9Ice, Small Doctor, Gordons, Pasuma, MC Shakara, Others On Parade
The Eagles’ Club, Surulere, yesterday, came under heavy sound of music and loads of comedy, as leading Nigerian entertainers stormed the city of Lagos for the “33” Export sponsored City Of Friends gig. A two-day funfair and merriment for friends, the concert, which was created as part events to celebrate the 2018 World Friendship Day, paraded the likes of Phyno, Kizz Daniel, Simi, 9ice, Small Doctor and the country’s Fuji maestro, Wasiu Alabi Pasuma, with comedians MC Shakara and Gordons on ground to crack ribs.
As early as 2pm, the DJ had started belting out popular Naija tunes from gigantic woofers positioned at strategic points within the venue. For sure, that was enough sign to residents of Surulere that something big was about to go down. One by one, group by group, guests kept trooping into the arena, all ready for action. Before long, the venue was jam-packed with fun loving Lagosians, who scrambled to secure vantage positions. And being a free concert, you can imagine the atmosphere; it was loaded!
From dancing to the tunes of the DJ, guests were eventually ushered into the gig proper, as the music stars took their turns on stage to entertain the audience. From Simi to 9Ice, Kizz Daniel, Small Doctor and fuji maestro Pasuma, the crowd got more than they bargained, as the artistes served their best. The comedians too got most guests reeling with laughter, as the gig was spiced with comedy performances by the likes of MC Shakara and Gordons. Indeed, it was a perfect ‘Thank God is Friday’ outing.
Aside from music, dance and comedy, the event also featured 33 giant sized games friends and guests to play and win over 5,000 gift items.
For those, who missed out of the groove last night, all hope is not lost, as the show continues today with what has been described as the grand finale. Being a Saturday and work free day for many, it is expected that the turnout today will be massive. But whoever misses the gig today will have to wait till 2019 when the City of Friends groove is expected to return.
Speaking on the project, Emmanuel Agu, Portfolio Manager – Mainstream, Lager and Stout Brands, Nigerian Breweries Plc., informed that the brand is set to thrill her Lagos audience with the same show that set the Calabar audience roaring with excitement when it debuted in the Canaanland.
“We have assembled a team of A-list entertainers, which include Phyno, Kizz Daniel, Simi, 9ice, and the country’s Fuji maestro, Wasiu Alabi Pasuma, as well as MC Shakara and Gordons of the ‘Alleluia’ fame, who will thrill the audience and ensure that the memories they will create from the experience would not fade in a short while,” he said.
Agu noted that, “The Calabar edition of City of Friends is already the talk of the town and we are going to replicate that in Lagos this weekend. It promises to be full of excitement, as it focuses on deepening friendship by creating opportunities for people to bond and create memorable and unforgettable moments.”
The City of Friends platform, according to Agu, is created out of the brand’s desire to promote friendship among the people of Nigeria.
“The brand is dedicated to building friendship moments; hence all our brand activities are geared towards celebrating friendship. Whatever we do, we are always driven by the essence of friendship and always strengthened by the recognition that the bond people share needs to be acknowledged and celebrated.”
What Went Down In Calabar
Meanwhile, Calabar, the capital city of Cross River State was the place to be last week, as the City of Friends train stormed the peaceful area with some of Nigeria’s leading entertainers, including Harrysongs, Phyno, MC Galaxy and many others, who thrilled the crowd with their hits. The two-day event kicked off about 4pm in the evening, after a heavy rainfall at the Municipal Garden, Calabar.
Hosted by popular comedian MC Shakara, Day One was headlined by hit-maker and Selense crooner, Harrysong, who serenaded fans with music from his albums and latest singles, the reggae blues crooner, took time out time to familiarise himself with fans who were in awe of him.
Day Two of City Of Friends concert started on a very high note, as fans were undeterred by the rain; they trooped into the Municipal garden in groups of twos, tens and more. There were lots of interesting friendship games and energetic performances from the Sekem Master, MC Galaxy and the confirmed Alobam, Phyno.
MC Galaxy performed his hit classics and got the crowd dancing and whining their waists to Sekem, Fine Girl and Komolop Cholop. Phyno Fino thrilled fans to songs from his Playmaker and No Guts No Glory albums. However, hits such as Connect, Alobam, Fada Fada did the magic for the Anambra State native.
Meanwhile, Ministry of Culture and Heritage’s cultural troupe (Nyok-boys and Ewe-Ladies), which has been in existence for 20 years, also got slot to thrill fans to energetic cultural dance performances with their rich and colourful costumes. There were also performances from other dance groups and upcoming artistes, who got the rare opportunity of sharing the big stage with top artistes. And with DJs Real and Kentalky on the console, there were no dull moments.
Lucky fans also won lots of exciting prizes won by fans courtesy of the No. 1 Friendship Beer “33” Export.
However, before the event came to a grand close, rapper Phyno gave a toast with the brand team to friends after 33 seconds countdown; it was such a magical moment.
Residents of Calabar and environs, who attended this year’s edition of City of Friends, have commended the Nigerian Breweries Plc, brewers of the “33” Export Lager Beer, for their thoughtfulness in promoting friendship around the country.
Aniekan Ukpo, a final year student at the University of Calabar, praised the organisers of the show for bringing friends in the city together in a convivial atmosphere that only the city of Calabar could offer.
“We are grateful to them for bringing this year’s City of Friends to Calabar. Beyond the name, Calabar as we residents here know it also stands Come And Live And Be At Rest. This explains the love and friendship that live here, both of which I believe make the city a no-brainer to host the “33” Export Lager Beer City of Friends which is entirely about celebrating friendship,” he said.
He also called on the brand to continue in its friendship promotion as the world today, more than ever before, needs the peace and harmony that only friendship can bring about if it is to avoid the catastrophe of wars and bring about healing to the victims of wars and other forms of violence.
Another attendee at the event, Bassey Usanga gave the organisers kudos for the excitement the show brought to the city.
“The show was great and the camp feeling even made it more exciting than every other show we’ve had in this city lately. You can see the city especially these two days has been different and bubbly. I am particularly glad that this gave me an opportunity to actively participate in this year’s World Friendship Day with my loved ones.”
Usanga, who came to the event with his recently wedded wife, also thanked the brand for spicing up their new life together.
“For us, it is like going on another honeymoon, with plenty music, dance, food and drinks, all for free. We have had so much fun this evening and I really look forward to the next World Friendship Day.”
Dr Ramon Artemio Bracho first proposed the concept of World Friendship Day in the late 1950s during a dinner party with friends at his house in Puerto Pinasco, Paraguay. This idea grew the World Friendship Crusade, an organisation that would petition the United Nations for several decades to get them to institute their idea for a World Friendship Day.
On 27 April 2011, the General Assembly of the United Nations declared 30 July as official International Friendship Day with the idea that friendship between peoples, countries, and cultures can inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities.