Archive for December, 2012


The streets of Calabar witnessed its annual influx of spectators and Carnival lovers as the 2012 edition of the Carnival Calabar was held on the 27th of December 2012.Dubbed Africa’s biggest street party, thousands of costumed revelers stormed the 12 Kilometre Carnival route to entertain its teaming spectators. Also,It was a public holiday in the state,which gave an opportunity for workers in the private and public sector to churn out in their numbers alongside their families in other to cheer their favorite Carnival bands to success.
With the 2012 theme being “Celebrating a new dawn” the 2012 carnival featured the regular competing bands namely, the Passsion4 band,in its delectable Green colour, the Seagulls band, it its magnificent red colour, Bayside band, in its aquamarine blue colour, the Master Blaster band a.k.a. the band for the Hip, Bold and Beautiful who looked gorgeous in their orange colour while the Freedom band in their yellow colour added a sparkle of sunshine to the event.

At 11.20a.m. the kick off tape for the event was cut by the Deputy Governor, of Cross River State Barr. Effiok Cobham,in company of other dignitaries and sponsors. Leading the revelers were colourful girls on multiply coloured feathers costumes swinging flags of the various sponsors of the carnival. There were closely followed by the Passion4 Band.If you are a strong follower of the Carnival, the Passion4 Band are a band to watch as they have won six editions of the grand price of the Festival, almost consecutively. The fiesta Girls of the passion4 band led the procession while other sections of the band followed closely.
After the Passion4 Band came the Seagulls Band in their red colour, they showcased their dexterity in costumes and choreography; led by Senator Florence Itwa Giwa who was flanked by her guests from Nollywood; an annual culture for the band to being Nigerian actors and actresses on its float, the band repeated this year with Emeka Anyiocha playing its Adult King. Following the Seagulls Band was the Masterblaster Band, whose performance, was definitely a great improvement from its previous performances, the costumes were nice, the choreography; mind blowing and its band membership was the highest this year, a position that was previously held by the passion4 band.

The Bayside Band were next displaying what in my opinion was the worst performance of the band, this is coming from their winning record a few years ago, the costumes were less sophisticated, the choreography; just ok, but their membership has also dwindled over the years.
The last competing band to have performed were the Freedom Band, this band used to be one of the not-so-great band, but this year, they had really stepped up their game, with better costumes, creative choreography and their truck decorations were also nice as compared to their performances over the years.

The 2012 Carnival Calabar, also had a spice of the Latin American Carnival culture as the Sao Poalo Vai Vai Samba Carnival Band of Brazil, winners of the 2012 Brazilian Carnival were invited to attend and perform at the event, they displayed their traditional samba dance which got the crowds cheering, though many had reservations about their costumes. At the end of the day, the Master Blaster Band came tops on the winner’s table clinging the price of Ten million Naira, while Passion4 band came second place wining Five million Naira and Freedom Band went home with Three million Naira.


Miss UNICAL Emerges 6th Carnival Calabar Queen!

Posted: December 23, 2012 by CalabarBeckons in Cable car, Calabar


A 20 year old, Anambra born and seating Miss University of Calabar (UNICAL), Miss Sophia Chidinma Dijeh, has emerged the sixth Carnival Calabar Queen 2012 and went home with a star prize of N2,000,000. and a brand new Hyundai saloon car.
The final year student of Department of Theatre Arts came victorious Saturday out of the 30 other contestants in a keenly contested beauty pageant in Calabar.
In her message at the ceremony, the initiator of the pageant and wife of the Cross State Governor, Mrs. Obioma Liyel Imoke, contended that the show which is packaged to select a carnival queen, primarily serves as the face of tourism of the state as well as an ambassador for Mothers Against Child Abandonment (MACA),a Non-Governmental Organization, which preaches abstinence among teenage girls believed to be the most vulnerable to unwanted pregnancy.
She maintained that the pageant, which has produced exemplary queens who have become role models for their peers since inception in 2007, as a melting point of activities, provides a platform for young ladies to re-discover themselves and become responsible adults in the society.
Mrs. Imoke pointed out that, despite daunting challenges which MACA encountered in the course of delivering its vision, it has remained very focus and resolute in serving the lives of young ones who are victims of unwanted pregnancy.
While thanking the various sponsors for their trust in her vision, she called on the new queen to see herself as an instrument which the Lord choses to serve her contemporaries from dismay.
Representative of VLISCO, the major sponsors of the event, lauded the effort of the initiator for her vision to render selfless services to the society, stating that they decided to support the show as part of their social responsibilities and promised the company’s willingness to partner the state in future.
In a valedictory message, the out gone queen, Miss Emem Udonquak, said that she was shocked to discover that she was a source of inspiration to the young ones in schools she visited across the state.
She thanked Mrs. Obioma Liyel Imoke and the state government for providing her the platform to excel during her reign and charged the new queen to be dedicated and focused as she takes the mantle of serving the society through MACA.
2012 Carnival Calabar Queen, Miss Sophia Dijeh,( Miss Hope Waddel), who expressed joy to the state for an open contest which saw her emerged as winner, promised to live according to the billings of the organizers.

