Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos was lit up in a thousand shades of light on Sunday, November 5 as the much talked about 2017 COSON Week climaxed with the COSON Song Awards which has been described by many as the show of all shows.
Before the big show, every guest had to present his specially designed COSON Song Awards passport to immigration at the specifically set up immigration stand at the awards. It was only after the guest had been issued with a visa on arrival and his passport stamped and signed was he or she ushered into the glittering world of the “Red Carpet Fantastico” to enjoy choice drinks, finger foods and the ultra-beautiful hostesses and mingle with Nigerian stars of all callings dressed to finish with paparazzi firing and firing thousands flash bulbs away!
Put simply, Nigeria had never seen a show like this. It was a sight to behold. Now and again, an elegant hostess would cat walk on the red carpet with a placard with such inscriptions as “Proudly Nigerian”, “No to Hate Speech”, “Nigerian Musicians Vote for One Nigeria”, “Let the Music Pay!”, etc.
At the packed Grand Ball Room, the main show which was broadcast live around the world, started with the video animation of the flight of “Awoko”, through the streets of Lagos and finally into Eko Hotel & Suites, venue of the COSON Song Awards. “Awoko” is the bird which in Yoruba mythology is a singer and composer beyond every other bird. Legend has it, that when “Awoko” opens its mouth to sing, every other bird shuts up for the master. The trophy and insignia of the COSON Song Awards have been named “Awoko”.
On the mega screen came a flash back to Nigeria’s National Theatre in 1990 when Chief Tony Okoroji, the man who created the entertainment award culture in Nigeria, became the only man in history to be lowered from the roof of the National Theatre unto the stage in a blaze of lights and sounds at the famous Nigerian Music Awards which he conceived and produced. At that iconic event were the movers and shakers of Nigeria like the late Ikemba Chukwuemeka Odimegwu Ojukwu, General Sani Abacha, Chief MKO Abiola, etc. Also present was Africa’s greatest female singer of all times, the legendary Miriam Makeba.
There was thundering ovation when Okoroji, the COSON Chairman and the creative genius behind both the Nigerian Music Awards and the COSON Song Awards came on stage. He said that that the theme of the 2017 COSON Song Awards and the other seven events of the COSON Week was a united and progressive Nigeria. Chief Okoroji then brought on stage Azeezat who sang the Nigerian National Anthem like it had never been sung, receiving tremendous applause. The bustling crowd in the hall joined their voices with Chief Tony Okoroji to recite the second stanza of the National Anthem which was the prayer for the night.
The show was hosted by KoffiDa Guru who had the audience reeling with laughter over and over again. The big stage at the Grand Ball Room was almost brought down by performances from the likes of Tjan; Dolzi, the King of Melody, Solid Star, G-Wilz, the rapper who is lyrically licensed to kill; Toby Grey; KASI, the June 12 Girl; Rub – a- Dub Master, Ras Kimono; Kul-GP and Sir Shina Peters who kept the audience on their feet throughout his electrifying show.
Those who took home the bronze carving of “Awoko” include TJAN whose song, ‘Aduke’ won for Best Love Song. Solid Star and Oritsefemi won in the Best ‘Colabo’ Song with ‘Find them Go’. Mike Abdul won in the Best Gospel Song Category with ‘Morire” while Humble Smith won with ‘Osinachi’ in Best Song in Melody. ‘Love Don’t Care’ by Simi was declared the winner in the Best Song in Lyrics category.
Octogenarian, Chris Ajilo was honoured with the Evergreen Song award for his iconic song, ‘EkoGbagbere’ while Shina Peters went home with an Awoko for ‘Ijo Shina’, the song that changed the beat. Two posthumous awards were presented at the star-studded show. The first went to the late Dan Maraya Jos and the second to the late King of Highlife, Stephen OsitaOsadebe.
The 2017 COSON Song Awards may have come but it is not gone because the memories will live forever.