The month of October was an eventful, gruelling and significant month in Nigeria’s history. Most events were tinged with heavy political nuances as this month saw a major political movement course through the corners of the country.
We compiled a top ten list of both physical and virtual functions that were the most talked about, made headlines and created social buzz in October.
Here are the top events we loved:
10. Memoirs (1960-2020) The Formation of a Nation (Exhibition)
To mark Nigeria’s 60th independence, the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) in collaboration with Freedom Park held a two-day stamp exhibition in Lagos.
The event was geared to celebrate the nation and play a role in the documentation of the Nigerian journey to date. The epic exhibition showcased Nigeria’s story through postage stamps for the purpose of education and preservation of our national heritage.
9. Polio Day/National Para-Soccer Championship
The 8th edition of the Polio Day/National Para-Soccer Championship held on Wednesday, 21st of October at the Old Parade Ground in Abuja. It ended on Saturday 21st October 2020. Teams comprising of para-athletes from eight states in Nigeria partook in the championship.
The President of Nigeria Para-Soccer Federation (NPF), Misbahu Didi, has made it known that he hopes to ensure the event is included in the 2020 National Sports Festival (NSF).
The event is an initiative of the Nigeria Para-Soccer Federation (NPF).
8. The Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology (NIFEST) 2020
The Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology (NIFEST) held its 44th annual international conference and general meeting from October 14 to October 15, 2020 at the D’Podium Event Centre, Ikeja, Lagos.
The annual conference is reported to attract about 700 participants every year. This year’s edition, themed ‘Agro and Food Processing for Wealth Creation – the Nigerian Experience’, explored the challenges and opportunities in the agri-food business in a post-COVID era and a new normal Nigeria.
7. Tech Inclusion 2020
The 6th Annual Tech Inclusion Conference & Career Fair, hosted by the Change Catalyst, touched on the need for innovative solutions to tech diversity and inclusion. The conference held from Tuesday, October 13 to Thursday, October 15.
Tagged ‘The Next Wave of Leadership’, the event also touched on currently pressing issues and pushed a necessary conversation on civic engagement and combating voter suppression using technology.
Other points touched in the conference included talks on ways to improve mental health and wellness.
6. Exodus Abuja 2.0
Superstar and Fem crooner, David Adedeji Adeleke, popularly known as Davido, headlined the Exodus Abuja 2.0 concert that took place on the October 2nd, 2020. The event held at the D Venue Marquee, City Park in Abuja.
Raving reviews followed after the concert ended as attendees narrated it as nothing short of a great time. Other top entertainers also gave stunning performances. Notably, entertainer Bella Shmurda fell from the stage during a performance and the incident made the night’s highlight list for a lot of people.
5. Tope Alabi’s 50-day virtual concert
Gospel musician, Tope Alabi, is unarguably one of the greatest icons in Nigeria’s gospel industry. She’s consecutively featured in the past three YNaija monthly gospel artiste rankings.
The music maestro clocked 50 on the 27th October 2020. To celebrate the massive achievement, she held a massive 50-day virtual concert leading up to her birthday.
The “ 50-Day Golden Praise” virtual concert began on the 7th September and ended on the 26th October, a day before her 50th birthday. Interested participants only had to join Alabi’s Facebook page at 8.00 p.m. every day or watch on her Instagram page. Several anointed guests joined in on several sessions, giving Nigerians a thorough treat.
Good music, energetic dance, and vibrant celebration are the guaranteed things to expect at the always anticipated Felaberation. The music festival was introduced in 1998 by Yeni Anikulapo-Kuti in memory and celebration of her father Fela Kuti. Ever since, the festival has held annually to the delight of the youthful, fun-seeking Nigerians. The one-week-long event is usually held at the New Afrika Shrine in Ikeja, attracting visitors from different countries.
Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, this year’s concert had to take on a whole different location. After much consideration on the part of the organisers, it held virtually and for three days instead. The 2020 edition of the annual event was tagged: ‘Fight to Finish, Fight to Win’ and ran from October 15-17.
This year’s musical guests included Femi Kuti, Seun Kuti, Made Kuti, Niniola, Wande Coal, Joeboy, Antibalas, WurlD who gave raving performances.
3. Coca Cola Independence Day concert
To celebrate Nigeria’s independence, Coca-Cola pulled out all the stops. The beverage corporation sponsored a virtual concert featuring the very best entertainers in Nigeria’s industry. The virtual experience featured performances from star acts like Rema, Yemi Alade, Cohbams and 2Baba.
The concert, a #NaijaLikeNeverBefore initiative, was one of the most talked-about concerts of October. Nigerians could not get over the amazing rendition of the National anthem produced by Cobhams Asuquo. Yemi Alade’s awe-inspiring vocals really shone during her part in the rendition and Nigerians couldn’t shut up about how good it was.
2. Candlelight vigil
The EndSARS protests lasted for more than a week, tragically climaxing on Tuesday 10th of October 2020. On that ‘Bloody Tuesday’, Nigerians witnessed soldiers open fire on peaceful protesters at the Lekki tollgate; dubbed the Lekki Massacre. The cruel irony of this incidence is that a few days back, protesters had gathered overnight at the Lekki Tollgate in honour of Nigerians that would have been killed as a result of police brutality.
An overnight candlelight vigil took place, and youths lit candles telling the gruesome stories of those who lost their lives to senseless violence in the hands of the police officers. However, Lagos was not the only place where the candlelight ceremony took place. The vigil took place in Abuja, Port Harcourt, and prayers were said after which the demonstrators sang the National Anthem in respect of the country.
- EndSARS protest
The month of October was majorly characterised by the EndSARS movement. It was a movement like never seen before in the history of Nigeria. The effective coordination, togetherness and innovativeness of Nigerian youths made the movement so powerful that it slowly spread its tentacles across borders. Nigerians in other countries in the world took up the protests, and the political consciousness spread to other African countries as they demanded the end to police brutality as well.
It all started with a viral video of a SARS police officer shooting and killing a young Nigerian in front of Wetland Hotel, Ughelli, Delta. The trending video caused a major public outcry on social media and eventually snowballed into what is now known as the #EndSARS physical protests that took place all over the country; championed by Nigerian youths.
The protests were labelled a leaderless protests, nevertheless, there were key actors that helped it move along. Social media influencers gave needed motivation to keep people protesting on the social media platform, the Feminist Coalition helped organise funds and the likes of Modupe Odele helped organise legal aid.
The movement has led to increased political consciousness and participation amongst Nigerians. People are expressing a potent drive to actively participate in the next electoral process come 2023.
Toluwanimi Onakoya is a spirited writer, creative and videographer. Her biggest drive is to connect with people and depict tales using various forms of media.
Toluwanimi is available on Instagram and Twitter @nimi_onaks