There is no other place to be this Easter Monday than Lagos as the Carnival fever grips hard. From Falomo roundabout to Outer Marina to Alausa T-junction, the colorful and creative decorations promises excitement, entertainment and social integration, so why don’t you save the date? OMOLOLA ITAYEMI writes
You cannot miss the statue of the Carnival Queen at Outer Marina, dressed to the nines in her colorful and creative ensemble. The rhinestones, feathers and flouncy fabric all complimenting her. The peacock at Falomo Roundabout struts her stuff displaying different colors of the carnival and bringing commuters to a standstill as they admire this beautiful decoration that seems almost life-like. Alausa T-junction is not any different in its aesthetic beauty, all carnival inspired. Welcome to Lagos Carnival countdown.
Like last year and the year before, Lagos carnival has firmly affixed itself to our social calendar and fast becoming one of our veritable tourism attractions, and this year will not be an exception with its popular theme, ‘Lasgidi’.
The 2014 carnival promises a spectacular display of magnificent costumes, designs, and acrobatics; bringing the week long Lagos Black Heritage Festival to a breathtaking end.
Thousands of people participated in the process of wearing costumes and dancing in floats on some of the major streets on the Lagos Island before converging for a party at the Tafawa Balewa Square.
From the National Museum, Onikan, where the 6km children carnival kicked off to Ikoyi where the adults kicked started their 9km parade, the streets where filled with carnival floats and onlookers watching with excitement.
Vehicular movement was restricted within the Lagos Island as revellers displayed varied creative designs and colourful costumes with a large number of beautiful people.
According to governor of Lagos state, Babatunde Fashola, “the Lagos Carnival has grown in its four years of existence by reinventing itself and drawing more participants and spectators each year. It has become a vehicle through which the creativity of designers and resourcefulness of the young men and women of the Lagos State Skills Acquisition Centres, in which all the costumes are produced, are exhibited.
The traditional pride and dignity characteristic of Lagosians of old is back in our daily expressions and aspirations, we are expressing who we are naturally- an industrious people; full of pride and confidence,”
The state’s aim of making the carnival a private sector driven event in future may have received a huge boost with an appreciable presence of corporate sponsors like MTN Telecommunications, Nigeria Breweries, amongst others.
What to Expect
With vehicular traffic restricted towards and around the Tafawa Balewa Square venue of the carnival; you might need to walk a long distance depending on where you are coming from
The morning road show by some of the participants donned in flamboyant costumes and dancing to music from loudspeakers livens up the quiet ambience of the usually boisterous Island.
The 50,000 capacity Square fills up with spectators, mostly young people, amidst heavy presence of armed police officers and state security agents which can be reassuring especially with security issues
Apart from minor hitches such as a stray police horse which scared some early comers outside the venue into a near stampede as it was chased around by a horse riding police officer, and some area boys who tried to molest visitors but were promptly hounded into a waiting Black Maria; the past carnivals have been relatively hitch free.
Dozens of secondary schools across the
state as well as some local councils take t turns to parade around the Square showcasing their costumes, and in some cases, graceful dance moves and acrobatics.
A Carnival Queen and King will emerge
Music blared from giant loudspeakers.
Oyinkan Abayomi; Bourdillon; Awolowo Road, Ikoyi; Onikan Igbosere; King George; Joseph Street Ajele; Catholic Mission and Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS)
WHAT TO WEAR TO A CARNIVAL
Carnivals can be more fun when you know what to wear, especially when comfort is key and all you want to do is let your hair down. Take a cue from this and you will be glady you did.
• Easter Monday is usually hot. Wear light cloths to avoid sweating excessively.
Wear clothes you are more comfortable in
• For makeup, keep it natural. The last thing you want is for someone to mistake you for a clown.
• No unnecessary long weaves. Stick to short hair or medium length hair to keep the heat at bay.
• Wear flats or sneakers. You are going to do a lot of walking.
• For accessories, keep it simple. You want to enjoy your night and not worry about keeping up with jewelry. Wear a bracelet or necklace that is cheap and you would not freak out if you lost it.
• Use lots of sunscreen to avoid sunburn.
• Don’t leave home without a wide-brimmed hat to help keep the sun at bay.
A Cocoon in the Sky
Air France Unveils New Business
Air France is continuing its move upmarket and is today unveiling its new Business class seat, for a completely renewed travel experience.
In total, 2,102 seats will be installed between June 2014 and summer 2016 on 44 Boeing 777, the core of Air France’s long-haul fleet.
Every detail has been specially modelled to give the seat its unique design. The passenger is instantly enveloped in its graceful curves into a cocoon-like state of special care.
This real cocoon, with its particularly refined finishing touches (leather upholstery, topstitching) provides an ideal level of comfort and offers the prospect of a perfect sleep. The new Air France Business class seat was developed around the concept of 3 « F » :
• Full flat – the seat converts to a fully flat bed – for crossing time zones without fatigue;
• Full access – direct access to the aisle, regardless of the seat’s location in the cabin;
• Full privacy – a protected area through the seat’s enveloping curves, providing a true bubble of privacy in the sky. Specially designed for Air France, this seat was developed in collaboration with Zodiac Aeros- pace, a world leader in the manufacture of aircraft seats. Its unique design was specially created by designer Mark Collins of Design Investment, specialized in the world of high-end transportation and by the design and branding agency, Brandimage.
Seeking to offer the ultimate in comfort in the sky, Air France engaged customers, company employees, designers and ergonomic experts in the seat’s cooperative design effort.
A 16-inch (41 cm) high definition touch screen with more than 1,000 hours of entertainment
In the Business cabin, customers have a wide touch screen offering a high definition image. This 16-inch (41 cm) screen offers a unique onboard navigation experience similar to a tablet. With a completely redesigned user interface and available in 12 languages (French, English, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, German, Italian, Dutch, Russian and Arabic), choosing an entertainment program from over 1,000 hours of entertainment has never been so easy and intuitive.
At a glance
• A seat that converts into a completely flat bed for maximum comfort;
• Direct aisle access for every passenger;
• An enveloping structure of curves, providing a feeling of privacy;
• A seat that features all of the latest technology: a wide high definition touch screen, a touch screen handset, electrical outlet, USB port and new noise-reduction headphones;
• A padded headboard, an Air France signature feature;
• An adjustable soft leather headrest;
• Space and multiple storage areas close at hand;
• A delicate-to-the-touch duvet, a XXL feather down pillow;
• High quality, down to the finishing: leather, choice fabrics, stitching.