By PRISCA SAM-DURU
What began first as a small Afrocentric boutique hotel known as Bogobiri has in a matter of a decade, evolved into a dynamic cultural centre. Situated in Ikoyi, Lagos, Bogobiri has without support from any foundation or government, transformed the cultural landscape and imagination of thousands of local and international visitors to Lagos. Today, it has developed into a unique conduit for Nigerian art, music, food, film and drama.
And to celebrate a decade of impactful existence and huge transformation, the management has made plans ready to compress everything that has taken place in Bogobiri house for the period of ten years, into Bogobiri Arts Festival which is a month festival, taking place from November 1st, 2013.
To mark the milestone of 10 years in existence, the international event tagged “Ten Years of the Bogobiri Experience” will feature colourful activities which have been lined up for the entire month of November. The activities include art exhibitions, musical concerts, film and dance performances, food fair and cultural talks.
Of more interest is the Literary week sponsored by Etisalat. The Etisalat Prize for Literature will afford 10 selected writers who will be participating in the creative writing workshop, an opportunity of taking their writing career to a much higher level. The workshop will be facilitated by the Farafinabooks.
Speaking on the expectations of culture enthusiast during the festival, the Bogobiri Managing Director, Mrs Tola Akerele said that the vision of the festival is to condense 10 years of experiencing Bogobiri, into one memorable month of performances. The house which seems to be on a smooth sail to becoming a successful global brand according to Akerele, has created great possibilities for hosting bigger shows and events which include exhibitions at the Nimbus Gallery, plays and concerts in the events hall, film shows and book readings in the music cafe as well as an open air music venue on the Danfo rooftop.
“Bogobiri is reflecting Nigeria’s cultural history and not entirely commercial, so as to encourage not so westernised crop of artists, but rather, individuals who would promote our identity through African/Nigeria history. This is aimed at restoring the local music content which was almost phasing out at some point.”
Bogobiri has enjoyed cultural partners such as Goethe institute, British Council, Freedom Park, Norwegian Embassy etc.