The organisers of the National Festival of Unity on Friday said eminent Nigerian musicians such as Chief Ebenezer Obey, Sir Shina Peters, Mike Okri and Yinka Davies would grace its 2021 edition.
The host and General Manager of the National Theatre, Prof. Sunday Ododo, named other musicians to be on stage to include Stella Monye, Kola Ogunkoya and Dayo Kujore.
He said the musicians would be on hand to mentor and give guidance on live band entertainment.
Ododo said the Festival of Unity tagged “Thrillerbandz@theater” with the theme entitled: “Enduring Optimism” is a collaboration between the National Theatre and Evergreen Music Company and would be held from December 10th to 12th.
“The second National Festival of Unity is particularly apt this period of time for us as management of this place, for Nigerians and indeed the entire world.
“We have remained optimistic and that is why we have seen (opportunities) where others might have seen insurmountable challenges.
“We have kept the theatre alive so much that a lot of people wonder at the paradox of the National Theatre being busier now that the complex is locked for renovations than before.
“We have held a series of programmes such as staff trainings, round table engagements with industry stakeholders and corporate partners and other activities,” he said.
Ododo maintained that not minding the challenges confronting the complex, the management had put up courage to forge on and accomplish its mandate.
“This year’s National Festival of Unity will be bigger, bolder, and richer, as we have more time to crystalise the vision, engage more people from the entertainment space and got positive feedbacks.
“There are state art councils are awaiting our invites, while Lagos State Council of Arts and Culture has volunteered to come in as a principal partner.
“On the menu for the grand event, we have music exhibition, dance, drama, comedy, street carnival and more,” he said.
The Special Adviser on Arts and Culture to the Lagos State Governor, Mr Solomon Bonu, said the state saw the need to support the event given its mandate as an avenue to engage the youth.
“Lagos State Government will always identify with things that will have positive impact on its youths hence we are proud to be associated with this event.
“We will always support things that will be beneficial to the youth and help them grow, we have seen many positives in this programme,” he said.
One of the main partners, Evergreen Musical Company, through its Managing Director, Bimbo Esho, noted that the National Festival of Unity was important to the music industry.
“The primary objective of the programme is to showcase the important aspect of our musical heritage for development into a viable cultural product.
“It is to ginger our local musicians who perform gigs at several entertainment rendezvous that dot the national landscape to up their ante.
“The initiative is to boost the composition of meaningful lyrics and lively songs, quality dance styles, stage appeal as well as excellent performance to delight music patrons even beyond Nigeria.
“It is a fact that the entertainment industry is one of sub-groups of our economy defying the recession and meltdown,” he said.
Esho disclosed that the 2021 edition of the National Festival of Unity would be laced with several side attractions that would delight Nigerians.
“As major stakeholders in the development of Nigerian culture, we are duty bound to inspire the expansion and improvement and grow our burgeoning music and entertainment industry, as well as the economy.
“With the competition, where outstanding performers shall win laurel, fantastic cash prizes and musical instruments, many talents shall also be exposed to the record labels.
“No fewer than 50 live bands are expected to showcase their talents to thrill and dazzle the audience and African music aficionados in a relaxed environment.
“We promise an enchanting 12 hours back-to-back session of delights to the audience on the days of the event,” he said.
Event Compere Yinka Davies said she was delighted to be back in the public space after the unfortunate death of her son.
“My fans all over the world should expect something big coming out from me this time after a long period of inactivity,” she said
Monarch Calls For Peaceful Yuletide Celebration, As Community Buries Traditional Ruler
The Paramount ruler of Emohua kingdom in Rivers State, Ohna (Sir) Sergent Awuse, has called for peaceful celebrations of christmas and new year, as he enjoined the youths to be law abiding and shun violence during the festive period.
The first class traditional ruler made the call last Saturday, while preforming the Ohna Emohua burial rights in respect of late Ohna (Hon) Emmanuel A. Obinna at Mgbuitanwo in Emohua community, amidst jubilation for a life well lived.
Ohna Awuse, the Olo IV, Nneweli Emohua XIII urged the people of the community to always uphold and showcase the age long culture and tradition of Emohua Clan. He stressed that their culture is their identity and way of life and a community without culture and tradition is like a sheep without Shepherd.
The monarch noted that late Ohna Emmanuel Obinna would be remembered for his role in promoting the ancient culture and tradition of Emohua. He stated that his demise had left a big vaccum in Emohua kingdom, but the legacies he left behind would live after him.
In his vote of thanks, his successor and acting head of Mgbu Owhor community in Emohua, Chief V.C. Obinna, thanked the Ohna supreme council for the honour they gave to their departed colleague by giving him a befeating burial in line with the culture and tradition of Ohna Emohua, the highest traditional institution in Emohua kingdom. Which the late traditional ruler championed in his life time on earth.
Chief V.C Obinna maintained that apart from being a foremost traditionalist, he was also a devout Christian who contributed immensely to the growth of the Christian faith in Emohua community and beyond.
