Sanwo-Olu Uncloaks 2021 Greater Lagos Fiesta

By Ezra Odogu

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has declared that the month-long 2021 Greater Lagos Fiesta will reflate the state’s economic recovery efforts in post COVID-19 times. Yinka Olatunbosun reports

Greater Lagos Fiesta may well be the city’s most ambitious, multi-layered cultural project yet. The state government is set to ignite the city and shake up all the ‘pepper dem gangs’ with a massive experience that begins on December 1 and will ultimately wrap up the year ending on January 1, 2022.

With a grand opening ceremony at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Onikan, it will feature cycling, photography and fashion competitions, the Xmas Souk Village, traditional games and concerts parading A-list artistes across all five divisions of the state.

Recently, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, represented by his deputy, Dr. Kadiri Obafemi Hamzat announced the series of activities that await fun-seekers in Lagos from December 1. The fiesta with the theme, ‘Lagos Rocks’ is expected to rouse the city from its slumber.

At the unveiling ceremony held at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, the governor revealed why the Greater Lagos Fiesta is indeed a cultural necessity.

“Society relies on three tripods: economy, health and well-being as well as the security of lives and property. What COVID-19 has done is to affect all the three as well as nightlife but this edition of the Greater Lagos Fiesta, which activities speakers have highlighted for you, will help reflate our economy.”

The Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf, explained that the 2020 edition was cancelled because the Lagos State government prioritised public health and safety.

He added that the government will explore the Greater Lagos Fiesta to further “transform Lagos into a major African tourism and entertainment hub by exploring and promoting the potentials that abound in the state as well as integrating the trending entertainment and art industry as a viable platform to attract visitors and create job opportunities.”

Only vaccinated persons will be allowed into the Fiesta’s venues which boast of adequate security and emergency services. Further, the Special Adviser to Governor Sanwo-Olu on Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr Solomon Bonu, affirmed the fiesta’s ties to tourism development.

“The Greater Lagos Fiesta 2021 is a reflection of Governor Sanwo-Olu’s love for tourism and entertainment with fervent belief in the ability of the ministry to organise an event that would portray the standard Lagos has been known for over the years,” he said.

The Chair, Marketing Communications Sub-Committee for the Fiesta, Mr Israel Jaiye Opayemi described the fiesta as a unifying platform to promote entertainment, commerce, arts, culture, and the bubbling spirit amongst the people of Lagos State.”

Opayemi who is the Managing Director/Chief Strategist of Chain Reactions Nigeria, a leading integrated marketing communication consultancy, also shared the statistical justification for the 2021 Greater Lagos Fiesta.

He revealed that 42 per cent of consumers are willing to attend parties and concerts than other social gatherings this December as part of their “high energy.”

Reflecting on the brand identity and meaning of the logo, he disclosed: “Red symbolises – Courage, Love, Vigour, Warmth; orange symbolises – Energy, Excitement, Vibrancy, Youthfulness, Change and blue is Peace, Trust, Calmness, Healing. Yellow to symbolise – Cheerfulness, Passion, Friendship; Green to symbolise – Growth, Prosperity, Progress; Black to symbolise – Power, Prestige, Strength, Elegance and White to symbolise the clarity of our vision.”

The cycling competition will kick off on December 5, while the photography and fashion contests will be held on December 7 and 10. The Xmas Souk Village which features children’s corner, book exhibition, food, fashion and Santa’s Grotto will open in Lagos’ five divisions of Ikorodu, Ikeja, Badagry, Lagos Island and Epe on December 18.

The Marina Experience, showcasing the state’s water treasures, is set for December 26. It will then be four unbroken days of quality music from A-list music stars and emerging ones across the five divisions from December 27 to 30. The official closing holds at Eko Atlantic on December 31.

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