IN pursuit of its desire to become a premium destination for business and leisure, the Lagos State government held a grand show to draw the curtain on the FIFA U-17 World Cup even ahead of the finals on Thursday, November 12.
Fans who thronged the Teslim Balogun Stadium Surulere, Lagos to watch the semi final matches, were treated to delightful cultural and musical performances before the commencement of the matches.
Events of the day commenced as early as 11am when early bird fans got to the stadium and met popular musicians as Seun Kuti and the Egypt ’80 band, Adewale Ayuba, sensational female talking drummer and singer, Ayanbirin, highlife crooner, Buga, old timer Daddy Fresh as well as Gbenga Adeyinka 1st, among a host of others, lined up for the show.
Speaking on the choice of artistes, Kayode Opeifa, Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, explained that, in addition to mass appeal, “we considered musicians with deep cultural contents in lyrics and percussions, hence our choice of the artistes invited for the show. A host of others were indeed willing to perform in support of the vision of Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola for this tournament but there was a limit to the number we could accommodate within the time frame allocated by FIFA.”
The second set of musicians lined for the show were mainly wave-making music acts, Klever Jay and Danny who performed to the delight of the gathering crowd. The young duo sang their popular single, Igboro Tidaru and Cunny Cunny Love, and as they did, the crowd sang along with them.
The lads were supplied instrumentals by DJ Jimmy Jatt steel of wheels and they made good the uncommon opportunity.
Though the musical performances were all short and sharp, they did not lack the needed crowd appeal, as the crowd roared to life with the coming on stage of Seun Kuti and Adewale Ayuba.
Seun Kuti capped the performances with a re-enactment of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti’s Rererun. His appearance on stage lifted the spirit of the crowd as many in the audience screamed and blew into the miniature Vuvuzela they had in their hands. Seun gave an adroit performance that thrilled the crowd. Apart from the major acts on show, other artistic displays coloured the air.
From Lagos Island came Eyo Masquerade, Badagry gave two offerings, the Oya and Akoto Dances, from Epe was the Agiri Dance — a usually elaborate dance held to honour Imale, the fishing town’s deity of the sea. Afterwards came the final display of Fanti – an artistic expression of the cross-cultural experience of Africans from the Diaspora.
The Swiss team responded with equal measure of appreciation as they danced and waved to the crowd as the music and cultural performances were on.
The performances were crowned with spectacular fireworks pumped into the air from two strategic locations around the Teslim Balogun Stadium.