June 11, 2024

XMOB, Victory others win big at 2024 K-Pop festival

By Prisca Sam-Duru

The 2024 edition of the K-pop Festival, a Korean dance and singing competition held recently at Terra Kulture, Lagos, offering lovers of Korean entertainment another thrilling experience.

Femmevoice performing at 2024 Kpop festival in Lagos

The K-Pop Festival, organised by the Korea Cultural Center Nigeria (KCCN) and South Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has held consistently for 12 years. This year, the grand finale of the regional preliminary round for the 2024 Kpop world festival, featured 21 finalists who battled in both dance and singing categories. Hits by K-pop icons such as BTS, Baby monster, NMIXX, etc, were in the choice playlist. The deafening boom sounds from the speakers, the energy and the electrifying dance steps by the energetic dancers, gave everyone a great treat.

At the end of performances, XMOB, a group of five brisk dancers, came first in the dance category and received N700,000 and an LG 55-inch LED TV. In the singing category, Victory Mbagwu came tops and was rewarded with N400,000 cash prize and an LG 55-inch LED TV.

Femmevoice, an all female dance group, also wowed the audience with their performance of “O.O” by NMIXX. They won the popularity prize and as well, came second in the dance category. They received N400,000 and an LG LED TV. Third position was taken by B stars who received 300,000.

Other winners in the singing category included Macwhitney Myles and Mayowa Miller.

The festival also featured a raffle draw and special performance by last year’s dance category winners, The Royals. Guest performers were Seo Ye Na, a Korean singer and actress, and Jang Eun Jae, a Korean dancer and instructor. Both entertainers also doubled as judges along with BBNaija star and one of the 2015 winners of the K-Pop World Festival, Praise Nelson.

All the way from Harcourt, XMOB, the winning team expressed their excitement for coming tops in this year’s competition in spite of numerous challenges they faced during preparation. Victory Mbagwu, a scriptwriter and lover of K-Drama, was also ecstatic about winning the top prize in the singing category, having failed in other Korean music competitions recently.

In his opening speech, Consul Gen. Lagos office of the Embassy of the Republic of Korea Lee Sang-ho, announced that the winners will join others from around the world at the World K-Pop Festival in Changwon City, Korea, where they will perform alongside famous Korean idols and artists.

Lee Sang-ho who also spoke about the importance of cultural exchange between Nigeria and Korea, noted how K-pop, K-Drama, and other Korean cultural aspects are becoming popular among Nigerian youths. He stressed that K-Pop’s music and dance inspire young Nigerians’ hopes and dreams.

His words, “This cultural exchange includes K-Pop, K-Drama, K-Food, K-Beauty, K-Fashion, and K-Music led by BTS and Blackpink. K-pop is becoming very popular among young people, especially in Nigeria. The music and dance steps are easy for Nigerian youths to relate to and enjoy. I thank all our sponsors, especially LG Electronics Nigeria, for supporting this event.”

Continuing he said, “On the occasion of the 12th anniversary of the K-POP World Festival in Nigeria this year, it is also an honour for this grand finale of the regional preliminary round to be held in Lagos, the economic and cultural hub of Nigeria. “As you know, K-POP World Festival is the world’s largest Korean wave festival in which global fans from all over the world participate. Since its inception in 2011, this event which is being hosted jointly by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Korea and Korea Broadcasting System (KBS), is held through preliminary rounds in many countries around the world.“Several teams of the world that passed the preliminary rounds will advance to the finals which promises to include spectacular stage performances by famous Korean idols and artists, which will be held in Changwon city in Korea and broadcasted to the world through the KBS World broadcast channel.”

Sang-Ho further stated that the festival is an avenue for cultural exchange and promotes good diplomatic relations between Korea and Nigeria.

“At this juncture, I would like to mention that this event is important as it affords a significant value for cultural exchange between Korea and Nigeria which established diplomatic relations in 1980. Since 2011, with the opening of the Korean Cultural Center Nigeria (KCCN), the first in the African continent which commemorated the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between both countries, this cultural exchange has witnessed the expansion of modern Korean waves like K-POP, K-Drama, K- Foods, K-Beauty, K-Fashion, and even K-Music led by BTS, Blackpink (these artists are very popular among Nigerian youths).”