Due to the pandemic, entertainers and Nigerians alike have had to adjust to an indoor lifestyle, just as most events have moved to the virtual sphere. We compiled a top ten list of virtual functions that were the most talked about, made headlines and created social buzz this month.
Most of the top virtual events happened towards the end of the month, as if August was saving the best for last. A variety of virtual events made this month a bubbling fest. The ease and comfort of these digital events have us almost wishing things continued to remain remote.
Here are the top events we loved:
ALITFEST20, the virtual event catered to all literature and art lovers. The three-day event, ALitFest – Abuja Literary and Arts Festival, held from August 13th to 15th 2020. The theme for #ALitFest20 was the ‘The Art of Empathy’, and it aimed to highlight the importance, beauty, and need for diversity and difference as well as the role of the creative in building bridges within and across societies.
Panels and events were curated to help participants explore several critical societal issues such as tribalism, racism, homophobia, misogyny, misogynoir, classism, and other relevant matters.
The Festival program includes panel discussions hosted by intellectual panellists from diverse backgrounds including Nwando Achebe, Edwige Dro, Sawad Hussain, Dike Chukwumerije, Kola Tubosun, Tsitsi Dangarembga, Bisi Adjapon, and Chido Onumah.
The event had a series of exciting and educative workshops on short story writing, poetry writing, and publishing. Other activities included Panel Discussions, Book Chats, Writing Competitions, Online Festival Book Store, – Online Art Exhibition (with partners), Film screenings, and much more.
9. PhotoWaka Africa Virtual Summit
To commemorate World Photography Day, the virtual project tagged PhotoWaka Africa Summit, was held on August 17 and lasted two days. The summit cultivated discussions surrounding the topic: “REFRAMING THE AFRICAN NARRATIVE.” A push for African creatives to be intentional in telling stories (through pictures, videos, write-ups) about Africa; helping to influence the mindset of the rest of the world in the way people view Africa and Africans.
At the start of August, the PhotoWaka Africa platform, in collaboration with the event’s official sponsor, Golden Penny Foods had organized a photography competition. The virtual-led competition, Shoot Your Shot, was focused on food photography. A call was made out to social media users to send in entries of meals prepared with Golden Penny; standing the chance to win top three prizes; a brand new camera, a brand new camera lens, and N50,000.
The summit provided the audience with healthy discussions, chaired by renowned personalities in the society, on the power and influence of photography in journalism, media, tourism, politics, festivals and SDGs, and its vital role in impacting the community positively.
8. Pride Afrique 2020
The first pan-African virtual Pride event took place this month. The event was geared at bringing together LGBT+ Africans to share their stories of challenge and success from a continent, unfortunately, known for its persecution of the queer community.
Pride Afrique 2020 was organized by gay Nigerian social innovator, Kehinde Bademosi, who was forced to move to the United States after receiving homophobic threats to his life at home. He said the pandemic had brought the perfect opportunity to stage the event.
The three-day event was broadcasted live for two hours daily and featured LGBT+ speakers and advocates from Tunisia in the north to Mozambique in the south, as well as from the diaspora.
7. 2020 Virtual Pride Women Conference
The anticipated Pride Women Conference was postponed from May to August due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic and successfully held on August 29, 2020. The theme of the 2020 Conference was changed, from “Women: Work, Relationship and Marriage – The Conversation Deepens” to “Maintaining Your Emotional Well-Being in Uncertain Times.” The invited female guests brought their various perspectives; helping participants get a handle on their lives holistically.
6. Africa Soft Power Series
The Africa Soft Power Series was the first of its kind, and it held from the 27th of August to the 29th of August 2020.
It featured the coming together of several leaders from across the globe, leaders who are focused and passionate about Africa. Some of the speakers at the summit included Yewande Adewusi, BBC News Regional Director for Africa (Moderator), HRH Nnaemeka Alfred Achebe, The Obi of Onitsha, and Nana Bediatuo Asante, Secretary to the President of the Republic of Ghana, and some of the topics discussed in the sessions were The Globalisation of African Beats: Culture, Trends & Opportunities, The Future of Sports & Live Entertainment, and Pop Culture, Gender Roles, & Responsibility to Audience.
