By Japhet Alakam and Adelakun Ogo-Oluwa
Basking on the euphoria of change and successful conduct of the much talked 2015 general elections, the city of Lagos, the nations commercial nerve centre will witness a convergence of people and events as the 2015 Lagos Black Heritage Festival, LBHF officially opens on April 18.
The series of events for the festival which is adjudged as the biggest culture feast in city of Lagos will be declared open by the Lagos State governor, Babatunde Fashola at the Freedom Park, Lagos on April 18 and will run till April,25.
The LBHF celebrates African creativity with the traditional and contemporary Dance, Drama, Music, Painting, Photo exposition and others.
Highlights of the one week festival include, Vision of the Child — Children/Pupils Competition and Exhibition Programme; Masquerade Parade from Badagry; Exhibitions – Children Art & Art fair/Bazaar; Do Your own Thing – Talent hunt programme for youths ; Drama & Dance Drama – six plays on showcase and Poetry & Music – Night of the Poets
There will also be the Meet The Artiste Showcase – which will showcase the Stage & Screen Career of Olu Jacobs; Film Screenings – Documentary & Experimental Films; Music Performances – Live from Emukay; Jimi Solanke; Eko Brass Band and more.
In his statement, the festival consultant, Prof. Wole Soyinka said, the theme was inspired by news of an impending visit by the historic Globe Theatre in England was a major factor in LBHF’s decision to prolong its break from the geography based thematic series – The Black in theMediterraneanBlue – on which the Festival embarked in 2012. The visit of a famed professional theatre seemed too good an opportunity to miss for calling attention to the yet impoverished local status of Theatre. Thus, for this year’s edition, it was decided to centre activities around – DRAMA!
Alas, we were not to know that the real-life drama of the Nigerian elections would be extended by a full month, compelling the Festival’s shift of dates in turn. Our expected collateral harvest of attention through immediacy is somewhat diminished. Nonetheless, we still hope that the passage of these professionals, will linger as the Festival picks up the gauntlet, even a month later. It should at least invigorate interest in the theatrical arts, underlining the practical challenges with which the home-grown version has to contend in virtually every aspect of dramatic presentation.