Monday, 10 August 2009

A gig for King of Pop in Lagos


More than a week after the king of pop music, Michael Jackson stepped on, he has dominated global new channel with fans and music lovers keeping vigil on memory, recalling his quite exceptional life and career. From different parts of the world, tributes have been pouring in for the musician, who died of heart attack at 50, in a Los Angeles hospital. It was reported that some fans of MJ, as he is also called, went as far as committing suicide just to express their grief!
In Nigeria, Gauranga Foundation, Z-Mirage, and a South African group is staging a concert in honour of Jackson tagged, “Remembering Michael Jackson”.
Presently, the planning committee for the gig is making wide consultation in a bid to make the event a memorable one. According to the organisers, the concert will likely feature MJ’s elder brother, Marlon Jackson, who had visited Nigeria in recent past. The date for the tribute concert will be made public as soon as the burial arrangement for MJ is fixed in the US. In the mean time, a tribute centre is to be be opened at the National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos, this week.
In a brief chat with Rosiji, former PMAN president, he informed that the concert would be an African affair, involving most of the African foreign missions in Nigeria.
“The role of each country will be disclosed as soon as the planning committee receives replies from them. All the regions of Africa are to be part of the event, with at least one or more artistes representing each zone. We also have some state governments, media, airlines and hotels as partners. Invitations have been sent out to colleagues and fans of Michael, and arrangements are on the way for a hitch free event.”

ON why Gauranga Foundation came up with the initiative, Rosiji said, ‘we share the vision of Michael Jackson’s Heal the World Foundation. I hope the concert will help keep his good works alive; this is what he should be remembered for.”
Rosiji, who followed MJ’s music career as a young man, frowned at some negative remarks on the pop artiste. He described th master dancer as a true philanthropist.
“I grew up with Michael in my living room; he was the first Afro American that many in my generation saw as a symbol of a successful African. Those who criticise him for being broke forget that he gave a lot of his money away. Michael Jackson was an exceptional humanitarian. He loved children and took time out when touring to secretly visit sick children.”
Citing the Guinness Book of World Record as an evidence to MJ’s goodwill, Rosiji noted that, “he was listed in the 2000 edition of the book for breaking the world record for the “Most Charities Supported by a Pop Star” (39 in all). He was one of the inspirations behind Gauranga Foundation’s Artistes to Kids project.”
Charities supported by Michael include Transafrica, AIDS Project L.A., Dakar Foundation, American Cancer Society, Angel Food, Big Brothers of Greater Los Angeles, Brotherhood Crusade, Brothman Burn Centre, Camp Ronald McDonald, Childhelp USA. and others.
“I do not believe that there is a single Nigerian that he did not give a sense of ‘Yes, We Can’ long before Obama echoed the famous phrase. His We Are The World impacted positively on Africans and set the scene for numerous other artistes to jump onto welfare concert bandwagon including myself,” Rosiji declared.

TO Rosiji, artistes have the power to change the world for better; adding that Michael has done more than his share.
“How many historical figures, leaders or otherwise have had the kind of international mourning that Michael has attracted? This grand event should be followed by some kind of a mass for him.”
He urged on the US embassy in Nigeria to take part in the event aimed at honouring a fallen hero.
“It’s unfortunate that we didn’t host Jackson in life, but this is an opportunity to show him some love. We call on all Nigerian to come out in their numbers to pay tribute to him; admission will be free.”

ACCORDING to the CEO of Zmirage, Teju Kareem, there are millions of Nigerians, who would like to have the opportunity to bid final farewell to Michael, but do not have a place to go to express their love and grief; but with the concert they now have the chance to so whilst dancing to Michael’s music.
“We want to offer them that opportunity. The concert will not only be of the international standards that Zmirage is known for; it will be of Michael Jackson standards! All Americans resident in Nigeria as well as other foreigners here are expected to be there to say bye to him.”
Meanwhile, artistes from different parts of the continent are already indicating interest to perform Michael Jackson’s song at the event, which will also feature Michael Jackson lookalike dance competition, said Rosiji.

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