Blasts from the past at Samba Queen’s Old Schull party, awards
For music lovers, musicians and friends of Arigo Samba queen, Stella Monye, Saturday, July 31, was a day they would not forget in a hurry. On that day, Blue Sea Garden and Nite Club, Ogba, Lagos, wore a shade of old school in a purple celebration. In fact, passers-by could tell from the loud music hitting them from Stella Monye’s band that there was a big old school musical event going on in the facility. With the band, the audience were transported back in time to Nigeria and the world’s golden music era.
Titled, ‘Winaiwin Old Schull Party and Award,’ the show was staged by Monye’s non-governmental organisation (NGO), WINAI Women Nigeria Initiative, in honour of late American singer, song writer, music producer and actor, Prince Rogers Nelson, popularly known as Prince, who passed away in April this year.
Monye said she was drawn to the late singer for his music and passion for growing the careers of female talents. Her words, “He established people like Lady Chaka Khan, Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, Alicia Keys, Sinead O’Connor of “Nothing Compares” and many others to fame. Many of his band members were women including his most recent band (3rdEyeGirl). Prince, throughout his career, championed women in business”.
She said the night was not just about Prince, but also about people who had encouraged and supported entertainment.
“We have the opportunity to award people for their hardwork, dedication and commitment to the entertainment section,” she noted. “I’m happy about this day because I have some girls that I have been training and I also have this NGO of 250 people that I have been putting together, but my target is 1000 people”.
She shared her experience running the NGO, “We do basically advocacy programmes. We go on the streets to correct all the ills related to women; we are not a feminist group. We are not saying women shouldn’t respect their husbands, but that they are capable of doing positive things if given opportunity”.
Ras Kimono commended Monye’s effort, describing her as a friend, sister and confidant, adding, “I have known her since her University of Lagos days. She came under a series of professors to learn, and today, I can proudly say if you cannot learn from her, then you cannot learn anything”.
The music legend decried the impatience of today’s young artists, who are “always rushing to do things; they don’t want to learn before venturing into the affairs. Music today is still music, but it is unfortunate that today’s youths don’t say more about the ills of the society in their songs, but it is still music”.
He, however, noted that Nigerian music always stands out across the world, noting, “I have travelled around the world and I have seen how people react to Nigerian music”.
The first category of award was given to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and his wife for their support to the music industry since their assumption of office last year.
Highlight of the evening was the performance of the host and her band, Stella Monye and Band, as they threw the audience to their feet when they performed hit contemporary tracks in the 80s. They performed Whitney Houston’ Exhale (shoop shoop), Hot chocolate’s ‘I believe in miracles’, Madonna’s ‘into the groove’ Monye’s ‘ fuel for love’, ‘Knock on wood’ and ‘I wanna say I love you’ among others.
The night was not just about songs, as there were dances performances from FBI dance crew, Scott Jackson, who coincidentally performed Michael Jackson’s ‘thriller’ to the delight of the audience. Also, a Makosa dance group called, Ife’s concept dance group wow the audience with their energetic dance that left the audience breathless.
Senator Oluremi Tinubu was not left out, as she was recognised for her empowerment programmes that are geared towards lifting youths including girls. Most notable for mention is her NGO, New Era Foundation.