By Eric Elezuo Photos: Funmi Adeyemi
The much publicized COSON Week, a yearly mega weeklong activity of the Copyright Society of Nigeria, got off the ground Sunday with the first in its list of great events, COSON in the Church.
The event which was held at the Trinity House, Oniru, Victoroa Island, was a parade of high rated gospel ministers and singers, with well-wishers and lovers of good music giving support.
Kick starting the well-attended occasion was a classic red carpet session where all the artistes billed to perform on the night and special guests took time to respond to questions from the teaming press, and took pictures in the bargain. Complementing the red carpet session was cocktail of specially assemble assorted beverages.
Declaring the event open, the Chairman of COSON, Chief Tony Okoroji, hinted that the event, which was in its third, specially designed to preach unity among the different sections of the Nigerian nation, saying, “We want unity, not balkanization”.
Further in his speech after inviting the lady with a marvelous voice, Florentina, to lead the congregation in reciting the national anthem, and also taking the lead in ‘praying’ the second stanza of the national anthem, the COSON chairman noted that ‘the next oil Nigeria has is music and general entertainment’.
Then with the introduction of the Master of Ceremonies, Lepacious Bose, who brought up performance after performance, the Trinity House was ignited to boiling as the Energy band put the crowd in the mood with classic praises before the a 13-year-old sax sensation, Favour the Saxophonist, took the crowd to another level with her great display of skills and confidence on the saxophone.
Releasing one rib cracking joke after another, Lepacious Bose kept the house awake as other songsters set fire to the stage.
One of such stars was one of the 80s voices, who has turned pastor, Dizzy K. Falola. The Baby Kilode crooner of the 80s who flew in from London for the show did not leave anyone in doubt that he was the same old voice though sings gospel now. He went ahead to thrill the audience with a rebranded ‘Baby Kilode’ which this time preaches Jesus and the gospel.
At this stage, the representatives of the Lagos State government and the Federal Government, Reverend Veras Kolawole, the Special Adviser to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, and Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, took turns to express their governments’ solidarity with COSON.
In his speech, Rev. Kolawole hinted that the Lagos State government was all out to protect intellectual property, stressing the raids that had been carried out in most Lagos markets, especially Alaba Market, the hub of pirated movies and music.
Giving his remarks, Alhaji Lai Mohammed highlighted piracy, access to funding and infrastructure as the challenges militating against the stability of the copyright body, which he erroneously referred to as ‘Collecting Society of Nigeria’. He however, promised that the governments are putting modalities in place to sort the challenges out.
“Infrastructure also includes events centres, exhibition centres and theatres among others, and we are bringing in private investors in these areas, and will grant them three years tax holiday,” he said.
While pledging that ‘we are solidly behind COSON’, the minister intoned that the kingpin of piracy has been arrested as a result of combined effort with the Police, and is at the moment facing persecution.
He also said that the Central Bank of Nigeria is set to provide intervention fund for the film, music and fashion industries to promote their craft.
In the prayer sessions, Pastor Chris Nwachu of the Enthrone Church and Arch Bishop John Osaoni of the Vineyard Church, in separate fora, led the congregation through praying for Nigeria while Essence and Décor gave quality worship. The Exquisite Dancers were also on hand to thrill the congregation with superlative dance steps.
Other artistes that performed were the President of Gospel Singers of Nigeria, Funmi Aragbaiye and Kenny Saint Best (KSB). They proved that gospel singing is a God giving talent, and cannot disappear with age.
Hear Aragbaiye: “A gospel singer is just like a politician. He grows with the craft. There is no retirement.”
In the words of the General Manager of COSON, Mr. Chinedu Chukwuji, “This is just the beginning; there are still seven more days of exciting activities to come”.