1 September 2016
Nigerians residing in the United Kingdom came out in their numbers to celebrate at Europe’s biggest show, “Notting Hill Carnival’’ in London.
The Notting Hill Carnival is the largest street festival in Europe, which originated in 1964 as a way for Afro-Caribbean communities to celebrate their own cultures and traditions.
The event which holds every August Bank Holiday weekend on the streets of London W11, is an amazing array of sounds, colourful sights and social solidarity
The carnival, which was usually led by members of the British West Indian community, attracts no fewer than one million people annually.
With the high attendance, it has become one of the world’s biggest street festivals, and a significant event in British culture.
The 2016 edition marked 30 years since the inception of the Nigerian Corner as part of the carnival , and this year’s event was tagged; “Lagos Corner’’ as part of the “Love Lagos Weekend’’ in London.
In spite of the sweltering heat, It was all fun and thrills at the `Naija Corner’ where Nigerian celebrities and fans took part in multiple street parades in London.
Popular comedian, Gbenga Adeyinka, said the gathering of Nigerians at the carnival had shown the deep love and bond of unity among Nigerians in London.
“I feel so elated; it’s not every time you see Nigerians in the Diaspora come together and just believe in their `Nigerianess` and just celebrate it, I feel so amazed.
“This is my fourth time here and this has been much more enjoyable, much more exciting. Above all, I have seen more people bond than we had done in the past,’’ he said.
Legendary Reggae artiste, Majek Fashek, also expressed happiness, adding “I feel at home away from home.’’
“This is how Nigeria should be like both home and abroad. I can feel the love and togetherness here and I wish the country learns from this in different ways.
“You can see that the love is real and people are reuniting. I am happy to be here and I am happy to give the people good music.
“God bless Nigeria and everybody,’’ he said.
Emmanuel Edunjobi, another popular comedian and an On-Air-Personality said, “this feels like Nigeria, all the while I forgot I was in the United Kingdom.
“Nigeria is properly represented here, the turnout is crazy, more energetic and I wish we don’t have to leave now,’’ he said.
Attendees were seen dancing along the carnival route in their flamboyant costumes to the hypnotic rhythms provided by the mobile sound systems and steel bands.
The event comprised the Caribbean carnivals of the early 19th century, a particularly strong tradition in Trinidad, which is all about celebrating the abolition of slavery and the slave trade.
The very first carnival was an attempt to showcase the steel band musicians who played in the Earls Court of London every weekend.
When the bands paraded through the streets of Notting Hill, they drew black residents out on to the streets, reminding them of the Caribbean homes they had left behind.