By Osagie Alonge and Victoria Ige
Nigerians got together on Monday August 27, clad in glittering green, to represent Nigeria at this year's edition of the popular Nottinghill carnival, in London. Gathered at the official Nigerian stand 'Naija Corner' on Golbourne road W10, from noon until day-end, were iconic raper M.I, comedians Gbenga Adeyinka and Princess, Encomium publisher Kunle Bakare (who came with his son), Nollywood's Sam Dede, Jaiye Opayemi, Grafton's Tonye Ibiama, Alariwo of Africa, NET publisher Ayeni Adekunle, KJV, MTN's Kelvin Orifa, celebrated filmmaker Kunle Afolayan, as well as executive producer Abisoye Fagade and his Naija Corner partner 'Layinka Oyedeji.
With Africa's best DJ Jimmy JATT behind the music, and Mayhem Crew and Papa Jones in charge of sound and PA, the Naija Corner was a seven hour concert, with music and performances from almost everywhere in the world. And the audience, made up of a mix of Nigerians, Jamaicans, Britons (one British gentleman, pictured above, proudly wore a Nigerian emblem, T-shirt, and had our flag with him all day), South Africans and Ghanians, happily danced to the cocktail of hits from all four DJs drawn from Lagos and the UK.
'It's definitely gotten better and bigger this year' says Fagade. 'You can see everyone mixing, dancing to Wizkid, Davido and D'Banj; eating Nigerian food and wearing green-white-green. This is the kind of cultural integration we hoped to achieve with the Naija Corner when we started, and i'm beyond pleased to see it happening today...'
Other prominent guests at the Naija Corner included Dele Okelowo of Digiprints, Akin Oyebode, Rickie Davies, Azuh Arinze (publisher of YES! International), CORE media CEO Jide Adediran, THISDAY's Azuka Ogujiuba, Ayo Animashaun of Smooth Promotions, set designer Bolaji Durojaiye, Funsho Arogundade of TheNews, and Mr SOLEK (who gave a brief performance that left guests asking for more).
The Naija Corner, the official Nigerian Corner at the Nottinghill Carnival, was organised by Sodium Brand Solutions and Reve Entertainment, in conjuction with Mayhem Crew, BlackHouse Media Group, Digiprints, Emblue Media, NET, CORE Media, Encomium Weekly, Hip TV, and First Class Incorporated. Other partners include Global News, News of The People, E 24-7, KISS, Nigezie, PlayCentre, Aquila oil and Gas, JATT Inc, LaffMattazz, Alexia and other proudly Nigerian organisations.
'This is such a great thing that's happening. The music is great, the fans are so real and spontaneous. I feel very happy to be here, and for me as a artiste, this are the kind of platforms we're looking for, to further push our art, and take Nigerian stuff to the world' surprise act M.I told NET backstage.
'Once I got there for sound check and I heard the sound, I knew were were in for a helluva time' iconic DJ Jimmy JATT told us. 'Naija Corner had the second biggest sound at this year's Nottinghill Carnival, and I feel proud that we were able to entertain this huge multicultiural crowd, without a single dull moment'.
This year, the carnival attracted over one million revellers, the highest numbers ever. And the Naija Corner had a good share of that, with thousands of people trooping in and out...
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