A night of good music, exquisite dance and impeccable planning, MultiChoice Nigeria, the brand that dishes out quality entertainment, spared no expense in creating a world-class event to mark its 20th anniversary.
From the gate pass to the interior décor, it was clear that the organisers were not about to renege on the high standards they have already set as the biggest supplier of African entertainment worldwide.
To gain entry into the event, you would have to possess a small stylish box, contents of which include a gold card accompanied by a beautifully designed remote control. With these items, you were guaranteed first-class treatment at the gala and a 20 per cent discount to purchase MultiChoice’s newest addition to the family, the DStv Explorer.
As if that wasn’t good enough, later that evening, it was discovered that in a spur-of-the-moment decision, the organisers had decided to up the discount to a whopping 50 per cent, which tickled the crowd and saw a number of guests reach for their wallets to confirm that they came armed with their ATM cards.
The first port of call at the show and probably the first for many African events was the buffet announcement. Even before the show began, IK Osakioduwa, the hardly-ever-seen compere of the night pretty much due to the seamlessness of the show with no breaks at all declared that food would be served before the show began.
As soon as the announcement was made, someone whispered rather loudly “food before the show? I bet no one will sit around and wait after eating”. But boy, how wrong he was! The Expo hall was packed full with eager guests awaiting what was to come by way of entertainment.
Headlining the show was Crown Troup dancers in a magnetic dance drama depicting the inception of MultiChoice Nigeria till date. We were transported to Babangida’s regime in 1993, the year MultiChoice began its quest for licensing.
Amidst the amazing storytelling, talented singer and song writer, Omawnmi appeared on stage as though she was one of the dancers dressed in Ankara short shorts and a nicely tailored jacket. After beginning with her hit song, If you ask me, she proceeded to another fan favorite Bottom Belle. Moving into the crowd in what seemed like a wave of excitement, she approached Chairman of MultiChoice Nigeria, Chief Adewunmi Ogunsanya and invited him to the stage, using the lyrics of her song, Chairman do something, pamurege, it’s time for the chairman to say something, pamurege.
Definitely not a night for long speeches, the chairman was done in just a few minutes, giving room for the dancers to continue in their dance drama dressed in Benue and Urhobo attires. Carrying a prop for the dancers, John Ugbe, managing director of MultiChoice Nigeria danced his way to the podium to make his speech.
Speaking on MultiChoice at 20, Ugbe reiterated the company’s commitment to growing African entertainment and establishing its roots firmly in Nigeria.
“We create our own original content; we provide funding for some projects sourced outside, and we do it the old school way. We buy content as well”, he said. “We are at the vanguard of creating original content and it is evident in the way we have exported Africa beyond Nigeria to the tiniest quarters of the globe”.
One of the highlights of the show was Daddy Showkey’s appearance on stage after so many years of retirement but still delivered a performance worth a standing ovation. The only artist to get the rather sophisticated crowd standing and gyrating to the rhythm of the night, he performed his hit songs from over 15 years ago, immediately sweeping a wave of nostalgia through the audience and causing a loud applause as he expertly rendered old Nigerian classics such as Diana.
What is a show without African Queen crooner, Tu Face Idibia? He performed the song that shot his solo career into limelight but pretty much saved the best for last, as he, alongside the MD, headlined the unveiling of a new and improved decoder, DStv Explorer.
Other artists who performed at the show include Seyi Shay and Bennett Ogbeiwi, head of the Adrenaline band in charge of delivering impeccable backup vocals to all performing artists, but it was Waje’s heartfelt rendition of the national anthem that truly moved the audience into appreciating the songstress’s nightingale-like voice.
Expertly produced, the event which was broadcast live, was an incredible watch but it got even better at the end of the show when IK announced that even though MultiChoice had decided to give everyone present at the event a 50 per cent discount on the DStv Explorer, management had decided to match that 50 per cent discount with another 50per cent, making the Explorer free for invited guests. Now, isn’t that something?
See photos from the event below.