Nothing could have prepared the audience for this show! Turns out Dance Afrique Summerfest in Wembley, London was a warning shot for the Dubai FIYAH!
Dance Afrique Dubai is going to go down in history as one of the most electrifying concerts to take place in Dubai in recent times, and when you add to the equation that it was OUR MOMENT to shine – African music, African artistes, and an appreciative African audience in a foreign land, this makes it even sweeter.
Akon was the headline act, and even though the crowd had been waiting and were pumped by this time, they took the energy to fever pitch and nearly lost their minds when he came on.
He gave them hit after hit, and the audience lapped it up. Swinging from ‘Locked Up’ to ‘Right Now (Na Na Na)’, from ‘Beautiful’ to ‘Smack That’, they knew every line and felt it in their soul!
But the moment of utter mayhem came when he got into a large perspex bubble and jumped repeatedly into the audience. Chei, I’m sure the screams were heard in outer space!
It’s one thing to be a singer and to have as impressive a back catalogue as Akon does, but it’s another thing to be a consummate performer, to bring the fire, to make the audience feel like it was money well spent – and Akon delivered that tonight. It was a boom ting.
Everybody knows Flavour Nabania is my man, my original boo thang, Uso’Obim (That’s sweetness of my heart to you!), but this is not biased in any way when I say that man has music running through his blood. He feels every note, every beat, and is in touch with the tone, the arrangement, and the lyrics. When he’s on stage, you can just tell he’s doing what he was born to do and he sort of goes into a trance.
Sure, he gives the audience what they came for: he belts out the hits, he gives you the backing dancers who are so lithe and sexy, and ooooohh, that his wicked, wicked waist! But…it just feels like the music is his gift to himself and it’s a beautiful thing to watch.
Flavour is not just a delight on stage though; you will go very far to find a more professional artiste. Him and his management team – he turns up on time, he’s professional, he’s courteous, he’s still humble and sweet, and he is a pleasure to be around. Top, top dude. Did we mention that we are in love? Ehen. Good.
Awilo Longomba is just a legend. That’s all he is – simply a legend. Taking African music on a worldwide platform when a lot of artistes were still content to be kings of their little neighbourhood, his unrelenting work and talent has opened doors, paved the way, and brought about changes that we didn’t think were possible.
I mean, it’s okay to sell out Muson Centre, Lagos, but a venue in Dubai?? It is the work of greats like Awilo that made this possible.
But don’t think he was brought there to make up the numbers o – this man can throw down like you wouldn’t believe! Teamed with his backing dancers and that genius called Sir Loui, you don’t need to understand the lyrics to know that he brings entertainment and fun – kinda like how we all felt the first time we heard “Coupe coupe bibamba!” Here’s to Awilo and here’s to joie de vivre!
Phew! After all the jollification though, it’s sometimes hard to remember that there is a team backstage who work tirelessly to make shows like this happen – who drag artistes from the north, audience from the south, promoters from the east, and specialists from the west.
Ayo Shonaiya – the legal eagle and entertainment mavin is always on hand to ensure that things run smoothly.
Your event ain’t an event until it is covered by Michael Tubes. When this talented photographer captures the mood, the ambience in the room, the STORY, you are transported to the moment and the event itself.
To all the hard workers behind the scene, the performers, and even the organisers, congratulations on an exemplary event!
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