Raymond Ozoji, Awka
All roads lead to Awka, the Anambra state capital for the first ever Diaspora music concert tagged ‘Nigeria Reggae Festival.’
The music festival which takes the centre stage from 28th to 30th December this year, will feature reggae superstars like Buju Banton, Cizlar, Queen Africa, Lady B and a host of other dancehall Kings and queens.
Briefing journalists at Oma Event Centre Awka yesterday on the import of the music festival, the president of Music Africa Awake, Mr. Vincent Omoko said the aim was to preach peace and unity to Nigerians through reggae music, giving the chaotic situation in the country.
Omoko said reggae music has its roots in Africa; that the whole essence of the brand of music emphasized on the unity of the African continent adding that the reggae music festival would also be a veritable platform to not only propagate the gospel of peace amongst all and sundry but to equally encourage youths to discover and harness their talents.
He said the music festival would be a three-day event that would feature symposium, peace rally, cultural exhibitions and the musical concert proper, stressing that A-list reggae icons from the Diaspora in conjunction with local artistes would perform during the music festival.
The Music Africa Awake president also explained that one of the reasons for inviting Diaspora artistes to perform at the music festival was to use their august presence to encourage younger artistes to persevere in their respective musical careers.
Also Prince Emeka Ojukwu, founder Music Africa Awake Foundation, in his remarks, noted that the music festival was a collabo between Music Africa Awake Foundation and the Anambra State Government through the state ministry of culture, tourism, indigenous arts and Diaspora affairs.
Ojukwu stated that reggae music has come to preach peace and unity amongst Nigerian people as well as Africans in Diaspora. He said also that the concert will be used to dissuade youths from substance abuse, even as he enjoined the citizenry to come out en masse to welcome the reggae icons from Diaspora. He said that the likes of Buju Banton, Black Mol and other superstars will grace the event.
Meanwhile, Sally Mbanefo, state commissioner for tourism, culture, indigenous arts and Diaspora affairs, also lent credence to the forthcoming Nigeria Reggae Festival. She said that the music festival was one out of the numerous events lined up for the Yuletide to give the citizens the very best of fun and excitement during the period.
Mbanefo stated that apart from the superstars billed for the reggae festival, she said that the Emir of Kano, Ooni of Ife, Obi of Onitsha, Ezendigbo of Kano and Igwe Alor, have all confirmed their attendance to the event.
The commissioner further disclosed that the whole of December has been planned back to back with events for Ndi-Anambra. According to her, a youth empowerment programme will hold 18th December and on the 19th of December, there would be Christmas carol.
Other events the commissioner mentioned include masquerade carnival which will holds on 21st December, Ikolo festival hits the stage 14th December while Umuobiligbo live concert comes up 28th December and Flavour rocks the stage 3rd January, 2020.