merry christmas from akwa ibom


enjoyed last night's christmas carol concert at the stadium immensely. part political rally, part gospel concert, akwa ibom state governor godswill akpabio invited the soweto spiritual singers--most famous for backing the ubiquitous r. kelly in 'sign of a victory' for the 2010 fifa world cup--to perform alongside several others including the aks government choir, fadabasi, and the 9300 choristers (yes, that's right, 9300 singers strong, composed entirely of akwa ibomites).

the soweto group performed so many tunes that reminded me of my college a cappella days, when we toured cape town and sang with the soweto gospel choir. but i seemed to be the only one in the stadium really showing appreciation, on my feet the entire time, while the rest stared blankly waiting for the choir to sing 'jingle bells' or 'we wish you a merry christmas'. the freedom songs were mostly lost on the audience. i might be so bold as to say that akwa ibomites in particular, and nigerians in general, should become more exposed to what's going on culturally in other parts of africa. we make for a very tough audience.

unbeknownst to most of the crowd, a major celestial event was taking place simultaneously with last night's concert. i suspect that the total lunar eclipse my compatriots saw in nyc earlier this week finally made its way across the ocean. from what i could see, the moon changed from red to orange to white in an arc across the night sky, quite dwarfing the brilliance of the firework display ending the show. i can't be one hundred percent sure, of course, because for the first half of the eclipse i thought the moon was a blimp.

at any rate, i am calabar bound tomorrow for carnival along with the rest of the country. hope to find better seats this year. merry christmas! --AL.

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  1. Merry Christmas to you too Iquo and a successful 2011. I'm planning to come to the Calabar Carnival. Maybe we'll meet again. Enjoy the holidays.

  2. @myne: hope you had a great time! i sat, or rather stood, near the governor's stand all day. there were so many people it was hard to see, but at least i caught more of the show than last year! happy new year to you. :)


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