By Kehinde Ajose
IT was an evening of songs dance and poetry last Saturday as Segun Akinlolu a.k.a Beautiful Nubia hosted music enthusiasts in an event tagged, “Beautiful Nubia Live in Concert.”
The event, which held at the Eniobanke Arts Centre, Ikeja GRA, Lagos, saw the performing poet and prolific singer thrilled the quality guests with his evergreen indigenous songs which got them singing along, dancing and jumping their troubles away.
The talented artiste touted as Nigeria’s foremost contemporary folk and roots musician, gave the audience a treasured African experience, synergizing with his percussionists, keyboardist, bassist, hornsmen and vocalist. Before the event kicked off at 6 pm,the Roots Renaissance band performed some melodious instrumentals to wet the appetite of the audience.
Opening the night was veteran actor and performer, Lari Williams, who recited some of his evergreen poems. Beating his a local drum, Lari Williams relayed the story of a man who embarks on a journey to Africa in search of fulfillment. His performance was greeted with a rousing applause as Lari proved to everyone that he is truly a legend. Thereafter,the Oba Dika Brass Band took the stage and gave a superb performance.
As the wind blew the palm fronds at the back of the stage,the Oba Dika quartet took the audience on a musical journey, starting with the gospel themed ‘Agbara mi ko’ and then transiting into other highlife tunes that resonated with the audience. Their performance left the audience yearning for more.
The Beautiful Nubia’s moment
But the highpoint of the event was when Beautiful Nubia mounted the stage to perform some of his evergreen songs. His Roots Renaissance band members welcomed him on stage with light performance. A performing poet, prolific musician and philosopher, Nubia was ushered in like a ‘king of the stage.’
Accompanied by highlife legend, Chris Ajilo and a talking drummer, Beautiful Nubia re-enacted the poetry of the countryside as he brings his audience into the imagery of the poetry of the community. His performance that night can be described as ‘incredible.’
He was dressed without the usual glamour peculiar to hip hop artistes of this generation. Dressed in an adire T-shirt and jeans on a blue foot wear,Beautiful Nubia interacted with the audience,as he put up an amazing stage presence bringing all his songs to life. He started with “Ireti Ogo”, an inspirational didactic song that teaches one to be courageous when faced with life’s challenges.
Next came a song he calls “The small man’s anthem(Oro aiye soro)” that talks about the storms of life and the wide gap between the rich and the poor.
The Palm wine magic
Mid way into his performance,fresh palm wine was brought on stage as members of his band members were seen drinking and playing music.The dreadlock wearing artiste later revealed why palm wine is significant to his band. According to him, “Palm wine helps me keep my band together .Get them drunk and they won’t ask for their money”. He went on to describe the power of good music: “Whenever good music is being played ,the spirit descends and you would have found the purpose of life” he remarked.
Another memorable performance was the one involving Blackman Akeeb Kareem and highlife crooner, Chris Ajilo.They gave older members of the audience a nostalgic feeling as they performed their old tunes.This was one of the highpoints of the evening.
Present at the event were music critic and writer, Benson Idonije,Ade Bantu, Yemi Shodimu and other music enthusiasts. Indeed, it was a memorable evening of songs and dance.