The Lagos heritage festival tagged “The Black in the Mediterranean Blue” has been schedule to hold March 25, to April 1, 2013. The festival called a “Year of Brazil” is divided into two parts. First part will be the Lagos Heritage Festival proper, while the second will give more time for participation from the Afro-Brazilian in the Diaspora.
However, in spite of the festival’s ongoing plans, Wole Soyinka, chairman of the festival, says: “We are not getting sufficient sponsors as we should. I urge the government and co-operative organisations in Lagos to try and assist. If we can just get a fraction of what was given to the footballers we would really appreciate it.”
Ereolu Dosumu, the festival ambassador, says this year’s edition will be a reminiscence of what happened at ‘FESTAC 77.’
However, this year’s Water Regatta will come up March 31. Segun Jawando, chairman, Water Regatta, explains that Lagosians and visitors to the festival should be ready to experience new things. “Children can watch the Water Regatta and listen to playwright. There will also be “Search and Rescue Demonstration group” who will be teaching as the events unfold. There will be swimming competition, an engine power boat racing will also be seen, while prizes will be awarded to the best decorated boat and performer,” says Jawando.
In addition, there will also be a Beauty Pageant to showcase the very best of Lagos fashion and beauty. Tunde Fashina, chairman, Beauty Pageant, says: “Screening has already started; 33 people applied but our final 10 has been chosen and they have started going through some special training; the finals of the competition will hold March 30, at Eko Hotel & Suites.
According to him, secondary schools in Lagos will also participate, as there will be a festival queen and a festival king that will be picked from the represented schools.
As part of the festival, a street carnival will come up April 1, says Disun Holloway, Lagos State commissioner for tourism. The carnival will be a 6.5-kilometre walk, which will begin from Onikan and pass through Oyinkan Abayomi and some other places. “The students will move from the National Museum to Tafawa Balawa Square. The carnival will commence at 8am, while some roads will be closed on that day to allow the carnival train move freely,” he says.
Soyinka tells Lagosians to prepare for the best as this year’s festival will not be business as usual, as “the festival is supposed to bring about a cultural interaction. We just want to expose the African culture through the Mediterranean. Nigerians, Lagosians should, however, get ready for the best festival as this will be better than the previous festivals.”
L-R:Commissioner For Tourism and Inter-governmental Affairs Disun Holloway, Lagos Black Heritage Festival (LBHF) Consultant – Prof. Wole Soyinka, Boat Regatta Chairman – Jawando, and Erelu Dosunmu – festival Ambassador