Also speaking at the well attended event, the chief mourner, Dr Weli Obinna reiterated that his late father lived an upright life, those he left behind would take solace in God because their father and mentor lived a fulfilled life he came, he saw and he conquered to the glory of God and left the scene at the ripe age of 92.
By: Jacob Obinna
Rivers Set For Yuletide Celebration Despite Odds
As this year’s Christmas and New year celebrations beckon, The Tide investigations have revealed that most of the residents of Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital and its environs are not enthusiastic about the Christmas and new year celebrations. Most of the people interviewed expressed the feelings of solemn and gloomy festive period due to the prevailing economic hardship in the country.
One of the respondents, Mr. Solomon Duru, a civil servant resident at the D-Line axis of the city, complained of the rising cost of staple foods in the market, such as rice, beans, tomato, yam etc. which were sold at exubitant prices and had made it extremely difficult to provide two square meals for his family of five, “It is life first before celebration,” he said.
Another respondent who sells garri at Mile One Market, Diobu , Port Harcourt, Madam Dorathy Duke maintained that garri which used to be the poor man’s food has become the rich man’s food. According to her, a basin of garri that was sold for #3000.00 is now sold for between #7000.00 and #8000.00, while five cups of garri that used to be sold for #200.00 now cost #500.00.
“Even at the prevailing price today, garri has become a scarce commodity even when you succeed in getting it, there are no buyers , there is trouble in the country, Nigeria has now become Ghana of those days when they ran to Nigeria to take refuge due to their poor economy , but today the reverse is the case, may God help us”, she said.
A transporter in Abali Park, Mile1, Mr. Sunday Udo, lamented the lack of patronage due to the hike in transport fares as a result of the unprecendented rise in petrol and other petrolum products. He stressed that even vulcanizers and mechanics are in trouble as patronage from car owners decrease every day due to poor economy.
It was the same woefull story when The Tide visited a supermarket attendant along Aba/ Port Harcourt Express Road who pleaded anonymity. He disclosed that it was no longer business as usuall as most of their customers had disappeared due to the increase in the price of goods. “We record poor sales daily to the extent that the management has decided to reduce the workforce, my brother, it is double wahala for dead body” according to Fela”, he said.
However, a mass communication student of the Rivers State University Port Harcourt, Mr. Abel Dike, noted that Nigerians were used to suffering and smiling, so this year’s Christmas and New Year celebrations would come and go, this year would not be different despite the sufferings. People would still enjoy themselves even with their last kobo.
“People will still go to catch fun with their loved ones at their favourite relaxation joints, hangouts, cinemas, amusement parks and night clubs. Residential houses, churches and public places will also wear new looks with Christmas trees, lights and other decorations, even communities are ready to mark their annual carnivals, beach parties, cultural and masquerade dances as well as wrestling competitions and other social activities to mark the festive period, so I believe all is not lost despite the bad economy,” he said.
Meanwhile, Pastor Silas Wosa of St. Pauls Anglican Church Diobu noted that Christian faithfulls all over the world would celebrate the Christmas. “Christmas is the biggest celebration and holiday every year, because it celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, Son of God who came to the world to redeem mankind” he stressed.
By: Jacob Obinna
2022 Christmas: Festival Galore In Port Harcourt, Bayelsa
As the 2022 Christmas season draws closer, events have continued to fly in the air, festivities have become the centre of attraction in the Garden City of Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The common fact that the hike in the prices of goods and food stuff are now triple the usual costs in the market is yet to put a halt on turns of event going on, in and around the state to celebrate the Christmas season
However, Shabach Dance Academy, Port Harcourt held her All White Carol, Awards and Dinner event on Wednesday, which also, witnessed the presence of Itohan Agbator, Nigerian Idol Top 5 Finalist and Founder of Itohan Teens Talent Initiative as a Special Guest at the occasion, where she sang Oh Holy Night to give the occasion that flavour of Christmas.
She congratulated the award winners and encouraged all the dancers to keep working hard in following their dreams for future feats.
Meanwhile,the Organiser of the event, Mr Oliver Emmanuel, thanked all Shabach Dance Members and parents for gracing the event. He also appreciated Itohan (Baby Dragon) for gracing the event and showing support to young talents always.
Also, today, in Bayelsa State, the Government House will be entertained with the performance of the Garden City Choir for her Carol event tagged Bayelsa State Christmas Carol of Nine Lessons.
The Director, Garden City Choir, Isaac Iwuoha, who is also the Assistant Choir Master, St. Cyprian Anglican Church, Port Harcourt disclosed this to The Tide Entertainment, yesterday.
He explained that logistics have already been put in place for his group to perform at the event.
Meanwhile, organiser of the Abuloma Beach Party at Sand City, Abuloma, Iweriso Godbless, has confirmed that the second edition of the fiesta will hold on Monday.
According to him, the event which was a one-day event last year, would now hold for two days, on 26th and 27th December respectively, as it promises to feature Artistes such as M. I.C, Gbenga Owolo, Splendid and up coming artiste, Teekay to perform at the beach party.
By: Nancy Briggs
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