by Okon Ekpo
Africa International Film Festival
The 6th Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF) opened November at the world standard Filmhouse IMAX theatres in Lekki Lagos. Guests from all walks of life turned out for the festival’s opening presentation, the acclaimed Hollywood film, Birth of a Nation, written, directed by and starring Nate Parker, himself a previous AFRIFF participant and stayed through revelations like Akin Omotosho’s Vaya to the closing film, the long awaited ‘76.
Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards
The 4th Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards was held at the Eko Hotel and Suites Convention centre, and had moments that made us laugh, cry and cringe. Veteran Bukky Ajayi made her final public appearance before her death months later and provide the night’s most poignant moment. Cool points should be awarded the organisers for starting off early, managing a credible organising system and gathering all the A-list stars in one hall for the fourth consecutive year.
— AfricaMagic (@africamagictv) March 5, 2016
The Ake Festival is 5 days of cultural immersion; from books to film, music to theatre, and more books. This year, the annual gathering of writers and creatives was themed Beneath this skin and the indefatigable Lola Shoneyin and her team managed to outdo themselves in upping the tempo. Literature great Ngugi Wa Thiongo was the headliner and sat with Okey Ndibe to discuss his life and work. Other attractions were a much buzzed about panel with Teju Cole and Helon Habila and a Brymo opening night performance.
Asa Live in Concert
Nine years. That’s how long Asa made Lagos- and Nigeria,- the land of her birth, wait for a major headlining concert befitting her status as Nigeria’s premiere vocalist and performer. In a few short hours, Asa established her artistry as an experience, one to be seen and branded as a lifetime event. The French may have their Paris, and the rest of the world may own Asa for most of the year, but for one night, she came home to Lagos, where she will always belong.
Brymo’s Organised Chaos
The magic to Organised Chaos lay with Brymo’s music, and the audience’s total understanding of it. Every performer worth their talent yearns for the kind of audience that thronged Freedom Park for Organised Chaos. About a handful short of the regular Afropolitan Vibes crowd, these folks proved themselves a performer’s delight as they jammed, shimmied, sang and danced along with Brymo for the entirety of his set.