Nubia centre is free, but diesel is not

Fans of folk singer, Segun Akinlolu,  popularly called Beautiful Nubia, now have the chance to relish his songs in a more cosy ambience with the establishment of the Eniobanke Arts Centre.

The dreadlocked artist on Sunday took them on a musical trip at the Ikeja, GRA, Lagos centre, which reminds one of the “communal” experiences which Motherlan’, established by the masked musician, Bisade Ologunde (Lagbaja),  in 1997, usually gives his fans each time he mounts the stage.

Beautiful Nubia, however, says it has been the dream of his group – the Roots Renaissance Band – to get a performance space it could call its own.

He discloses, ‘‘Over the years, we have faced the difficulty of finding a performance space that we could consider our own. A place where we could entertain our fans and patrons without worrying about the passage of time, or the need to conform to someone else’s rules. I believe there is a need for arts centres all over this country where emerging and established artists can showcase their works without having to pay for the space, as I have had to do over the years.’’

The musician adds that having realised that government alone cannot provide the arts spaces, there is a need for private initiatives to step in. This, he notes, brings about the idea of the EniObanke Arts Centre essentially conceived to provide a place for him to perform regularly and serve as a platform for both established and emerging arts (music, visual arts, literature, drama, dance, etc.) practitioners to showcase their works including being a training ground for promising talents.

Nubia, who wants to live up to his campaign that up-and-coming talents should be encouraged, states that the performance space is open for use by any artist at no fee. But  such artiste should know that the management will take a share of the gate fee for maintenance and fuel.

Besides, those who have come to see the annual EniObanke Music Festival as a ritual that must be performed will have a good feel of it in November at the centre, which he describes as an open space for the expression of artistic talent.

Nubia states, ‘‘We were lucky that the space was offered to us, under a very generous lease arrangement, by one of our patrons. As a fully independent artiste, money is often in short supply, but I have been blessed to have the support of many ordinary people. Some of them are friends; some are members of my band. We did most of the work together. It is still a work in progress because we intend to keep improving it every week until it is at the standard that we really desire.’’

At Sunday’s performance, Nubia teased some of his fans, who he said, warmly showed his group their love by buying them plates of Amala each time they see them. He also appreciated those who buy their albums but disclosed that only N7 was what he makes on each album.

According to him, he loves fans that will appreciate them with amala each time they see them because such fans will one day buy them cars.

His belief that the country needs change as espoused in his songs was further reiterated as he called on the leaders to restructure and reposition the country.
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