There is little doubt that the August bank holiday weekend is usually the highlight of the Nigerian social circle in London, UK. This weekend is typically filled with shows like comedy events, musical highlights and last but not the least, the Nigerian Corner at the annual Notting Hill Carnival event.
This year was bound to be no different – parties, award ceremonies and laughter were in store for any Nigerian who fancied it. But there was a bit of a difference this year. Lagos State – the social, cultural and bubbling hub of the nation – came out to play!
The governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, has been keen to show Lagos as a city that works. Having successfully put certain frameworks in place, it made perfect sense to spread the message of the new dawn to other Nigerians in diaspora, so London was an obvious starting point.
The Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Steve Ayorinde, visited the English capital with several other important members of the governor’s team. Notable among them were: Special Advisor to the governor for Arts and Culture – Hon. Adebimpe Akinsola and Special Advisor to the governor for the Office of Overseas Affairs and Investments – Professor Ademola Abass.
The One Lagos Weekend kicked off with a Town Hall meeting in the classical Woburn House Conference Centre in central London. Here, the ambassadors of Lagos State informed the diasporic community of the changes in the state since the new administration took over the reins.
After a civilised morning, the evening gave way to comedy as the Discovery Centre in Barking, Essex played host to iLaff with MC Abbey. For the second year running, MC Abbey returned with seasoned comedians such as Gordons, Seyi Brown, Buchi and EmmaOhMaGod, while bringing younger acts such as Kenny Blaq to the fore. Music was performed by praise veterans Nikki Laoye and Mike Aremu.
The laughter and hilarity continued into the next day as all of London joined Julius Agwu for the 11th edition of the Crack Ya Ribs show. With Osinachi crooner, Humblesmith, as the headline musical act, the fun and dancing continued late into the night.
The peak of the weekend’s event was the Notting Hill Carnival. Known for the last 30 years as the Nigerian Corner, our little part of the carnival got a makeover as the Lagos Corner.
As usual, there was dancing, merrymaking and Nigerian beats to give the glorious weekend a befitting send off. Even the Lagos folk will admit that London knows how to party as there were smiles all around. A fabulous weekend of national pride and Bank Holiday fun!
Many Celebs and Media personalities were spotted were spotted in the VIP section – Yeni Kuti, Maleek Berry, Ayo Shonaiya, Seyi Brown, Actress Tayo Sobola, MC Abbey, Yaw Yaw, DJ Abass, Sammy Okposo, Niki Laoye, Sautisol, Sope Olajide. See all the photos from the One Lagos Weekend and the Notting Hill Carnival below.
Town Hall Meeting
iLaff with MC Abbey
Lagos Corner at The Notting Hill Carnival
Others at Converse Party at The Notting Hill Carnival
Colourful Costumes at the Carnival
The Notting Hill Carnival, which has taken place annually since 1964, in Notting Hill in north-west London and is one of the largest street festivals in Europe with more than a million people expected over two days. It is expected to attract over a million people. Started by members of the Afro-Caribbean community, the event sees costumed performers take to the streets in a parade and dozens of sound systems set up around the Notting Hill streets.
Photography: Michael Tubes Creations, David M. Benett/Dave Benett / Getty Images for Converse, Jack Taylor/Getty Images, Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images, Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images