Hosting One Africa music fest outside Africa is the same thing as hosting a basketball tournament in a football stadium
This above assertion is one of the few expressions I had learnt early in life when my innocence was still intact before the guilt of growing up came.
Thinking about the One Africa music fest that went down over the weekend, I placed this assertion side-by-side with the event and it was found wanting. I did a small research about this event that supposedly “promotes” African entertainment and I was left with a dropped jaw and a shaking head. For whatever reason the organizers come up with, it is laughable, degrading and shouldn’t be taken serious to say the least.
The explosive rise of African music in the world is something that should not be ignored. Organizing events that will put the music out there is another thing that is needful. The venue of the event should be put in consideration since the whole thing is about Africa and promoting the music, the art and all that.
Before the one Africa music Fest, there have been other music festivals that were geared towards the promotion of a particular community. To mention a few:
Jamaica organizes their “Reggae Sunsplash” annually in their own country.
There is “The Budweiser Made in America festival” that goes down in America
Roskilde Festival is an annual event that happens in the south of Roskilde in Europe.
Coachella which is arguably the biggest musical festival happens in Coachella valley. The list is as long as your mind can fathom. These are musical festivals that have been there before One Africa music fest.
What is the point promoting African music in a non-African state when there are dozens of African countries that know little or nothing about their music? Since inception, it has been the United States, the United Kingdom or the united Arab emirate.
I thought that charity should begin at home but the organizers of the One Africa Music fest are trying to make me unlearn this. They shouldn’t take this event to the door steps of Africans in Diaspora! This should be a platform that brings lovers of the African music and vibe to CONTINENT that owns it.
The organizers are boosting tourism in other countries and continents while the tourism in Africa is on life support. I feel and believe that if these events that promote Africa cannot be done in either of the African countries it is pointless and rather unserious because Coachella cannot happen in Eko Hotel in Lagos neither can Australia host the Reggae Sunsplash.
It is so not in order.
People travel from Nigeria and all around the world to attend Coachella and that is how it should be. If the mountain cannot come to you, go to the mountain because it has what you want!
Written by Mark Anthony Osuchukwu.
Mark Anthony Osuchukwu is a writer, social critic and commentator. He’s on Twitter as @MarkOsuchukwu. Instagram as onye_mark