The first edition of the Escudo Rojo Carnival took place on 18 December at the famous Oke-Arin market in the busy open market district of Lagos Island, entertaining traders, shoppers, bystanders, and commuters stuck in the Lagos traffic with a colourful display of dance, circus performances, and music.
Tourists, shop-owners, guests, and participants defied the sunny and dry weather to revel in the sheer novelty of a roving carnival, as the carnival train drove through Isah Williams Street, Ofin Road, and the famous Tinubu Square.
The highlight of the carnival was whenNigerian musician, W4 (often described as the great Fela’s incarnate), took the stage to perform his chart-topping hit single “ Wa gba control,” causing traffic in the process as hordes of passersby and commercial bus drivers paused in their strides to enjoy the electrifying performance.
Thomas Frotte, the Export Manager of Baron Philippe de Rothschild, proprietors of the Escudo Rojo wine brand described the carnival experience as magical. “Escudo Rojo is not our brand anymore, it is the Nigerian people’s brand, we just planned this carnival to let the market people of Lagos have a good time towards Christmas, but what they did was they took over the carnival and made us have a good time – they copiously displayed cartons of Escudo Rojo wine in front of their shops, decorated their shops in our colours and we just had a great time together, and I must add – this isthe biggest event we’ve had in Nigeria,” he said.
According to Alex Kothoor of GDN Nigeria, the essence of hosting the carnival in the open market was simply to show the brand’s appreciation to the dedicated traders, and to express Escudo Rojo’s commitment and affinity to its trade partners and consumers.