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.
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.
No one remembers who won wat at the 2015 Headies held on the first day of 2016 but everyone can remember that the year in beefs started on stage when rapper Olamide interrupted proceedings to express his displeasure at the apparent snub of his protégé Lil Kesh for the Next Rated trophy. Don Jazzy whose artiste Reekado Banks won at Lil Kesh’s expense took it as a personal affront and called egbon Olamide out on stage. Olamide then went on a Twitter melt down where he purged his mind and declared himself King of the streets. Oh! and he advised we leave trash for LAWMA.
Lagos Fashion and Design Week
For four straight days, the Heineken Lagos Fashion and Design Week held Nigeria – and, to a large extent, Africa – spellbound, as it ‘connected the dots’ between the aesthetics of fashion, the commerce of fashion, and all other important aspects of the fashion industry at a level never seen before. The collections on display; from Mai Atafo to Ejiro Amos Tafari affirmed the creativity, ingenuity and enterprise of the fashion industry.
Mark Zuckerberg visits Lagos
Because when the most important man in social media visits, it is an event in itself. The Facebook founder crept into Lagos, unannounced, like a thief in the night and wowed the entire country, as he headed straight to the tech cluster in Yaba. Soon Zuckerberg was crossing the Lekki-Ikoyi bridge, meeting with Nollywood royalty and government big wigs but the fact that his first visit to Sub Saharan Africa started in Yaba was proof that greatness is expected from the young tech heads domiciled in that corner of the country. Of course the Internet lost its collective minds.
One Africa Music Fest
The One Africa Music Fest held at Barclays Center in Brooklyn is the biggest gathering of Africans artistes in the diaspora. Hosted by Banky W and featuring his former muse Wizkid as headliner, the eventin its first year, also featured performances by Tiwa Savage, Flavour, Don Jazzy, Davido, Diamond Platnumz, Seun Kuti and Jidenna.
The Summer Olympics
Few events unite the world like the once-in-four-years sporting extravaganza that is the Olympic Games. For 2016, the whole world moved to Rio where more than 11,000 athletes from 205 countries competed for 306 sets of medals in 28 Olympic sports. The games survived controversies like the instability of the country’s federal government; health and safety concerns surrounding the Zika virus and a doping scandal involving Russia.