US Consular Officer Commends Calabar Carnival

Posted: December 20, 2012 by CalabarBeckons in Calabar festival, Carnival Calabar

Rhonda Watson flanked by the Dep. Speaker of teh Cross River State House of Assembly and other Principal officers at the Carnival Commission

The United States Consul Public Diplomacy Officer in Nigeria, Rhonda J. Watson has spoken glowingly of the on-going Calabar Festival, describing it as unique.Watson spoke at Rabana Roundabout on IBB Way/Marian Road in Calabar during the flag-off of the third phase of the Carnival Calabar dry run on Sunday.

The diplomat, who is in Calabar on a four day official duty, said she was proud to be part of the Final dry run, which was a fore runner to the proper event. She said the event, which she described as a display of colours, designated glamour, reminded her of her experience in the West Indies decades ago. She commended the state for being unified and focused in doing something positive to also involve the youths, in the carnival thereby bringing great honour to the state.

The Acting governor, Mr. Efiok Cobham, who was represented by the Deputy Speaker, State House of Assembly, Hon Itaya Asuquo Nyong, said the dry run afforded the five competing bands the opportunity to fine-tune preparations for the main event.Cobham remarked that Cross River remains number one state in tourism development and packaging.Chairman, Carnival Commission, Mr. Gabe Onah, in an introductory remark, disclosed that the dry run was the fourth and final, including the children’s dry run, before the Carnival.

Onah explained that it affords the Bands and the Revellers the opportunity of participating as well as savouring the street party atmosphere and warmth it generates.He said Watson’s participation in the dry run reflects her keen interest in youth development programme.

The Chairman explained that the Socio Economic impact and the benefit on the economy are huge with boundless opportunities. Due to the pressure the Carnival preparations was putting on Artisans and local tailors, efforts were being made to contract tailors in Aba and Port Harcourt to sow more costumes in order to meet the demands by Bands. He described the development as one of the economic benefits of the carnival on the local economy which is one of Governor Liyel Imoke’s Strategic plans for the Tourism Sector.The Sponsors are not left out as a flag dance party has been instituted to give visibility to the Sponsors of the events on the Carnival route.

In another development, a-six day programme tagged “Calabar’s Got Talent”, aimed at promoting various home acts lived up to its billings as a talent hunt reality show for youths.

Through this programme, they were given the opportunity to display their talents in dancing, singing and comedy with those adjudged winners either offered free admission to read a six-month computer course at Abraham Moore Computer Training Institute or Highlight Entertainment Dancing School both in Calabar while some went home with cash prizes.

Calabar wins 2014 National Sports Festival hosting right!

Posted: December 14, 2012 by CalabarBeckons in Calabar

Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Cross River State, Mr. Patrick Ugbe(L) presenting the flag for the hosting of the 19th edition of National Sports Festival to Acting Governor of the State, Mr. Efiok Cobham(M) while the commmissioner for Information, Chief Akin Ricketts assisted behind. Cross River State

Government has assured sports enthusiasts that the 2014 National Sport Festival to be hosted in Calabar will surpass the past 18 editions.
Acting Governor of the Cross River State, Mr. Efiok Cobham, disclosed this when he received the flag, which is a symbol of the hosting right for the 2014 event in Calabar, from the Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Patrick Ugbe yesterday.
He pointed out that the event, which coincides with the centenary celebration of Nigeria’s amalgamation in 1914, would be bigger and better.
Mr. Efiok attributed the success of the state at the just concluded Eko 2012 sports festival as an indication that the state government’s comprehensive sport programmes has started to yield positive result.
He commended the state contingents for efforts made to win laurels, which placed Cross River 8th position on the medals table.
The Acting Governor, who further disclosed that the state will be witnessing two major high profile events, the World Mountain Running Championship and the 19th National Sport festival, said the actualization of the two events was a great task that must be accomplish.
Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Mr. PatrickUgbe, who said the state, which presented the youngest contingents at the18th Edition of the festival, Eko 2012, carted away a total of 49 medals.
Mr. Ugbe said the contingents won 12 Gold, 14 Silver and 23 Bronze medals, noting that the performance of the team was the best ever since the inception of the fiesta.
He said that the presentation of the flag was to herald the hosting right of the Cross River state in 2014, which he noted will be the best ever.
Mr. Ugbe said that the 2014 event would be open for Nigerians from all over the world to participate, promising to effectively tackle challenges which may arise.
High point of the ceremony was the presentation of the National Sports Festival flag to the Acting Governor, Mr. Efiok Cobham by the Commissioner for Youth and Sports development, Mr. Patrick Ugbe, which affirm Cross River’s hosting right.

