Saturday, December 10, 2016 8:47 am
By Kazeem Ugbodaga
It was indeed two days of unlimited glitz and glamour at the Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island recently as over 500,000 fun-loving Lagosians thronged the venue to enjoy the pleasure life offers at the Lagos Street Party, TLSP, the first of its kind in Nigeria. The venue was lit up with artistes, singing, dancing and several other activities that make life worthwhile.
There were influx of children, youths and families, all of whom were in celebration mood. Notable artistes thrilled the audience to all genres of music. Among others, artistes like Olamide, Phyno, MI Abaga, Kaffy, Atawewe and Ice Prince were on ground to thrill the audience while some of the DJs, Humblesmith, DJ Spinall, and DJ Lambo, really thrilled the revelers at the street carnival.
Artistes like 9ice, Dammy Krane, Fatai Valentine (FUJI), Sunkanmi and few others stirred up the audience at the street party. On Sunday, it was the turn of Olamide, Phyno, MI, Idris Abdulkareem and Sule Adio, who thrilled the crowd on two different stages at both ends of Ahmadu Bello way.
Kaffy, especially, was an inspiration to the youth on how dancing as a profession can help engage the mind positively and with its economic value. Also, the first day featured colourful cultural parades, displays, acrobatic acts and live performances.
The Lagos Street Party (TLSP) was conceived by White Star Entertainment. The event occupied a prime place in the state’s calendar of entertainment and tourism with its take-off last weekend. From all indications, the carnival equally triggered a new spirit of Lagos.
Unlike the previous seasons, the last weekend came with much difference in Lagos. It did not just come with the first week in the month of Yuletide. Also, The Lagos Street Party, a two-day carnival, was put together to welcome Yuletide with glamour to showcase the rebirth of a new Lagos.
Originally, one million fun-seekers were expected to re-awake the spirit of new Lagos at the street carnival. However, people did not turn out for the carnival until the evening of the first day. In spite of what people might count as its flaws, the turnout was not disappointing at all as the carnival ended on Sunday.
Extensive preparation was made for the street party. Security was adequately provided while, major roads including Ahmadu Bello Way on Victoria Island 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. Despite the huge turnout for the event, there was only very mild congestion. Also, there was no report of violence and criminality, indicating the success of the carnival.
The state governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode was at the carnival live to give support to its organizer, White Star. Likewise, some of his cabinet members including the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde; the Attorney-General, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem; the acting Commissioner for Transportation, Mr. Olarenwaju Elegushi and his tourism counterpart, Mrs. Adebimpe Akinsola.
The carnival came with a lot of side attraction and exhibition, which the founder of White Star, Mr. 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 to exhibit their skill and talent, which Akinyelure said, fit into the agenda of the state governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode. That was why the 150 stalls were taken by several brands, the big ones like Guinness and small ones like Designer Rice from Allen Avenue.
According to Ayorinde, the event helped to promote commerce and creativity in order project the potentials of the state to use tourism, arts and entertainment to attract investors. The carnival indeed stimulated consumption of various items ranging from drinks, food, household items, clothing and marketing activation by various service providers.
He said the carnival offered real entertainment, live music, diverse cuisine and creative indigenous games in a beautiful environment, which gave people of different nature diverse choice. It indeed 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.
Akinsola, Special Adviser on Arts and Culture, said the street party was a dream fulfilled for Ambode’s agenda to transform the tourism sector. She said the Ambode administration had come up with THESE, an acronym, which translates to (Tourism, Hospitality, Entertainment, Sports for Excellence).
According to her, the street party was a huge success. In her assessment, Akinsola said the 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 explained that the Ambode administration in its characteristic, but proactive approach had laid out various programmes for the social and economic benefits of Lagos residents during the Yuletide, saying that “Already, we are getting enviable results from all these programmes the Ambode administration put in place to transform the tourism sector in the state.”