Stellar performances, amazing stagecraft and the ever lively raucous audience have become the hallmarks of the HiLife Fest, and that much will be witnessed by the audience and other residents of Enugu when the grand finale hits the beautiful coal city of Enugu on Saturday June 2, 2018 .
Despite its name meaning “hill top” in igbo language, Enugu lies at the foot of an escarpment and not a hill. Enugu is located in the Cross river basin and the benue trough and has the best developed coal in the eastern city. As a Northern Igbo city, Enugu shares cultural traits with its neighbouring towns. Two important Igbo traditional festivals take place In Enugu Annually – the Mmanwu festival and New Yam festival. This festivals are annual and are held to promote the Igbo culture. Asides the above mentioned festivals, Enugu has taken further steps to create more festivals which are managed by Enugu council of Arts and Culture. HiLife Fest is an initiative of Life Continental Lager Beer that has come to stay in contributing to the promotion and sustainability of highlife music culture amongst the young generations.
The Indigenous highlife music competition took the talent hunt to Onitsha this past weekend where the remaining contestants slugged it out for a place in the finals. These included 5 groups in the traditional dance category and 10 singers in the highlife music category which has made the competition a staple among highlife fanatics.
Now with the dust settled on the semis, it’s time for all finalists to brace up and prepare for the finals.
The talent hunt which is aimed at celebrating the heritage of Igbo people through music, has featured a plethora of talented acts from seven state auditions. The fight for the star prize of 2 Million Naira has reached its peak after several mentorship sessions.
The Onitsha semifinalists put up amazing performances in a bid to convince the judges of their talents. The fans were also treated to thrilling performances by Chidinma, Obiligbo Brothers, Tipsy Kelvano, Chijioke Mbanefo and Chibest David, the reigning King of Hilife 2017, in Onitsha, and Enugu will be no less an experience as the show becomes a wrap on Saturday, June 2nd.
Competing for the grand prize in the Hi-life music category are Dons Ifeanyi Frank (Anambra), Kalapi Ojuka (Port-Harcout), Emmanuel Agbom (Delta), Uwazie Chuks Arthur (Imo), Chinedu Obiajulu Ada-Chi (Enugu) While the traditional dance category will feature Kanaowo Dance group (Port-Harcourt), Noel Cultural Entertainment (Ebonyi), Asinodricks Africa (Imo) and Umuchiziri Egwu Cultural Dance (Enugu).
One of the finalist Ada-Chi said – “I am so glad to be the only woman to make it to the grand finale in the singing category considering the fact that it is a male dominated activity, I am still here and I hope to clinch the grand prize.”
Enugu will be hoping for one of their own to win the grand prize for them and make the Coal City proud. The locals will be looking to make up for last year’s surprise when Chibest David from Imo (Owerri) made headlines with his victory at the maiden edition of the the Fest.
Speaking ahead of the event, Bright Chimezie Said – “All the cities we have been to for the festival has featured very talented artistes. It will be interesting to see who eventually emerges the winner at the grand finale. However, I want to emphasize even more on the unity that this competition represents for the Igbo people and the country at large. Beyond whoever wins, the ultimate goal is celebrate Igbo culture through highlife music.”
Also speaking ahead of the finals. Portfolio Manager – Mainstream Lager and Stout Brands, Nigerian Breweries, Mr. Emmanuel Agu said, “Hilife fest is a show of the commitment of Life Continental Lager beer, the Igbo man’s partner in progress, to continue promoting and propagating the beautiful heritage of the Igbo people through highlife music.”
“We understand how much these classic tunes mean to the consumers and are delighted to bring this music fest to them. Seeing all the honed talents, and the beautiful performances at the quarter and semi final concerts, has been a joy to behold and we look forward to working with the winners in managing their talent and preserving the beautiful highlife culture.” He added.
The Enugu finals of the Hi Life fest will feature performances from Onyeka Owenu, Phyno, Bright Chimezie, Obiligbo Brothers, Tipsy Kelvano and Chibest David.