FELA! Opens 2011 Lagos Black Heritage Festival

Lagos, Lagos State Nigeria (PressExposure) April 21, 2011 -- "The 2011 Black Heritage Festival was confronted by a formidable challenge from another aspiring 'festival' - the Nigerian Festival of Democracy 2011 - at least as eternally hoped by the Nigerian populace and outside democracy watchers. Both performances falling within the same week, the unpredictable nature of encroachments by the aspiring 'festival' nearly caused a cancellation of the creative original. In the end, however, the Heritage Festival's commitment to a calendar regularity won the day, and a final decision was taken to stage 'Heritage', albeit on a much reduced scale. Perhaps the 'Festival of Democracy' will extract some useful lessons from the humanistic order of its unintended rival," explained the festival consultant, Wole Soyinka.

Though the event will take place on a much smaller scale, it will not be devoid of its basic components. The opening ceremony of 'FELA! in Lagos' will start at 5pm tomorrow at the Eko Hotel on Victoria Island, while the 2011 festival exhibition featuring artists Tola Wewe and Nike Davies-Okundaye will start on April 22 at 9am at Freedom Park, Lagos Island. It will run until April 29.

The children's heritage village, featuring games, adventures and creativity, will also hold in Freedom Park on Friday with the renowned Uncle Jimi Solanke anchoring the proceedings. There will be a special video feature by Henrietta Fagbo and guest appearances by some public figures whose identities are being kept secret, as a surprise for the children.

Drama and Music
The festival symposium themed 'Animating Heritage - The Lagos Experience' will hold at Terra Kulture, on Tiamiyu Savage Street, Victoria Island, on April 27 at 10am while drama follows later in the day. "The Drama section is especially pleased to be able to feature Sefi Atta, 2005 winner of the Noma Publishers Literary Award and the 2006 Wole Soyinka Award for African Literature. She partners Wole Oguntokun in a double presentation bill aptly described as 'Two Parables for Naija', a pair of thought-provoking plays that should complete any process of reflection that may have been missed out in the Easter season of professing Christians! No less thought-provoking is Bode Sowande's play, 'Ajantala -Pinocchio', an indictment of adult neglect of the future as represented by children," noted a release from organisers.

The painting competition, an open event themed 'Walls of Prison to Fields of Freedom', will hold at Freedom Park, the former site of Broadstreet Prison, on April 28 and will culminate with an awards night on May 2, the last day of the festival.

The Heritage Week 2011 festival will also feature a musical segment, apart from drama and painting. Veteran highlife musician, Tunji Oyelana, will dish out evergreen old school tunes every night at Freedom Park from April 27 to May 2.

Lagos Carnival 2011, a key component of the fiesta, will take place on April 30 beginning at 9am, along a designated route that begins along Awolowo Road and ends at Tafawa Balewa Square. "The public is assured that the lessons of last year's festival have been absorbed, and traffic control agencies primed to a new awareness of the controls that should be put in place to ensure that minimal interference with normal traffic takes place," the organisers assured in reference to hitches recorded during last year's carnival.

The boat regatta will hold on May 1 at the Lagos Lagoon along Ozumba Mbadiwe and will feature about 15 participating yatch clubs and boating associations.

The 'fitila' procession, a reminder of Africa's tragic history of the slave era, and the triumph of resilience and survival, takes place in Badagry also on May 1.

Works by filmmaker, Tunde Kelani, will be screened at Freedom Park before the festival ends on May 2.

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Press Release Submitted On: April 21, 2011 at 7:40 am
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