Lagos – "The heartbeat of entertainment and music in Africa”


The Lagos State Government continued efforts to stimulate tourism and the promotion of the state when it celebrated International Jazz Day over the weekend by hosting a concert with some of Nigeria’s top stars.

“We shouldn’t focus on just this one event, we should focus on the governor’s statements at the end of last year, where he said there would be a series of events through the year where he is going to use entertainment as a tool to drive consumption primarily in Lagos,” said Folorunsho Folarin Cocker, Commissioner: Tourism, Arts and Culture for Lagos State.

“That consumption is what strengthens the establishments and institutions that further benefit tourism, both community based and local, regional and of course international tourism,” he added.


Folarin Cocker reminds that as the state nears its 50th birthday, it has to take advantage of opportunities like the International Jazz Day and bring the jazz community in Lagos together.

READ MORE: Lagos prepares to turn 50

“Don’t forget part of his [governor’s] campaign promise is that he will use project THEATS, Tourism, Hospitality, Entertainment and the Arts and Sports to achieve excellence in Lagos, this is another layer to the promise of the governor to say that he will make Lagos the heartbeat of music of entertainment in Africa,” said Steve Ayorinde, Commissioner: Information and Strategy of Lagos State.

Using the foundation of building a house as a metaphor, celebrities like Yinka Davies, Nigerian vocalist explained that Jazz is the base for all genres.

“If you ask the significance of it, there has to be a foundation, by the time the music started to take forms of its own, this particular one gave birth to every other one you get to know now – Jazz is the bedrock of sound,” said Davies.


Another Nigerian singer/songwriter, Dare Art Alade, also addressed the issues the industry is facing and how they can better be exposed as African artists.

“What we lack or what we really desire is better infrastructure, promotion, distribution and of course to curb piracy – so essentially we don’t need the Western market but we do need to spread our music to the rest of the world, to channel that African music culture and put it on the road and get people more in tune,” said Dare Art Alade – singer and songwriter.

“The bottom line of this festival is about letting the whole world know that Lagos has become a tourism destination where you can come in and enjoy it 24/7” said Gbenga Ashafa, Senator.