CARNIVAL CALABAR: AFRICA’S BIGGEST STREET PARTY.

Posted by Credit: Omolola Itayemi Thisday Life. on Monday, February 3, 2014 Under: Tourism, Travels & Tours


On 27 December, the 12-kilometre route starting from the muster point of the Millennium Park in Calabar through Mary Slessor – Marian Road – Efio Ette Junction – MCC Road to the U. J. Esuene Stadium was a beehive of activities. The event was the adult carnival of 2013 Calabar Carnival. And for almost 18 hours, there was no stopping the thousands of fun seekers on these corridors. Hundreds of thousands of people engaged in one activity or the other – dancing and singing – with other people watching, buying and selling.

As the city of Calabar came to a standstill with offices and business premise under lock and key; hot hues of colour, exotic and stage-like costumes, sequins, music and choreography unseen in this part of the world took over. Welcome to what is reputed to be Africa’s biggest street party.

The adult carnival, however, was just a climax of the one-month event for residents and tourists every year-end. This year’s event like the previous ones featured cultural and musical shows, freestyle parade, international heritage parade, children carnival and beauty pageant. Other top events include Christmas carols from both local and international bands, performances from the Rwandan band, the Governor’s Ball and others, a further testament to Calabar’s sobriquet as the emerging entertaining capital of Nigeria.


The high point of the carnival was the various bands interpreting the carnival theme in their floats, dance and songs and performance by Kcee of Limpopo fame.

These bands - Bayside, Passion4, Masta Blasta, Seagull and Freedom - translated, interpreted and conceptualized the carnival theme into dance, costumes and floats in the spirit of the carnival.

The Bands of Parade...

The five bands left no stone unturned in interpreting the theme of the carnival. Creativity, acrobatics display and illusion were employed in no small measure as they competed for the star prize of N10 million.

After the road show, the revelry continued at the stadium. From Bayside Band (the first to perform) to Masta Blasta, the audience were captivated. Former governor, Donald Duke and wife, Onari (patrons) ushered in the Bayside Band dressed in electric blue and silver on bike (who performed for the first time since he left office).

Freedom Band followed with their Illumantes (illumination of the mind) theme which encompassed great acrobatic displays and float designs that captivated the audience.

Passion4 was all about Pan Africanism and it showed in its Fela and Wole Soyinka-like group of choreographers. Costumes reminiscent of ancient zulu warriors, Akabaulam of Egypt and Mousa Mousa of Mali.

Seagull Band made good use of colour, style and creativity. Exotic floats and good use of Nollywood actors. Actor Emeka Enyiocha was the king of the band. Other Nollywood actors such as Osuofia, Mr Ibu, Fred Amata, Funke Akindele stepped out with Senator Florence Ita-Giwa (the patron) and the audience exploded.

Lastly, Masta Blasta, the current champions didn’t take it for granted that they were winners. With their olives and doves themes, magic, fantasy and illusion were the order of the day. Obioma Liyel-Imoke dressed in the American seal-like military uniform with her team members that included Omoni Oboli, Ini Edo, Oge Okoye, Shan George. OC Ukeje and others gave a brilliant dance.

And Nollywood Came...

A far departure from the past, Carnival Calabar invested in Nollywood stars and the crowd went berserk. From the road show to the performance at the stadium, Nollywood stars were definitely the audience favourite.
Masta Blasta Again...

Masta Blasta, the largest and most populated band won the N10 million prize, Passion4 came second and Seagull came third. This is Masta Blasta’s second time winning in a row.


In : Tourism, Travels & Tours 



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