• Friday, April 19, 2024
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Eko for show: Lagos drums for unity in post-inauguration cultural fiesta

Eko for show: Lagos drums for unity in post-inauguration cultural fiesta

With a myriad of costumes, infectious rhythms of drums, exuberant dances, and tantalizing flavours of diverse cuisine, Lagos hosted its residents to an enthralling cultural fiesta over the weekend.

The culture-loving residents, friends of Lagos, government officials, and the general public were truly entertained at the Agege Stadium, the venue of a bumper cultural feast tagged: ‘Cultural Display & Appreciation Carretta 2023’.

The cultural fiesta attracted several cultural groups, dance troupes, entertainers, giant drums and rare masquerades, amid other elements that symbolize Lagos’ rich cultural tapestry, as well as a harmonious blend of various cultures that have found a home in ‘Eko’ and contribute to its unique identity.

Of course, it was a post-inauguration and an appreciation show, courtesy of the Lagos State government to the residents for giving Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Obafemi Hamzat, the opportunity to return for a second term as the governor and deputy governor of the state, respectively.

The Caretta; a form of musical bands, sheet parades, regattas, and aerobics witnessed many creative displays by participating groups. It featured cultural groups from all five divisions of Lagos State.

One of the spectacular displays at the cultural fiesta was the one by Footprints of David; a multiple award-winning children/student dance theatre group with vast experience in performances both at home and internationally.

The group performed a dance piece titled, ‘Together We Fly’; a 15-minute dance piece depicting the uniqueness of Lagos, amid diverse cultural heritage, and indigenous dance styles across the six geo-political zones of Nigeria, whose contribution to the social and cultural development of Lagos State cannot be overemphasised.

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Speaking on the dance piece, Seun Awobajo, founder and artistic director, Footprints of David Arts Academy, said, “The dance is designed to promote unity and one language through dance – the most potent of all art forms. Dance can help us reshape the essence of unity.”

Other cultural groups that thrilled the audience at the fiestas, especially from the five divisions of Lagos State include: Egungun groups, Agere Group, Ketu Descendant Gelede, Alaragbo Group and Apepe Dance Group, all represented Ikeja Division; Igunnuko Group, Efe Gelede Group, Olokun Group, Olowogbowo Group, Brazilian Descendants, and Three Wise Men Group, representing Lagos Division; Zangbeto, Ijinla, Oluwo Ajagunnmale, Zato, and Koori Asha Agbaiye, representing Badagry Division; Agbo Remireke Group, Mebo Group, Tuyeye Group, Asarokulo Group, and Magbo Group, representing Ikorodu Division; while Agemo Group, Eebi Okosi Group, Omoloje Group, Apapo Odu Group, and Osun Deity Group, represented Epe Division.

In his speech, Governor Sanwo-Olu described the event as a pan-African celebration that symbolised unity in diversity and a testament of the shared history of Lagosians.

“Indeed, this event is more than just a festival. It is a testament to our shared history, our resilience, and our ability to transform our cultural differences into a vibrant expression of unity,” the governor said.

“It mirrors the spirit of Lagos, a city that thrives on the strength of its diversity and cherishes its unique blend of cultures.”

Commenting on the event, Gbenga Omotoso, chairman, the media and publicity subcommittee, Sanwo-Olu and Hamzat 2nd Term Inauguration, disclosed that the event was an indication of the commitment of the Sanwo-Olu administration to the promotion of culture and the creative industry.

One of the highlights of the event included the reward for cultural groups that performed excellently at the show.

Footprints of David, a children’s arts and education advocacy group from Bariga, clinched the first position for the display of culture and performance, while the Zangbeto from Badagry received the second position, and Ajojimale Masquerade from Epe came third.