Conceived by the Nobel laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka, Chair of the Lagos@50 Planning Committee, the concert was a three-in-one bill, which started with the exquisite total theatrical presentation of OBI at’OROGBO, by the acclaimed youth theatre company, FOOTPRINTS OF DAVID. A well-packaged and delivered show, it was soon followed by two hours of qualitative performance by the internationally renowned STEVE RHODES VOICES/ORCHESTRA, which streamed effortlessly from classical numbers through highlife, jazz, afrobeat, juju, fuji and such other traditional forms. Led and directed by the multi-talented BEN OGBEIWI, the annointed artistic-son of the late elderArtsman, and founder of the troupe, Steve Rhodes, the band of 96 singers and instrumentalists, gave a unique account of themselves — a seeming befitting tribute to the founder, whose 9th anniversary into eternal glory, was merely two days away from the concert day — (plans are on for a massive event next May 29 for the 10th anniversary since his passing).
The Orchestra/Voices performance performances was laced with the record/history-making appearance by Nigeria’s international operatic singer, BABATUNDE AKINBOBOYE, who drew endless applause from the high networth audience that included eminent citizens of Lagos, the elites in political and corporate circles as well as ordinary members of the public.
Across the lagoon, in Ikeja seatnof givernment, the political head and symbol of the celebrant (Lagos), Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, was at same time, hosting another corp of Lagos’ distinguished citizens to a State banquet that has been variously described as the best of its kind in content and form.
The Lagos golden birthday fiesta was capped with a special concert session with EMUKAY fronted by the UK-based multi-skilled artiste, TUNJI OYELANA (of the Benders’ fame), and the FREEDOM FIVE, the band of young but dexterous musicians, that is resident band at the Freedom Park.
Earlier on the day, hundreds of Secondary students in the State had congregated at the Freedom Park on Broad Street, Lagos, where they participated in a youth drama context. Designed by Olafemi George for the Guiness World Record-chasing TEAM NIGERIA, the competition that featured 25 schools in all, was deliberately schemed to mark the 2017 World Children Day, and to represent the climax of youth participation in the year-long celebration.
Further information can be gleamed at https://www.lagosat50.org/