May 25, 2024

A Vanguard Award night of glamour, glitz and entertainment

A Vanguard Award night of glamour, glitz and entertainment

By Mike Ebonugwo and Ben Njoku

Keeping faith with the established tradition of excellence that defined previous editions, the 2023 Vanguard Personality of the Year Award certainly lived up to expectations as a showpiece of glamour, glitz and entertainment.

As usual, the event featured a parade of some of the best achievers in varying fields, including politics and leadership, business, arts and culture, etc, in Nigeria

It was a veritable celebration in every respect as the award recipients, their supporters and other guests created a festive atmosphere as they were being ushered into the hall and in fact while the event lasted.

Indeed the Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island venue of the 12th Annual Awards came alive long before 5pm that the Red Carpet was slated to start.

Demonstrating an eagerness to be part of the celebration right from the beginning, the guests started arriving as early as 4pm, with some of them, especially the ladies, proudly strutting the Red Carpet to show off their fashionable attires.

They also used the opportunity to take photographs, making the Red Carpet a bubbling photoshoot scene. Most of the award recipients also made a remarkable show of their arrivals, with members of their entourage and other supporters singing and dancing boisterously to express their joy.

Particularly noticeable in this regard was the Igurube Traditional War Dancers from Oha Afia. The group led by Mazi Ikechukwu came all the way from Abiriba in Abia State to give cultural support to Chief Kelvin Jombo Onumah, one of the awards recipients.

The Chief Executive Officer of Sublime Industries was honoured as a Serial Entrepreneur of the Year. Apart from the Igurube group which performed the traditional war dance to great aplomb, there was also the Abiriba Egbe Cultural Group that came to identify with Chief Jumbo Onumah on his day of celebration.

Not to be outdone was a cultural group that identified itself as FC The Story Teller and His Conventional Crew. They were there to lend support to the Tantita Security Services which was honoured with the Crude Oil Infrastructure Security Award. The group certainly made a notable show of their presence through vigorous drumming and dancing.

Inside the well-decorated hall with its enchanting mixed colour of lightings that gave it the surreal effects of an Arabian night, the live band, the Laolu Gbenjo group held sway with commanding confidence.

Typically, the  band was at its best as it reeled out a medley of evergreen songs that stirred nostalgic feelings, with guests dancing excitedly or nodding their heads in appreciation.

The performance got more exciting as the band expertly switched from evergreen to modern, contemporary tunes by local and international artistes like Victor Uwaifo, Fela, Oriental Brothers, Christie Essien-Igbokwe, Marcia Griffith’s( Electric Boogie), the Hues Corporation (Rock the Boat), The Commodore, and so on. This succession of hit songs spurred most in the hall to their feet, dancing energetically as they sang along the familiar lyrics.

The next band that serenaded the audience was the Vesta Orchestra,  a seven member musical group, which performed a  classical and contemporary music that blended with the mood of the night. With their voilin and saxophones, the band sent the quality audience into frenzy with their performance.

Thereafter Laolu Gbenjo and his Band returned to the stage, to deliver another spectacular performance,  switching from old vibes to contemporary hip-hop songs to stimulate the audience.

Their performance which lasted for some minutes set the tone for the awards night. But the highpoint of  the night was when the Osu State governor, Ademola Adeleke came on stage to receive his Personality of the Year Award, and as usual , took to the stage to dance to Davido’s Grammy nominated song, Timeless’ , forcing the host. Mojibade Dosany, to name him the most dancing governor in Nigeria.

So, by the time the MC duo of Mojisade Sosany, a presenter with Channels TV and Ben Ogbeide popularly known as Uncle Ben in Project Fame took the stage for the official commencement of the event, there was a palpable feeling in the hall that a great show was indeed in the making. And what a great show it turned out to be.