Five star gig for King Sunny Ade at 70
Just as expected, the city of Lagos was practically shut down on Sunday, as showbiz personalities, celebrities, chief executives, captains of industries, friends and family members of the juju maestro stormed the Federal Palace Hotel & Casino for a special concert in honour of a man, who has spent a better part of his life promoting Nigeria’s culture through music.
Though KSA’s 70th birthday celebration started months ago in the United States during his recent music tour, the Sunday on Sunday gig was just a perfect way to wrap the yearlong celebration. And for staging such a quality show, which has obviously raised the bar in the industry, Temple Management deserves a path on the back.
Aside from showbiz personalities (both old and young), who were on ground to pay tribute to a man that has contributed immensely to the growth and development of the industry, the concert also played host to distinguished guests such as Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote, billionaire Femi Otedola, former governor of Lagos and current Minister of Works, Power and Housing Babatunde Fashola, Abia State governor Okezie Ikpeazu, his counterpart from Ogun State, Ibikunle Amosu and a host of other dignitaries.
Anchored by Funke Akindele, Tee A, Lolo of Wazobia, new generation musicians such as Niniola, Terry Apala, Omawumi and Darey set the tone for the night with scintillating performances, before paying the way for Elegant Stallion, Onyeka Onwenu to pay tribute to one of her contemporaries.
Though Onwenu succeeded in taking guests down memory lane with her vintage tunes, everyone looked forward to Wait for me, the 1989 classic featuring KSA and Onwenu. Immediately the band switched to the track and Onwenu’s ageless voice came ringing from the woofers, KSA, who couldn’t hold back excitement, grabbed a microphone and joined her on stage; it was such as memorable scene.
The audience roared in excitement, as Congolese icon Awilo Longomba took to the stage to perform. Again, KSA joined him on stage in appreciation. But particularly, Afro juju singer Sir Shina Peters got many dancing; KSA also joined him on stage.
After series of performance, the celebrant took charge of the stage with his band and performed for 1 hour, 20 minutes non-stop. It was cheers all the way, as the master guitarists belted out tracks from his rich repertoire. Though 70, KSA is still as energetic as ever on stage; his dance moves are still intact.
Meanwhile, the highpoint of the night was auctioning of KSA’s vintage Fender Telecaster guitar, produced in 1950; the guitar was sold for a whopping N52.1million. It was a fiercely contested bidding process moderated by United Auction House’s Dr. Jogun Onabanjo, Certified Auctioneer and Chairman of the The Certified Institute of Auctioneers, Lagos.
The bid for the guitar opened at N9million and it soon became one of the single most priced assets in the newly constructed hall as collectors’ outbid each other. In the audience were some of the most prominent Nigerians today such as Aliko Dangote, CEO, Dangote Group, Femi Otedola, CEO, Forte Oil, Adewumni Ogunsanya, Chairman of DSTV Nigeria and Herbert Wigwe, CEO, Access Bank Nigeria and others.
In less than five minutes, the guitar auction had already crossed the N20million mark and by the end of the 15 minutes allotted time for the exercise, an anonymous collector snapped up the item for a whopping N52.1million.
Produced in 1950, the fine strings of the Telecaster have been caressed by the fingers of the music legend on several stages across different continents. It received the artistic signature touch of celebrity Nigerian visual artist, Victor Ehikhamenor who etched his exquisite murals on the iconic piece of music.
Meanwhile, the Temple Management Company has clarified that its chairman, Mr Tunde Folawiyo did not participate in the bid contrary to widespread reports that he purchased it.
Speaking on his painting, an ecstatic Ehikhamenor said, “My number one goal is to put Nigerian art in the forefront of decision makers, industry leaders and as many Nigerian citizens as possible.”