Africa: My account of carnival Calabar 2019


I’m guessing this will be my shortest combined account of Carnival Calabar, seeing that most of what I ordinarily would have written in different posts have been captured in the videos which I shall share over the coming weeks.

It wasn’t just delivering books that took me to Calabar. I was engaged, and so made my maiden appearance as Presenter/Host at the 15th Carnival Calabar and Festivals. With DSTV/GoTV, I worked with veteran Hosts, Mozez Praiz and Diana Mary Owan in bringing all the carnival spice to your screens.

For commentary, it was professionally handled by ace Master Of Ceremony, Effiong Ekpenyong a.k.a. Double E; Uk Ogar of Hit FM; Janice Cobham of Cross River Broadcasting Corporation; and other On-Air Personalities, Frances Undie and Terem Igbodor.

Producing, directing, recording and helping us deliver pure magic to you from behind the scenes were Lanre, Tola, Yinka, Femi, Ehis and other members of the Multichoice team. Manager, Outside Broadcast and Studios, Ifeanyi Ene was on ground to oversee things.

After successful events prior, including the Cultural Carnival, Bikers’ Carnival and Miss Africa Pageant, the mothers of them all, CARNIVAL CALABAR and the INTERNATIONAL CARNIVAL took center stage on December 28 and 29 respectively. By this time, the city of Calabar had nearly 2 million spectators in town to witness Bands and Countries interprete the theme of the year, HUMANITY.

I had time to chat over interviews with delegates of some participating countries shortly before Mozez Praiz and I went on live TV to welcome the world to the INTERNATIONAL CARNIVAL and prepare them for what was to come.

Results for Carnival Calabar were announced minutes before the commencement of the International Carnival, amidst palpable anticipation and anxiety from spectators at the U.J. Esuene Stadium, most of whom had a band or two they were rooting for.

With almost deafening silence in the stadium, the Chairman, Carnival Calabar Commission, Sir Gabe Onah shared the results as listed below.

Of the 18 Local Government Areas in CRS,
1st – Calabar Municipality
2nd – Odukpani
3rd – Akpabuyo

STATES (Nationwide).
1st – Anambra
2nd – Lagos
3rd – Enugu

My States of marriage, residence and origin made the list. Hehehe!

BAND OF THE YEAR (most anticipated).
1st – Freedom Band and Passion 4 Band (1,648 points each).
2nd – Seagull Band (1,581 points).
3rd – Bayside Band (1,553 points).
4th – Masta Blasta (1,466 points).

The last time there was a tie was in 2009, with Passion 4 tying with Seagull Band. 10 years later, they did it again with a different partner this time – Freedom Band. In between, Passion 4 Band had won 5 other times. In total, adding the 2019 edition, they have won 10 out 15 Carnival Calabar editions. Serial winners indeed. In Naija parlance, all I can say is wawu!

* Winner, Best Queen – Seagull Band.
* Winner, Best King – Seagull Band.
* Winner, Best Decorated Truck – Passion 4 Band.
* Winner, Best Costume Design – Passion 4 Band.
* Most Creative and Authentic Band – Passion 4 Band.
* Most Improved Band – Freedom Band.

There wasn’t much for announcements after the International Carnival at about 4am on December 30, as the Chief Adjudicator, Dr. Arnold Udoka declared that all countries came out tops. In other words, every country won .

Participating coutries were USA, Turkey, Bangladesh, Senegal, Guinea, France, Chile, Egypt, Russia, Hungary, Vietnam, Kenya, Rwanda, Mexico, Ethiopia, Slovakia, Czech Republic, The Gambia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Indonesia, Botswana, Tanzania, Swaziland, Belize, Ghana, Lesotho, Brazil 1, Brazil 2, Nigeria.

With the number at 30 this year, who knows what International Consultant to Carnival Calabar, Mr. Ikechi Uko has in mind for 2020. We leave that to him and Governor Ayade.

I particularly enjoyed the International Carnival because once my job as Presenter was done, I had time to bond with my special couple friends from South Africa, Vincenzo, and some members of my beautiful Adjudicator family who accused me of abandoning them for DSTV. Chai!

At the Miss Africa Pageant which held eve of the main Carnival, Kenya’s Irene Ng’endo walked away with the Miss Africa title, a whopping $35,000 cash prize and a brand new SUV. Angola’s Daniela Lopes was 2nd with a cash prize of $10,000; while Ethel Maimela of South Africa was 3rd with $5,000 cash. Congratulations to them and all the other finalists (all winners)!

The 2019 edition of Carnival Calabar and Festivals may have come and gone, but the memories will last and be shared, until the 16th edition later this year. Fingers crossed for the theme for 2020 Carnival Calabar.

By Ebele Enemchukwu.

#ebeleenemchukwu #ceo #wabio #myaccount #carnivalcalabar #carnivalcalabar2019 #humanity

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