Last week, Belcalis Alamanzar, known to you as Cardi B, visited Nigeria for the first time. She was brought here by Livespot Entertainment, owned by Deola Ayeni Alade, as the first in a constellation of international superstars that have been booked to perform in either Ghana or Nigeria as part of a month-long calendar of ‘Detty December’ events. There were many fears, that Cardi B wasn’t as ‘disciplined’ as other more seasoned performers, that she would be late and give a bad show, that she would be rude to the concert goers. What happened instead was a master class in how with a carefully managed itinerary, a professional entourage and a charismatic star, you can charm an entire country.
Cardi B, chaperoned by Dare Art Alade (yes, that Dare Art Alade) took in all the sights of Lagos, hitting Silver Fox strip club in Victoria Island as an homage to her backstory as an entertainer who began her career in a strip club similar to the one she visited in Lagos. There were impromptu photoshoots at the Zenith Christmas Display at the Ajose Adeogun Roundabout, a carefully documented visit to Ebeano Supermarket to buy supplies for a demure trip to an orphanage somewhere in Lagos.
Then of course, there was the actual concert. Livespot notorious for timeliness, started the opening acts at 7pm and had Cardi B on stage before 10am. She powered through a high octane set list that included many of her greatest hits, none lipsynced, complete with a stage display, a retinue of back up dancers and hypemen and a slinky costume that repped Nigerian colours. By the time Cardi rounded her set, everyone at the Livespot Festival was completely besotted with Cardi and eager to go again.
PS: Regular tickets were just N5,000 naira.
Now, some would be quick to call this a fluke, but this isn’t Livespot’s first rodeo. Last year, they delivered what was arguably the best festival experience ever organized in the country with their ‘Born In Africa’ concert for Access Bank, which over delivered on every front but never really got the publicity it should have. They have also organized many memorable Love Like A Movie concert experiences with Dare Art Alade. They are proof that it can, and should be done.
So Nigerian promoters, perhaps its time we rested the tired excuses that are brought up when paying fans complain about their favourite performers never coming to perform in Nigeria during their international tours, no excuses about our ability to pay ticket fees, about power outages, 0r belligerent performers who refuse to consider that we deserve as much of a concert experience as everyone else.