• Sunday, May 19, 2024
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BusinessDay

Colours, thrills of Asun Carnival

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Expectation was palpable in the air, as the atmosphere draped with pomp, effervescent and suffusing colours as well as excitement and thrills filled the air. This is as the stadium of the Adeyemi Federal University of Education, Ondo, in Ondo State, took on a different colouration.

The mood was that of carnival and you could feel the excitement and exhilaration written on the faces of the people as they trickled in their numbers into the stadium to partake in the communal feast that was about to unfold for the day.

It was the fourth edition of the annual Asun Carnival 2024 that was billed for the day that was about to kick start. The annual celebration is the initiative of Wanle Akinboboye, founder and president of La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resort, as part of his effort at developing and promoting tourism. It is also aimed at growing the economy of Ondo, his own home, the state, and extending to Nigeria and Africa.

Before long the different stands and available spaces in the stadium, booming with colours, was taken over by people of different ages, colours and backgrounds that have come to the communal feast to harvest rich dosages of fun expected to be put on display by the different carnival floats and revelries, among other entertainers, who did not disappoint as they all spun out high octave entertainment to the delight of the people.

Different fun-filled and well-curated activities that underscored the brand signature of La Campagne, which is an exciting and colourful blend of African themed motifs, took over the air. Some of the activities included the grand finale of the Inter Street Football Competition, which has over the years become a major attraction of the carnival, attracting huge participation from the people within the town and the entire state.

The crowd was in an ecstatic mood by the time the various carnival floats, with their revelries dressed in different attires, took over the stage to entertain, with a rich blend of dance and music, while the booming sound filled the entire stadium atmosphere.

The climax of the rich blend of entertainment broths served on that day was the musical performance by Atunda Entertainment, the entertainment arm of La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resort, alongside other guest artistes, who thrilled the crowd to their fill.

Some of the star artistes that held the people spellbound; dancing, gyrating and singing along include; Olo Omidan Bata, who gave an extraordinary performance that shook the whole stadium. She is the rare and famous female ‘bata’ drummer and singer nurtured through the cradle by Akinboboye.

Tasha, also from the stable of Atunda Entertainment, kept the fire and excitement on high level, with his brand of music and performance that the people could not have enough of as he had to make way for other artists to showcase their rich offerings as well.

Next on the bill was Ara Thunder, the petite and talented female drummer, who among her rare and inherent musical gifts is the ability to perform Gangan in Yoruba language, fluently and effortlessly. Something that is definitely rare for a young musical artiste of her age from the Igbo extraction.

Ara Thunder loomed over the stage, taking her performance to a crescendo and sending the people into an exhilarating mood as she electrified the stage with her energetic performance, infused with well-curated performance on the drum and her singing prowess.

Another exciting performance of the day that caught everyone by surprise, and which no doubt was embraced by all, setting everyone on the edge of their seats, was the Kolokun competition. A live goat was set loose, with the smartest and fastest person from among the crowd who registered for the event expected to catch up with the live goat, which raced through the pitch.

It was quite an exciting, fun filled and hilarious goat race, as both males and females, at different times were made in their numbers to run after the live goat. The male and female winners in each category went home with the live goats at the end of the race as their rewards.

Among those celebrated during the carnival this year were the winners of the Inter Street Football Competition, and the annual Asun Football Competition.

Prominent people from across the state and country that attended the event included government officials, corporate bodies and royal fathers. The royal guest of the carnival was Oba Dr. Victor Adesimbo Kiladejo JILO III, the Osemawe Kiladejo 1, the Oba of Ondo. He commended Akinboboye, for the annual Asun Carnival, which he said, has become a great unifying factor among the indigenes of Ondo State, Nigerians and Africans at large.

The monarch, who was represented by Chief Akinbileje Iiyemoja of Ondo Kingdom, noted that he was impressed by the massive turn out of people for the event this year. He also expressed delight over the fact that Asun Carnival this year inspired the home coming of many of the sons and daughters of Ondo and the state, who had with them some of their friends and business partners from across Nigeria and the world.

This, he said, is a great development and something that needs to be encouraged, as it will help in the development of the people and the community, State and Nigeria as whole. He implored them to continue in this stride while also expressing appreciation to Akinboboye for his exceptional and visionary commitment to tourism development and promotion.

On the rain that fell a night before the carnival, the traditional ruler noted that it was a blessing from the gods and a show that the carnival has spiritual blessings that bode well for the town and the people.

“The rain the previous day was actually to render special blessings to this year’s Asun Carnival. As today Saturday has arrived with clear weather, necessary for the Asun Carnival celebration for this year 2024,” he said.

2025 edition will surpass this year’s edition – Akinboboye

In his remark at the occasion, Akinboboye, who is also the promoter of Continent Building Initiative through Motherland Beckons, which over the years has birthed different activations, including Asun Carnival, expressed his appreciation to the people and all those who contributed to the huge success of the carnival this year.

He noted that the event this year was far greater that all other editions before it, adding that everything will be done to ensure that the 2025 edition surpassed all the editions so far staged. He, therefore, called on the people, government and corporate bodies, to continue to support the carnival and ensure that they heed ‘Motherland Beckons’ call.’