Glitz, Glamour of ‘The Lagos Street Party’
Unlike the previous seasons, the first weekend in December came with much difference in Lagos. TLSP did not just come with the first week in the month of yuletide; the two-day carnival was put together to welcome season with glamour and showcase the rebirth of new Lagos.
Across the metropolis and its suburbs, a horde of revellers thronged to Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island in good number and in one accord to welcome the new season in high spirit. From the East to the West, revelers trooped to the venue of the carnival, Eko Atlantic City, even though the Nigerian economy is in turbulence.
Originally, one million revellers were expected to re-awake the spirit of new Lagos at the carnival party. However, people did not turn out for the carnival until the evening on the first day. In spite of what maybe count as its flaws, the turnout was not disappointing on the second day, which the climax.
Due to the carnival, major roads on Victoria Island including Ahmadu Bello Way were closed. As usual, the closure of these roads ignited anxiety among residents in different parts of the state that there might be traffic congestion. However, despite the large turnout of people for the event, there was only very mild congestion, and no report of violence as well as criminality, indicating the success of the carnival.
The state governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, with some key members of his cabinet were live at the gig to give support to its organiser, White Star Entertainment. The list include Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Steve Ayorinde; Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice, Adeniji Kazeem, the acting Commissioner for Transport, Olarenwaju Elegushi and his tourism counterpart, Adebimpe Akinsola.
Notable artistes that thrilled the audience to all genres of music include Olamide, Phyno, MI Abaga, Kaffy, Ice Prince and fuji artiste, Sulaimon Adio aka Atawewe, while DJs Humblesmith, Spinall, and Lambo kept the revellers on the feet, churning out tunes from naija taste makers.
The first day featured colourful cultural parades, displays, acrobatic acts and live performances, which according to Ayorinde, a display of our rich culture. While artistes like 9ice, Dammy Krane, Fatai Valentine (FUJI), and Sunkanmi among others stirred up the audience the party on Saturday; Olamide (Baddosneh), Phyno, MI, Idris Abdulkareem and Atawewe, thrilled the crowd on two different stages. Dance queen, Kaffy, was an inspiration to the youth on how dancing as a profession can help engage the mind positively and its economic value.
The carnival, also, came with a lot of side attraction and exhibition, which the organiser and founder of White Star Entertainment, Akin Akinyelure said, was primarily designed to bring dynamism to the event and give the platform for people and corporate bodies to exhibit their potentials and market their products.
Besides fun making, the carnival offered upcoming artisans the opportunity to exhibit their skill and talent, which Akinyelure explained, fit into the agenda of the state governor, Akinwunmi Ambode.
Obviously, not all about whining the body, it was equally all about commerce and creativity, which according Ayorinde, helped project the potentials of the state to use tourism, arts and entertainment to attract investors. So, the carnival indeed stimulated consumption of various items ranging from food and drinks to household items such as clothing, and marketing activation by various service providers.
For Ayorinde, the party offered real entertainment, live music, diverse cuisine and creative indigenous games in a beautiful environment, which gave people of different nature diverse choice. It also showcased and celebrated the renaissance of Lagos, Africa’s mode megacity and first largest economy. “It is really a carnival of our values, potentials and riches in cultural heritage,” he said.
To the Special Adviser to the governor on Arts and Culture, Adebimpe Akinsola, The Lagos Street Party was a dream fulfilled for Ambode’s agenda to transform the state tourism sector, saying that the Ambode administration had come up with THESE, an acronym, which translates to Tourism, Hospitality, Entertainment, Sports for Excellence.
In her assessment, the party was a huge success, noting that priority of the state government is to make the state one of the most visited tourist destinations in Africa. She added that the street carnival was a clear expression of Ambode’s determination to make Lagos a home for visitors globally.
She said, “The Ambode administration in its characteristic, but proactive approach has laid out various programmes for the social and economic benefits of Lagos residents during the Yuletide. Already, we are getting enviable results from all these programmes the Ambode administration put in place to transform the tourism sector in the state.”
“Tourism related events like The Lagos Street Party and One Lagos Fiesta, an eight-day programme structured to count down to the New Year are very veritable platforms, which are meant to engage Nigerians in Diaspora coming home for vacation and families that may not be able to travel for Christmas due to the prevailing economic situation,” she added.