Many Lagosians savoured the beauty of the Lagos Street Carnival on Sunday, when it held with colours and fanfare. The event held at the Oba Akran Avenue, Ikeja end of the city attracted adults, youths and children, all of who could not resist the piercing promo that ushered in the carnival.
In the past, the state government, which has showed an impressive interest in the development of culture and tourism, held a street party. But this blossomed into a full carnival that presented five bands representing the five political divisions of the state that celebrated its 50th birthday earlier in the year.
The bands paraded beautiful faces, especially youthful folk who poured their hearts into the songs, dance and other theatrics with which they entertained the spectators. They also displayed floats, including the one showcasing the Ikoyi Bridge, the National Theatre and the Lagoon. The versatility of the Lagos’ trademark masquerader, Eyo, also came to play as it enriched the cultural component of the carnival.
At the heart of the Oba Akran Avenue was built the carnival’s central stage, where stars that included Olamide, Yemi Alade, Salawa Abeni, Oritsefemi and Humble Smith performed to the delight of the audience. Some stakeholders are likely to have noticed that apart from cultivating the reigning younger artistes, the Akinwunmi Ambode administration has been giving the waka music star, Abeni, good attention. They will consider this a good development as many veteran musicians’ dilemmas are compounded when governments abandon them. And Abeni did not disappoint her fans as she gave a moving performance, dishing out some of her beautiful old songs.
Speaking at the event, the Deputy Governor, Dr. Idiat Adebule, said the carnival was in line with the government’s plan to diversify the economy.
She said, “We promised during the campaign to use entertainment and arts to grow the state economy. We are going to continue to provide the best when it comes to entertainment and arts to support, grow and develop the economy in the state.”
Also, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, said the transformation happening to the carnival indicated how seriously the government took it.
Ayorinde said, “The Lagos Street Party is being transformed into The Lagos Street Carnival for important reasons. There is a bit of a difference from what we had last year. Last year, it was a party, this year it is a proper carnival party. Last year, it happened on the Island, this year it is happening on the Mainland. So, you will find a multiplicity of vibes. The Ogba vibe, the Ikeja vibe, the Agege vibe, everything has coalesced in Oba Akran.”
The programme enjoyed a pragmatic security arrangement that ensured orderliness and safety, to the extent that the performances successfully stretched into midnight.