5. Fearless Annual Concert
In a bid to raise the spirits of Nigerians in this trying period, Tim Godfrey organized a free virtual concert for the people tagged the ‘Fearless Concert 2020’ with the theme ‘The fight of my Life.’ It held on Sunday, August 23rd, 2020. The event had performances from volunteering artistes like Panam Percy Paul, JJ Hairston, Dr Tumi, Sonnie Badu among others.
The Fearless Annual Concert was established in 2016 as a platform to encourage Nigerian youths and provide a sense of community amongst Godly people. This year’s event proved just as powerful.
4. Dance Convention-Dance Education (DCDE)
The virtual dance conference tagged “Dance Convention-Dance Education, DCDE,” was scheduled for August 18 to 20, 2020. The maiden event was aimed at providing education and empowerment to the Nigerian dancers in its growing industry. The three-day virtual event threw its door open to all interested participants for free.
The event featured teachings from three top Nigerian dance teachers alongside international teachers and keynote addresses from speakers based in Nigeria; covering the area of finance, marketing, business, branding, and fundraising.
3. Fashion Souk
This year 2020, being the unusual year that it is, dictated that this edition of The Fashion Souk move to the virtual arena. The 5th edition of the Fashion Souk by Eventful held from Friday, 28th August to Sunday, 30th August.
The widely anticipated event showcased exhibitions from creative Nigerian and African Fashion businesses over three days. The fresh fashion experience gave everyday Nigerians access to online runway shows for guest entertainment; giving people the chance to shop some of the best, intriguing Nigerian fashion designs from the safety of their personal spaces.
2. The 60th NBA Annual General Conference
The lead up to the 60th Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Annual General Conference was explosive. The leadership of the Nigerian Bar Association had earlier invited Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, to participate in the association’s meeting but after a pointed outcry from lawyers, his invitation was withdrawn. Many lawyers questioned El-Rufai’s human rights records; accusing him of not doing enough to end the killings in the southern part of his state, Kaduna.
The 60th Annual General Conference of NBA kicked off on the 26th of August, themed ‘Step Forward.’ The conference opened with a rich display of Nigerian cultural dance and music. The conference, had over 22,000 attendees, the largest in the NBA’s history, and spanned till August 29.
Distinguished personalities such as President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President, Professor Yemi Osibanjo, Speaker, Federal House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, Chief Justice of Nigeria, Dr Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, Former President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Former UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair, Governor of Lagos State, Governor Babjide Sanwo-Olu and many many more gave insightful addresses at the conference.
Event participants discussed and produced implementation plans to foster the adoption of policies, standards and practices leading to socio-political stability, economic growth, sustainable and infrastructural development for accelerated regional and economic integration.
1. 25 Under 25 Awards
Over the past month, you have probably encountered more than one pleading social media post from a mutual asking you to vote for them to help them win a category in an award show. It was most likely for Nigeria’s 25 Under 25 Awards.
The 5th Edition of Nigeria’s Youth Entrepreneurship Leadership Program (Nigeria’s 25 Under 25 Awards) held on Saturday, 29th of August. SME100Africa is a platform that recognizes and celebrates 25 Nigerians under the age of 25 who are performing exceptional feats and contributing to socio-economic development in Nigeria. The awards recognize entrepreneurs (Founders & Co-founders) who started under the age of 25 in a wide range of categories.
Young entrepreneurs are provided with a stipend, access to finance, 12-month incubation, one-on-one leadership coaching, and access to a diverse network of technical advisors, mentors, and potential investors.
This year’s event boasted of keynote addresses from notable people in the society like Aishah Ahmad (Deputy Governor CBN) and Segun Ogunsanya (CEO Airtel), Pastor Ituah Ighodalo Snr Pastor Trinity House/Partner SAIO and award-winning Actress, Omotola Jalade Ekeinde.
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