The planning committee for the Lagos@50 has declared that till May 27, there will be a series of celebration on a daily basis for all Lagosians and friends of Lagos for the final celebration of the state’s Golden Jubilee Anniversary.
At the World Press Conference held inside the well-decorated Banquet Hall in Lagos House, Ikeja, the co-chairman of the Lagos@50 planning committee, Mr Habeeb Fasinro highlighted the events that would make the celebrations memorable. For him, it is important to celebrate the existence of Lagos State as a multi-ethnic entity because out of the 12 states created at that period in Nigerian history, only Lagos state remains the most vibrant, united and progressive.
Fasinro, in company of other members of the Committee including Professor Ademola Abass, Hon. Adebimpe Akinsola, Mrs. Sarah Boulos, Mrs. Chika Balogun said the events will tell the story of Lagos and her journey from 1967 till date. The celebrations will kick-off with the musical, ‘Wakaa’, produced and directed by Bolanle Austen-Peters at the MUSON Centre, Onikan on April 8.
For the Easter weekend, a special treat awaits Lagos residents. A three-day Broadway Musical concert tagged “Fela” that features the life and times of the Afrobeat legend, Fela Anikulapo Kuti. The performance will feature a combined cast of the original Broadway production and the Royal National Theatre production under Bill T. Jones.
The Lagos story is incomplete without the mention of the body of water that surrounds the state and divides it into Island and Mainland. For this reason, the International Day of Jazz will be celebrated in style. As you may already know, April is set aside as the Jazz history month and it is observed globally by a growing community of jazz lovers. However, this year’s edition will take a different turn as Jazz meets fashion in The Runway Jazz event that will feature Grammy award winning artistes.
Fasinro further stated that the celebration would continue on May 1 with a Special Workers’ Day celebration by both active and retired civil servants with a special parade at Agege Stadium and later that same day, a state dinner. On May 5, five of the highest box office hits from Nigerian cinemas by Nigerian film producers will be screened at five districts namely Ikeja, Badagry, Ikorodu, Lagos Island and Epe. The movies to be screened are 93 days, ‘76, The Wedding Party as well as an emotional documentary on Lagos music by Remi Vaughan-Richards titled, “Faaji Agba”. On May 6, there will be a dance exhibition that will be a fusion of both traditional and contemporary dance routines.
The Lagos Carnival will hold on May 13 in both Lagos Island and Mainland while Lagos will see the grand return of the Eyo Festival which was last observed in Lagos five years ago at the Tafawa Balewa Square on May 20. Four days later, all former Governors of the state will join Governor Akinwunmi Ambode in council for a Special State Executive Council Session while the judiciary and House of Assembly would hold on May 18 and May 22 respectively. An interfaith service will also take place on May 19 to express gratitude to God for the well-being of the state. The entire celebrations will end on the day that coincides with the World Children’s Day. A historic gala night and a photo exhibition to celebrate the state’s cultural heritage will be held that day.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Culture, Steve Ayorinde revealed that the planning committee for Lagos@50 was set up in February 2016 and by April, it was set to work. The celebrations had been preceded by a series of colloquium held at various venues such as the Glover Hall, MUSON Centre and Freedom Park which was often moderated by the veteran journalist and culture advocate, Jahman Anikulapo who represented the co-chair of the planning committee, Prof. Wole Soyinka at the press conference.
Other events to look forward to during the last 50 days of the Golden Anniversary include the Principal’s Cup, Lagos Laffs as well as Kakadu the Musical. A minute of silence was observed in memory of Chief Rasheed Gbadamosi, a former member of the planning committee for the celebrations who died last year.