By Williams Atibile
The saying ‘When preparations meet opportunity, success is inevitable’ encapsulates the success story of Calas Vegas Band from the just concluded 2023 Carnival Calabar with the theme: ‘Season of Sweetness’.
With the boldness of a Lion, strength of an Eagle, radiance of a Zebra and theatrics of Thespis, this evolutionary Band confronted opponents with vigour, glamour, precision, entertainment, education, information, scintillating costumes, coordinated float, spectacular choreography, lyrical musical, rich dialogue and enthusiastic display to earn the admiration of revellers.
Though Carnival Calabar 2023 has come and gone, but Calas Vegas especially left indelible prints stimulating the hearts of all and sundry. One of such is the sense of inclusivity brought to bear in her procession.
Her rare demonstrations of empathy were catalysts that influenced behavioural changes of band members to go for the ‘kill’ with brilliant attitudes on carnival routes like Colossus on the horizon.
On the global scale, Calas Vegas Band fed well in her usage of carnival as a tool for the advocation of green economy and amelioration of pandemics.
Recall that climate change, a menace occasioned by excessive ozone layer depletion fueled by environmental degradation necessitated global outcry to right the wrongs.
Noteworthy, Calas Vegas Band is led by High Chief Edem Duke, former Minister for Culture and Tourism, Federal Republic of Nigeria.
High Chief Edem Duke is a Broadcaster, Tourist, Archeological enthusiast, political Consultant, Religious soul, Humane personage, philanthropic and patriotic Cross Riverian married with children.
He started his education at Comprehensive High School Aiyetoro, CMS Grammar School and the University of Lagos.
He’s a Broadcaster with many blissful years of experience. He served meritoriously in different capacities within the broadcast media including Group Manager, Public Affairs, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, 1989-1991.
The well-lettered High Chief served as, Secretary to the Cross River state government and Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Cross River state.
In 2019, High Chief Edem Duke declared interest in the governorship of Cross River state on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
On the other hand, Prof. Rasak Ojo Bakare was born on November 8, 1964. He is the first professor of Choreography and Performing Aesthetics from Nigeria.
A former Dean of Postgraduate School, Federal University, Oye-Ekiti, former Chief Executive Officer cum Artistic Director, Abuja Carnival and member, National Academy of Letters.
He graduated with a B.A (Hons) in Theater Arts and M A in Play Directing and Playwright from the University of Calabar, Cross Rivers State later obtaining a Ph.D. in Choreography and Dance Studies from Ahmadu Bello University, ABU, Zaria.
As a result of his commitment to the field of Theater Arts in Nigeria, he became the first Nigerian scholar to bag all three Fellowship in the field of performing arts which are, Fellow of Theater Arts (NANTAP), Fellow, Society of Nigeria Theatre Artisities, and Fellow, Dance Guild of Nigeria.
He became a member of the Carnival Research Roundtable, in Trinidad and Tobago, in 2012 and by 2013, he was a member of the Teaching Artists Research Group, in Oslo, Norway.
A combination of these duos coupled with many other good heads working behind the scenes to garnish the story to produce results will mean the Band is founded on rocks to stand the taste of time.
Calas Vegas Band is not here to look at ‘Uche-face’ in the business of carnival, but bask on her creativity evidenced in her maiden appearance in 2022 at the last carnival organised by His. Excellency, Sen. Prof. Ben Ayade’s led regime with a pledge for a return match.
Fortunately, At matchday champion’s league final in 2023, efficacious Calas Vegas Band knocked her opponents in a landslide victory to emerge winners from adult carnival and third position from children’s competition.
Least you get titillated with mere fanfare, carnival Calabar festival tells stories about people, events, courses and solutions to identified problems in a given society.
It has an history and immediacy like the Nile river including economic transformation of participants with propensity for growth if government, cooperate organisations and other spirited individuals joins forces for it sustainability.
Meantime, Congratulations, dearly beloved Calas Vegas as you blaze the trail with love from Atibaba Apparel.