The month of August generally marks the last month of summer in London. This summer has been a particularly good and long one with record dryness and hotness. Londoners have enjoyed one of the best summers in recent years and even the austerity season that the UK is experiencing at the moment has not been able to dampen the spirits of Naijas in London.
The end of August is known as the Carnival Bank Holiday Weekend. This is because the world famous Noting Hill Carnival that started about 50 years ago by West Indians in the UK and which has grown to become an event only topped by the in Rio de Janeiro Carnival in Brazil. But the Carnival/Bank Holiday weekend also signifies the official end of Summer in Britain. Hence the flurry of activities and events
This carnival weekend in London among the Naija community is one of the busiest and most event filled weekend of the entire calendar. People take advantage of the long weekend which included Bank (public) holiday Monday to fit in as many events and functions as possible. That long weekend kicked off with the 5th Anniversary of Nigerian DJ’s UK Association. Of course , yours truly was there to celebrate with all my DJ brothers such as DJ Firstchoice KC, Deejay Abbas DJ Kashif, DJ SholaB, Femi BenTV, DJ Jerry, DJ Tallest and many more of Nigeria’s top DJs in London.
Friday sees the long awaited Dance Afrique Summer Fest featuring the super star AKON and our own Yemi Alade holding at The SSE venue at Wembley. The buzz around this concert is so high and this was evident at the highly attended press conference briefed by Akon on Thursday.
Saturday is the date for the 4th Annual Nigerian Schools Sports and Fun Day. This is an event which brings together old students of Nigerian secondary schools in the UK to compete and participate in various track and field activities including a football match for the highly coveted principals Match. This year’s event is expecting an attendance of over 1,000 guests which includes families, friends groups and school alumnis.
The Annual Jeans Carnival founded by and featuring renowned Nigerian DJ KC Firstchoice holds on Sunday with over 500 attendees. This is an event that started in Abeokuta, Ogun State Capital City in the 80s and had students attending from all over Nigeria. The event has since moved to the UK and has been a major annual event for many years still attended particularly by people who attended as students in Nigeria.
The weekend also has two major music and comedy events in town. The MCs Abbey’s “I Laff In Da spirit” which is bringing together various gospel and comedy acts such as Alli Baba, Saco Comedian, Wale Gates, Mike Aremu and Lara George.
Also coming the town is the the “Crack ya ribs” comedy event by Julius Agwu on Sunday.
The last Monday in August is the day the entire nation awaits – the day of the Notting Hill Carnival. The carnival annually boasts attendances of up to 50,000 guests and has been a major event in the British Calendar for about 50 years. One of the sub events of the Carnival is the Naija Corner.
Started by a group of young Nigerians who first met at the carnival in the 80s, subsequently decided to meet at the same spot every year. Before long, they began to be joined by other fellow Nigerians and this brought about the idea of turning the meeting into a main meeting place for Nigerians attending the main Carnival. Over the years, the meeting place which was jokingly named Naija Corner, has grown into a major event in its own right which thousands of Nigerians flock to every year. The Naija Corner is a place you will be sure to meet old school friends or even family you haven’t seen in years. The event has seen many artists and stars from Nigeria and the US attend and perform every year. Dubbed the longest running event for Nigerians in the UK, the event this year promises another major hip hop act from Nigeria according the organiser Deejay Abass.
This weekend sure will be the best way to end what has been one of the best Summers ever enjoyed by Nigerians in London.