'Reggae is the solution,' says Lagos festival organiser

The Lagos Reggae Festival took place on Sunday 29 May. Organised by Conscious Vibes Africa, the festival was the product of a monthly concert held at Freedom Park, Lagos.

Captain Blazee, organiser of the Lagos Reggae Festival. Photo: Conscious Vibes Africa
Captain Blazee, organiser of the Lagos Reggae Festival. Photo: Conscious Vibes Africa

Filled with up and coming acts, the festival went on for hours, despite a threatening rain. Eventually, a heavy downpour halted the festival.

Before the downpour, however, the festival had engaged its audience. New reggae songs and older standards reigned. Some went the pop route, reggae-fying songs by pop acts, singing reggae songs by pop acts. One of the festivals's highlight was the French, English, Yoruba and Jamaican patois singer Benny Paladin, who gave new life to 'Night Nurse' the 1982 reggae classic by Gregory Isaacs. 

If the genre over the past few years has dimmed, there seemed enough indication that given a chance reggae might have a rebirth. As Lucky Dube, the late South African legend, sang: "nobody can stop reggae". It certainly is what the reggae act Captain Blazee, organiser of the festival, hopes.

“I went to borrow money to put up the sound and everything,” he said. “I can't afford to lose heart. Several artists here are giving goodwill performances. But we are looking at having a big brand to support for the next one. In the meantime, the monthly shows will continue.”

He added: “We should stop pretending. If we are sincere we'll know that reggae is the solution. Even when our senators and public officers say nothing, reggae will always speak the truth. Petrol is now very expensive and we don’t have electricity. The corrupt ones that don't like correction will not support reggae, but we will not let it die!"

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