By Paul Ajayi
Dede Mabiaku, Afrobeat, highlife and jazz music maestro and 248 artistes from over 15 countries in Africa converged at La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resort for the fourth edition of Africa International Music (AIM) Festival.
The eight days of blockbuster musical feast changed the mood of the otherwise serene resort to a world stage for live performances almost 24 hours of the day.
Some of the countries in attendance include: Nigeria, Cameroon, Senegal, Kenya, Liberia, Burkina Faso, Benin Republic, Congo, Togo, Niger, Gabon, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Guinea and South Africa.
The yearly event, which was birthed by the President of La Campagne Tropicana, Otunba Wanle Akinboboye, as part of the activation of his Continent Building project through Motherland Beckons, is a dedication to the development and promotion of authenticate African music industry through the identification and grooming into stardom of young African artistes across the various music genres.
Aside from creating a platform for the emergence of raw musical talents, it is also committed to discovery of young talents and skills in the various aspects of music production, ranging from sound production, directing, lighting to other technical aspects with the vision of nurturing and exposing them to the world stage as technical exports from Africa.
Since its debut in 2017, the yearly festival has been held except for last year due to the impact of COVID – 19, which adversely hampered global movement. It has become a reference point in Africa’s music and entertainment scene as it has played host to over 2, 547 young and talented artistes from over 28 countries.
‘This year’s event was in partnership with the African Union Economic Social and Cultural Council (AU-ECOSOCC) towards the realisation of African Union (AU) Agenda 2063, was headlined by one of Nigeria’s renowned Afrobeat musical stars, Dede Mabiaku, Afrobeat, highlife and jazz music maestro, who is one of legendary Afrobeat King, late Fela Anikulapo Kuti’s acolytes. He set the stage on fire with his musical vibes and engaging dance gyrations, keeping the audience enthralled.
Young and talented artistes, numbering over 248 from 15 countries took turns to ply their trades throughout the eight days event, giving a good account of themselves and their countries with electrifying performances. Besides individual artiste performances there were country performances and collaborations by the different artistes, all adding to the entertainment’ Otunba Akinboboye enthused.
It was a total and immersive experience during the festival with the eight days featuring different activities that include: Keggite music, dance, bonfire, different water sports such as kayaking, beach volleyball, jet skiing and sport fishing, football, fashion parade, comedy shows and night clubbing as well as pool party and swimming.
Also on the bill was a food festival, with the rich display of culinary treats from the six regions of Africa continent, with the star event being the breakfast buffet on the beach. It was an amazing spectacle to behold the longest breakfast buffet setting, displaying the rich and diverse foods from the six regions of Africa.
Besides the teeming crowd of music enthusiasts, guests and visitors to the resort, the festival attracted special guests including the African Union Economic Cultural and Social Council (AU-ECOSOCC) representative to Nigeria, Honourable John Oba Olasukanmi and his team, the Senior Special Assistant to Lagos State governor on Tourism, Culture and Arts, Solomon Sanu Bonu, Special Adviser to Ondo State governor on Entrepreneurship and President of Africa Youth Entrepreneur, Dr. Summy Smart Francis and Managing Director of Baobab Microfinance Bank, Dr. Kazeem Olarenwaju.