Many who knew him back in the day remember him as the dreadlocked reggae musician whose hoarse voice stood him out. Those days, he was a delight to watch on the Nigerian Television Authority Network channels. Dancehall music was booming then. Whether he is atop a rock with his chest bared singing a remix of American singer R. Kelly’s ‘ Your Body Calling’ or not, Victory commanded attention any time he came on screen. His fans even dubbed him the Nigerian version of the Jamaican dancehall singer, Shabba Ranks.
Although the musical landscape has changed from that era, Victory however has maintained a significance in the entertainment industry. He made a comeback in 2013 but didn’t make much waves.
Perhaps, his new project will restore that limelight.
Recently, he rolled out another vision of his, ‘All Nigerian Festival’. It is a cultural festival that seeks to promote the cultural heritage. This is not entirely something new. Festivals in the past have touted similar goals. However, Victory has an ace up his sleeve to make his festival a unique one. His hat-trick was to create a festival that will celebrate the culture of Nigeria through food, fashion, arts and craft, and music.
“This festival seeks to promote the cultural heritage of Nigeria. We will be promoting the local cuisines, showcasing the official food of each state in Nigeria to the international world. We will also be showcasing our local liquor like the kunu, zobo, which will be officially packaged to promote it. In the fashion angle, we will be looking at the different fashion style peculiar to the different ethnic groups in Nigeria. For instance, there is a way the Bayelsan man dresses which is different from the dressing style of the Delta man. For the arts, we will be looking at arts, the craft, cultural dance, and there will also be music.”
On the surface, the project looks cumbersome but Victory has everything all planned out. Flying with the name ‘We, the Entrepreneurs’, Victory teamed up with successful individuals who have thrived on the various sectors. For instance, famous fashion designer Frank Osodi will handle the fashion aspect of the festival while he, Victory will take care of the music aspect. Musicians billed to perform at the event include Pasuma Wonder, 9ice, Niniola alongside Victory.
Victory revealed that he’s been toying with the idea since 2015.
“I came up with the idea in 2015. What can the private sector do to generate revenue for Nigeria as a country, individually by states and I thought of the best partners to make it work. So there is an entrepreneur in the fashion, food, cultural dance, arts, I’m handling the music aspect. We came together to see how these entrepreneurs can support the tourism sector in Nigeria.”
He stressed that All Nigerian Festival is different from other festivals because it is on a larger scale.
“The All Nigerian Festival is doing this on a larger scale. Before now, organisers have been doing this event in titbits but we are doing ours in a larger scale. Also,we have been able to bring international media organisations like the BBC,CNN, Reuters to promote Nigeria to the world through this platform. Finally, it is the only festival where students from primary and tertiary institutions will attend a workshop where they will be groomed in different fields regarding their skills.”
As the hub of entertainment in Nigeria, Lagos State government has thrown its weight behind the festival. According to the Special Adviser to the Lagos State governor on Tourism, Arts and Culture, Adebimpe Adesola “It is the desire of the governor to always support individuals, groups and organisations that are interested in the arts and culture and by extension tourism activities in Lagos state. So supporting the organisers of the All Nigerian Festival is not a coincidence or mistake because we have done a lot in the past two years.”
While Lagos state will host the maiden edition, the festival will be taken to other states in subsequent editions. Victory confirmed that four states are already on board to host the festival.
Scheduled for three days, the event will take place at the Tafawa Balewa Square Main Bowl, Onikan, Lagos from December 14 to December 16.