By Friday Nwosu
The 12th edition of the Akwaaba African Travel Market may have come and gone but the memories of left behind by upcoming artist Adeola Itandire Adebo aka Ire D Stage Devi will linger for long while to come.
The event which was held at Eko Hotel and Suites, Lagos, had 15 countries in attendance with top government dignitaries of various African countries and top travel companies in West Africa.
Living up to her stage name: Devi which means goddess in Hindi, the talented artist held guests at the maiden edition of the Travel Awards spell bound as she sang her song with sweet melodious tones.
Like the goddess that she is, with share dexterity she wrapped her audience with her sweet voice delivering her song in native African language, switching between Yoruba and Fongbe a language from Benin Republic.
Ire’s performance and mastery of the stage electrified the event hall, got guests dancing and swinging their heads and asking for more from the stage goddess.
It was perhaps her last performance at the 11th edition of Akwaaba that endeared her to the audience and made the organizers to invite her for the Africa Travel Awards dinner.
Also, the Carnival Revellers of Calabar were on ground to stimulate the appetite of guests towards the forthcoming Carnival Festival in Cross Rivers State.
With their colorful and shining attire the Queens demonstrated what Carnival Calabar, regarded as the biggest street party in Africa is all about and what to expect in the next festival come December 2016.
The event also featured the first ECOWAS fashion show with ISIS models and top designers from West Africa and top models in Africa, doing what they do best on the runway, aimed at promoting travel and tourism through fashion
The designers include: Trendy Johnson’s, MORAFA, House of GMYT, Emaks Couture, O’Saunders, Anjoreen Couture, Agatha Moreno and JP Kouture.
Dignitaries that were present at the opening ceremony of the event included NATOP President, Nkereuwem Onung; NANTA President, Bernard Bankole; Mr. Talal Alsuwaidi, Manager, Dubai Tourism; Mr. Ikechi Uko, organizer, Akwaaba African Travel Market; Mr. Omror Alal, Dubai Immigration; Rwanda High Commissioner to Nigeria, Amb. Stanislas Kamanzi; and Lucky George, Publisher African Travel Times, among others.
Exhibitors include African Travel Times; Ethiopian Airlines; NTDC; NATOP; TOUGHA; Kenya Tourism Board; RwandAir and Rwanda Tourism Board, South Africa Tourism; Dubai Tourism; Rwanda Tourism Board; Travelstart Nigeria; Namibia Tourism, Uganda Tourism, Nike Lake hotels, Asky Airlines and South African Airways.