‘Greater Lagos Fiesta 2019 will be unforgettable’
Jermaine Sanwo-Olu is the Special Adviser to the Governor of Lagos State on Diaspora And Foreign Relations. In this interview with CHUKS NWANNE, he spoke on the Greater Lagos Fiesta and the desire of the government to treat Lagosians to an unforgettable Yuletide.
We used to have One Lagos Fiesta, what’s the idea behind the Greater Lagos Fiesta?
The Greater Lagos extravaganza is simply going to be unforgettable under the leadership of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu. We’ve thought and deemed it fit to take the One Lagos Fiesta to a greater level in line with his team’s agenda. We are having 7 days of unlimited, unparallel entertainment fun and entertainment in Lagos state. In five different locations, we are going to be having 35 concerts. It will spread across the Ibile regions of the state, which include Ikeja, Badagry, Ikorodu, Lagos Mainland and Epe. For Ikeja, it’s going to be at the Agege Stadium, while the Badagry show will hold at the Badagry Town Hall. The Lagos Mainland show holds at the Eko Atlantic city, while Epe- Epe youth center will host the Epe show. The Ikorodu concert holds at the Ikorodu town hall.
Is there a reason for the change in the name for the fiesta?
Government is, first of all, is a continuous process. The previous administration started something great, the One Lagos Fiesta and I believe the administration then was about uniting Lagos. Now that Lagos is united, we are now moving to a greater destination.
What’s the format for the concerts and for how long will it run each day?
Each concert will open at 4pm daily, starting on the December 25, 2019, up until December 31, and the Crossover Night. The ones from Christmas Day to December 30 will start at 4pm and finish at after 12 am. The one for December 31 will start at 12-noon all the way to 12pm. Now, I want to assure Nigerians from various states that plan to come in and also Lagosians, that there’s going to be optimum security. The commissioner of police, all the law enforcement agencies in Lagos state are going to be on ground to guarantee ultimate security.
Some of our sponsors are going to light up the whole event, so, it is going to be illuminated well so there is no dark spots around that region. Now, how it’s going to take format, there is going to be a lot of cultural displays, there is going to be music by some top artistes such as Olamide, Zlatan, Dj Spinall, Dj Crowdmover and many others. People such as Naira Marley, Seyi Shay, Fireboy, Prettyboy, Rema, which are some A List artistes, will be performing at the concerts.
But we are not only looking at top people; we are also going to be using talents within the localities, and those would be people within the Ibile region. We are going to be having in Agege people like Small Doctor, Lyra, C Black; In Badagry, people like Idowest, Dotman, Scraper; in Epe, people like Oladips, King Perry; In Ikorodu, Reminisce, Skibii and Airboy. So, you can see what we have done; we have looked for people, who have emerged successful, people who are doing great in the industry, within their localities to also celebrate with their communities during that period of time.
Usually, this event features talents hunt, are we having one this year?
Yes, we are going to be having a talent hunt event during the same period whereby you know Lagos got talent; they are going to come and showcase their talents. We are going to look for the best of the best in those areas and the top five are going to be selected from each Ibile region. Then the top two are now going to perform at Eko Atlantic City for the grand finale. That means that there will be 10 people at the Eko Atlantic at the grand finale on the 31st to win the top prize and whoever comes out victorious is now going to be put with the Lagos State Media Entertainment Film Academy, which is going to be launched very soon.
Are there new additions to the fiesta this year?
In the scheme of all these things, we are also going to be having opportunities for people to have hands-on trainings. People in the media field, logistics planning, we are going to need a lot of volunteers that are going to come on board for internships. Also in the different venues, we are going to be having stalls where people are going to be showcasing their goods like locally made jollof rice, pounded yam and whatever they want to sell. There is going to be a register to get the stalls, which they can contact, the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture and also they can reach us on our social media handles to find out more information but also the event is going to be totally free.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration wants to celebrate not just his administration’s vision and progress over the years, but also celebrate Lagosians for not only supporting him but also their enthusiastic spirit, their never say die spirit.
Will the Governor be participating at the regions?
Not everyone is going to congregate in Eko Atlantic, but in all those different regions, there is going to be fireworks, parties, celebrations as well as entertainment, but the grand finale will be at Eko Atlantic. Governor Sanwo-Olu is going to be visiting every single place, as well as members of his cabinet because they want to connect with the people. We are running an inclusive government, one that does not segregate itself from the people, but one that wants to fell the pulse, hear what they are feeling, know what they are up to and reach out.
It is going to be a safe, clean and beautiful experience, as we have lots of tourist attractions and a view of the entertainment world. You’ve seen FESTAC ’77 before and you’ve seen how beautiful it was done. Lagos has done it then and Lagos under Sanwo-Olu’s administration is going to do it again.
Lagos has become a city of music and entertainment and with the way people are coming into the city, are you thinking of working with tour operators to see how we can have our neighboring countries come to celebrate Christmas in Lagos?
That’s a good idea and it’s in line with our vision. This is our first one and it’s going to be different from the rest, but don’t get it wrong; this is not going to be the best that we are going to do. We are going to be greater than whatever has been done and keep on moving higher, growing further and taking Lagos to a new level entirely. The honourable commissioner of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs. Adebolu under the leadership of Gov. Sanwo-Olu got into some negotiations with people like Virgin Atlantic and British Airways to work out tourism packages and other airlines are going to come on board to see how we can reduce air prices, create tour packages for people to come and see the tourist attractions.
She was at the Lagos Tourism Week a few weeks ago and spoke about how the private sector has to come on board and the Ministry is willing to partner with them to ensure that we create a whole ecosystem, a value chain of tourist activities that is going to spread out of the calendar. This is not juts December, but every single month whereby Lagos is a destination to visit. So, yes, we have that in plan as it is going to execute excellently under Governor Sanwo-Olu’s administration.
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