Thousands of music lovers and artistes who thronged the Eko Hotel and Suites, Lagos, for the year’s Copyright Society of Nigeria, COSON, Song Awards which held last Sunday night would not forget the outcome of the show in a hurry.
This is not because it was an award ceremony,but importantly, because the event provided a huge platform where the large crowd were reconnected with the good old tunes that defined the Nigerian music.
And so, the audience were blown away with the spectacular performances by legendary reggae star, Ras Kimono and the Afro Juju King, Shina Peters. The two veteran musicians practically recreated the god of the Nigerian music on stage, taking the enthusiastic audience in a musical voyage,while reliving memories of the yesteryears music that left many asking for more.
Ras Kimono, who came on stage mid way into the awards night was in his best elements. One would have thought that the “Under Pressure “crooner has nothing to offer again, after he took a long break from the music scene. But lo and behold!
The Rub-a-Dub Master proved everyone wrong, as he exhumed so much energy and power on stage, delivering a masterful performance which included some of his evergreen hits from his 1989 debut album, “Under Pressure”, led by the single “Rum-Bar Stylée.” He stepped unto the stage like a colossus and took the audience back in time, performing his evergreen song, “What’s Gwam.”
But delivering “Under Pressure” and No One No the Way” , sent the crowd into a wild frenzy from start to finish. They kept singing and dancing along to the songs as the reggae exponent was also busy jumping up and down, reconnecting with his fans on stage. Throughout his performance, Ras Kimon received huge forwards especially, when he took time to narrate how he went in search of Victor Uwaifo’s “Mami Water” narrative but could not find it.
Sir Shina Peters calls Victor Uwaifo his godfather
Just as Ras Kimono charged the atomsphere, Afro Juju King, Sir Shina Peters who smiled home with an Awoko for ‘Ijo Shina’, the song that changed the beat, took the night to another level. He kept the audience on their feet throughout his electrifying show.
While receiving his award, Shina Peters prostrated himself before Victor Uwafo, and kissing the ground, calling the living legend, his gofather in the industry. “ You are my godfather in this industry. I respect you so much and I remember when we went to perform together. I shall forever remain grateful to you,” he said.
Other young artistes who almost brought down the roof of the Grand Ball Room, Eko Hotel venue of the event were Tjan; Dolzi, the King of Melody, Solid Star, G-Wilz, the rapper who is lyrically licensed to kill; Toby Grey; Kasey, Global Pikin and the June 12 Girl.
The night’s big winners
The show was hosted by Koffi Da Guru who had the audience reeling with laughter over and over again. Those who took home the bronze carving of “Awoko” include TJAN whose song, ‘Aduke’ won for Best Love Song. Solid Star and Oritsefemi won in the Best ‘Colabo’ Song with ‘Find them Go’. Mike Abdul won in the Best Gospel Song Category with ‘Morire” while Humble Smith won with ‘Osinachi’ in Best Song in Melody. ‘Love Don’t Care’ by Simi was declared the winner in the Best Song in Lyrics category, beating 2face, Tekno and Adekunle Gold.
Octogenarian, Chris Ajilo was honoured with the Evergreen Song award for his iconic song, ‘Eko Gbagbere’ while two posthumous awards were presented at the star-studded show. The first went to the late Dan Maraya Jos and the second to the late King of Highlife, Stephen Osita Osadebe.
Indeed, the Song Awards night bought to a close the week-long activities, marking the 2017 COSON Week. But before the big show, every guest had to present his specially designed COSON Song Awards passport to immigration at the specifically set up immigration stand at the awards.
It was only after the guest had been issued with a visa on arrival and his passport stamped and signed was he or she ushered into the glittering world of the “Red Carpet Fantastico” to enjoy choice drinks, finger foods and the ultra-beautiful hostesses and mingle with Nigerian stars of all callings dressed to finish with paparazzi firing and firing thousands flash bulbs away! It was a sight to behold.
Now and again, an elegant hostess would cat walk on the red carpet with a placard with such inscriptions as “Proudly Nigerian”, “No to Hate Speech”, “Nigerian Musicians Vote for One Nigeria”, “Let the Music Pay!”
At the packed Grand Ball Room, the main show which was broadcast live around the world, started with the video animation of the flight of “Awoko”, through the streets of Lagos and finally into Eko Hotel & Suites, venue of the COSON Song Awards. “Awoko” is the bird which in Yoruba mythology is a singer and composer beyond every other bird. Legend has it, that when “Awoko” opens its mouth to sing, every other bird shuts up for the master. The trophy and insignia of the COSON Song Awards have been named “Awoko”.
On the mega screen came a flash back to Nigeria’s National Theatre in 1990 when Chief Tony Okoroji, the man who created the entertainment award culture in Nigeria, became the only man in history to be lowered from the roof of the National Theatre unto the stage in a blaze of lights and sounds at the famous Nigerian Music Awards which he conceived and produced.
At that iconic event were the movers and shakers of Nigeria like the late Ikemba Chukwuemeka Odimegwu Ojukwu, General Sani Abacha, Chief MKO Abiola. Also, present was Africa’s greatest female singer of all times, the legendary Miriam Makeba.
There was thundering ovation when Okoroji, the COSON Chairman and the creative genius behind both the Nigerian Music Awards and the COSON Song Awards came on stage. He said that that the theme of the 2017 COSON Song Awards and the other seven events of the COSON Week was a united and progressive Nigeria.
Chief Okoroji then brought on stage Azeezat who sang the Nigerian National Anthem like it had never been sung, receiving tremendous applause. The bustling crowd in the hall joined their voices with Chief Tony Okoroji to recite the second stanza of the National Anthem which was the prayer for the night. The COSON Song Awards lived up to its billing, and everyone who graced the occasion left the venue happier and satisfied with the outcome of this year’s show. In attendance were: Ken Caleb Olumese (CEO Nightshift Coliseum); Muma Gee, Prince Bisi Olatilo, Dizzy K Falola, among others.
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