At Africa Sings 8, MFM overseer, Olukoya honoured

Recently, the University of Lagos Main Auditorium came alive with musical performances from five Nigerian universities’ chorale groups.

Themed, Africa Sings 8, the highly charged atmosphere saw a lot of songs, mostly indigenous, performed. Largely infused with drama interlude to drive home the intended messages, the intercollegiate choral festival held in an atmosphere charged with excitement. The choristers left no stone unturned in dazzling guests with their songs.

Organised by the Department of Creative Arts, University of Lagos, the musical concert featured chorales from the University of Lagos, University of Port Harcourt, University of Ibadan, Mountain Top University and the Lagos State University.

Also in attendance was the Heavenly String Orchestra, which came prepared to mesmerize participants and guests comprising students from the various institutions, music lecturers and experts, stakeholders and lovers of classical music.

Some of the dignitaries at the event include, Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos, Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe; Dean Faculty of Arts, Professor Muyiwa Falaiye; HOD Department of Creative Arts, UNILAG Professor Mrs. Adepeju Layiwola, immediate past Deputy Vice Chancellor of the school, Professor Duro Oni, and the event honouree, Dr. Daniel Kolawole Olukoya.

In its eight edition, this year’s event was special as it had appearance from other universities, and was especially dedicated to the General Overseer of the Mountain of Fire Ministries (MFM), Dr. Olukoya, for his sustained philanthropic gestures towards the growth of the country’s music industry.

While speaking with the media, director of programmes and senior lecturer in the Department of Creative Arts, University of Lagos, Dr. Albert Oikelome, assessed the impact of such events on the music industry, while referencing the substantial percentage of successful musicians who are products of music schools across the country.

“Such experience helps to grow the Nigerian music industry through the various lessons learnt,” said Oikelome. “If you take a poll of pop musicians in the country today, you will realize that a very high percentage of them passed through the class. Some of them passed through the university, some have risen to become music directors, and surprisingly, those that are really holding the ace right now, quite a good number of them are managers of musicians and producers, who passed through reputable choirs in some churches. The lesson they have learnt is what they are using to galvanize the success that they have achieved in the music industry.”

The honouree, D. K. Olukoya, while counseling participants, especially the students, enjoined them to imbibe the spirit of hardwork and determination, which were his abiding principles as a student, and thus, largely responsible for the resultant colourful success.

He recalled the words of advice from his secondary school teacher who counseled him to escape poverty by reading vigorously.

“Boy, if you want to escape poverty, read your book,” the Indian teacher had advised.

Olukoya, who has in his repertoire, over 70 songs so far, composed most of the songs performed, being his modest contribution to an industry he is passionate about. The songs include — E yin Baba, performed by UNIBADAN Choir; Je ka Dupe Melody arranged by Oludaisi David Aina and performed by LASU Choir; I no go Gree, arranged by Albert Gilles and performed by UNIPORT Choir; Dakeje and many other remarkable compositions by Olukoya. A mass choir of the participating universities, directed by Oikelome, drew the curtain with a magnificent performance of the Hallelujah Chorus.

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