On Tuesday 11 September 2018, the University of Lagos Main Auditorium came alive with colorful musical performances essentially by five Nigerian University chorale groups. In an atmosphere charged with excitement, the choristers left no stone unturned in relentlessly dazzling the audience with interesting songs. It was on the occasion of an Intercollegiate choral festival captioned ‘Africa Sings 8’, in which a large number of the songs were indigenous, largely infused with drama interlude to aptly drive home the intended messages.
Organized by the Department of Creative Arts, University of Lagos, the musical concert featured chorales from the University of Lagos, University of Port Harcourt, University of Ibadan, Mountain Top University and the Lagos State University. Also in attendance, was the Heavenly String Orchestra which came prepared to add their quota in mesmerizing the medley of participants composed of students from the various institutions, music lecturers and experts, stakeholders and lovers of classical music. Some of the special dignitaries at the event include: Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe; Dean Faculty of Arts, Professor Muyiwa Falaiye; HOD Department of Creative Arts, UNILAG, Professor Mrs. Adepeju Layiwola; immediate past DVC of the school, Professor Duro Oni, the event honoree Dr. D. K. Olukoya, to mention but a few.
Though in its 8th edition, this year’s event remains distinct for the inclusion of choirs from other universities, and was especially organized in honor of the General Overseer of the Mountain of Fire Ministries (MFM) Dr. Daniel Kolawole Olukoya, for his sustained philanthropic gestures towards the growth of the Nigeria music industry.
Addressing journalists, director of programmes and senior lecturer in the Department of Creative Arts, University of Lagos, Dr. Albert Oikelome assessed the impact of such events on the music industry, while referencing the substantial percentage of successful musicians who are products of music schools across the country.
“Such experience helps to grow the Nigerian music industry through the various lessons learnt.” Said Dr. Oikelome. “If you take a poll of pop musicians in the country today, you will realize that a very high percentage of them passed through the class. Some of them passed through the university, some have risen to become music directors, and surprisingly, those that are really holding the ace right now, quite a good number of them are managers of musicians and producers, who passed through reputable choirs in some churches. The lesson they have learnt, is what they are using to galvanize the success that they have achieved in the music industry.” He concluded.
The honoree, D. K. Olukoya, while counseling participants, especially the students, enjoined them to imbibe the spirit of hard work and determination which were his abiding principles as a student, and thus, largely responsible for the resultant colorful success. He recalled the words of advice from his secondary school teacher who counseled him to escape poverty by reading vigorously. “Boy, if you want to escape poverty, READ YOUR BOOK”. The Indian teacher had advised.
Most of the songs performed were composed by D. K. Olukoya, who has in his repertoire, over 70 songs so far, being his modest contribution to an industry he is passionate about. The songs include—E yin Baba by Dr. D. K. Olukoya, performed by UI Choir; Je ka Dupe Melody by D. K. Olukoya, arranged by Oludaisi David Aina and ably performed by LASU Choir; I no go Gree by D. K. Olukoya, arranged by Albert Gilles and performed by UNIPORT Choir; Dakeje by D. K. Olukoya and many other remarkable compositions. The curtain was drawn with a magnificent performance of the Hallelujah Chorus by a mass choir of the assorted groups from participating Universities, directed by Dr. Albert Oikelome.