skill and discover new talents. So, it is like preparing them for the challenges outside the campus and ahead of them. The truth is outside the academic environment they will be confronted with diverse music genres and with Baba Yetu Concert, they will not have any difficulties in doing what is right.”
Commenting on reasons some people complain of gospel music being noisy, Kenn said it is because the artistes lack the basic knowledge of music. According to him, if an artiste does not know the basis he/she would find it difficult to perform or play good music. He stressed that the concert aimed at pointing out common errors in music and correcting them. He noted that it does not end with any genre of music being noisy, but also some having lewd words.
The music teacher observed that this is happening because of the way the Nigerian society has been structured couple with the media — social or traditional — hyping them. He noted that only gospel music could correct the errors. Explaining further, he added that gospel music does not necessary mean Jesus, but the common good of society and humanity.
“When an artiste’s songs are about humanity, telling them to desist from evil, they are then contributing to humanity. The use of lewd words kill moral and until gospel music takes its stand the situation will not change. “Secondly, the media should stop promoting this genre of music; giving them undue hype would encourage listeners to do what the artistes are singing about. We need a multi-dimensional approach to stop it; we must all be involved to make the fight effective,” he said.