Controversy at Notting Hill? A tale of two ‘Nigerian Corners’

by Isi Esene
It’s here again, the longest running annual gathering of Nigerians in the UK according to those who make it a yearly ritual: the Nigerian Corner at Notting Hill Carnival.  Since 1986, this has been the meeting point for Nigerians at the world famous Notting Hill Carnival, to celebrate Nigeria, network, re-connect, eat, drink, dance and be merry as artistes entertain the crowds.
At some point, it was banned – but we’ve gotten that behind us and moved on to other things.

Like, you know, having two Nigerian Corners: RMG Company and Reve Entertainment are separately promoting their party corners for Nigerians and friends of Nigeria – and both pretending they don’t know what the other is doing.

Where is which holding?

One Nigeria corner will be located at Adela Street, London W10 5BR, while another will be holding it down at Golbourne Road, W10 (intersection of Golbourne Gardens and Hazlewood Crescent-Nearest landmark: Trelick Tower). Well, at least this one is called the ‘Naija Corner’.

The Adela party, which is sponsored by Western Union, will be hosted by DJ Abass alongside comedians Wale Gates and Buchi.  Music will be provided by the Nigerian DJs in the UK, with Muna, Reminisce, Olamide & Sir Shina Peters billed to perform on stage.

By the way, on the same day, artistes like 2face Idibia are ignoring both corners, and heading for the African Corner. “Africa Unplugged is being billed as the biggest African concert in Europe ever, and looking at the line-up we’re not going to argue with that. Scheduled for  bank holiday Monday the 27th of August 2012, at Wembley Arena, this is going to be a huge celebration of the spirit of Africa through music, comedy and dance.”

The line-up includes 2Face Idibia (Nigeria), Zahara (South Africa), Cabo Snoop (Angola), Fally Ipupa (Congo), R2bees (Ghana), Femi Kuti (Nigeria), Sarkodie (Ghana), Flavour (Nigeria), DJ Arafat (Ivory Coast), Iyanya (Nigeria), Zakes Bantwini (South Africa), Chameleone (Uganda), Mad Traxx (Kenya), Winky D (Zimbabwe), Mc Inity (Zimbabwe), DJ Edu (Kenya), Mista Silva (Ghana), and Noeva (Zambia).

Anyway, back to Nigeria, so which one should you be going to?

Founding member and veteran of the Nigerian Corner, and producer of the event Ayo Shonaiya says “This year’s edition is going to be big, and our designated and licensed site at Adela Street is the place to be for all Nigerians in London on Monday the 27th of August”.

The second Nigerian Corner, promoted by Reve entertainment and Sodium Brand Solutions, will have big name appearances like Davido, Mr. Solek, Kayswitch with DJ Jimmy Jatt on the wheels of steel.

“We will continue to represent our values and portray our rich culture in the best positive way,” said Ayeni Adekunle, one of its organisers.

“We will fly our flags high everywhere possible, flaunt all the elements that make us a great people, and do our country, Nigeria, proud. It’s a beautiful thing, as you’ll see on Monday!”

Not too shabby for the Giant of Africa. We just wonder how many ‘corners’ India – with its 1 billion+ population – will have.

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One comment

  1. Nice article. Just a point of correction so as to keep it factual and legal. The Nigerian Corner was never "banned" at any time. Our old site for over 19 years where we staged the event on Cambridge Gardens was shut down because the Nigerian Corner grew so big and the Police had to cordon off the area because it was blocking an emergency exit route off Ladbroke Grove, nothing more than health & safety reasons. The Nigerian Corner at Adela Street is officially licensed to us by the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea and the Notting Hill Carnival Commission from now and for many years to come. Aiiight.

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