Cross River State Government has promised to lift the status of its children’s carnival to a world class standard worthy of emulation. The wife of the Acting Governor, Mrs. Glory Cobham stated this at the Botanical Garden, Calabar while flagging-off the children’s carnival dry run and said as a pace setter the state will not relent in taking it to the next level.
Mrs Cobham, who was represented by the wife of the Secretary to the State Government, Mrs. Nkechi Mike Aniah, said it is through a dry run that the bands can perfect their acts and raise its standards to attract attention.
She said the children’s carnival being the first of its kind in the country, has now become an event which the state government has shown great interest by encouraging its sponsors.
The Children, who were branded in Dangote polo of the five band colours of Green for Passion Four Band, Blue for Bayside Band, Red for Seagull Band and Orange for Master Blaster Band, under- took a four kilo-meters street parade which by standard is the longest street party for children.
They stopped at designated adjudication points to display to the admiration of spectators that lined the routes which stretched from Botanical Garden through Marian Road, IBB Avenue and terminating at the U. J. Esuene Stadium.Security was tight while the Department of Public Transport (DO PT), Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and traffic police personal were at head to ensure free flow of traffic while the medical personnel were prompt in attending to those who could not continue.
In another development, a United States based female Jamaican gospel singer, Chevelle Frankly, performed at the Voices of Paradise II Segment of the Calabar festival Sunday night at the Millennium Park.
The award winner artiste treated the audience, that was most of the time on its feet to popular gospel tunes including some Nigerian hit numbers which was spiced with some ministrations and motivational talks.
E-Ben, one of Nigeria’s great gospel acts and some local artistes entertained the crowd to some soul touching gospel numbers after a choral competition, featuring some churches choirs, which five qualified for the semi final

I Go Die, others hold Calabar spell-bound

Posted: December 9, 2012 by CalabarBeckons in Uncategorized

I GO DIE (6)

It was a hilarious atmosphere at the Millennium Park, Calabar weekend as some of Nigeria’s greatest comedy acts
thrilled thousands of revelers to rib cracking jokes at the on-going Calabar Festival.
Tagged “Laffmatazz 1”, the comedians took turns to reel out jokes that touched on contemporary issues in the society.
Surprisingly, all the comedians did not spare the Nigeria Police as they ridiculed them about their uniforms or
modus of operation.

The fun- filled night was spiced with music from Calabar based artistes as well as some established artist with critical national acclaim.
Among them were Fada Kane, Iban and Harrisong while a spectacle and well-choreographed ballet was performed by a couple known as “Pure Heart”. Calabar based comedians, who thrilled the audience included Whokes, Last Prophet, Robert Ekpo and Headmaster as well as Ibadan based Shirman, an indigene of the state, gave full accounts of themselves and lived up to the hype.
They touched on local issues especially what happens within Calabar South which saw the crowd reeling in laughter. Some of these locals,who are products of the Calabar Festival have grownand developed over the years with accepted and mature jokes.

The main act of the night, “I Go Die” held the crowd spell bound as every of his joke was well received.
The night also witnessed one of the artistes, Harrisong, presenting his gold chain to the winner of a dancing
competition which he organized for selected youths who danced to his music.

Buchi thrills at Calabar Festival

Posted: December 3, 2012 by CalabarBeckons in Uncategorized

Thousands of fun-seekers at the Calabar Festival were yesterday left asking for more after Nigeria’s gospel sensation, Buchi performed some of his hit songs.
It was a stella performance by the gospel, whose rendition of his well known reggae gospel tunes left the crowd drooling for more.
He was the main act at a choral competition tagged Voices of Paradise, which featured ten choirs.
A night earlier Calabar a world Aids charity concert to create awareness as well as sensitize people against stigmatization of HIV/AIDS victims, was held.
Speaking at the concert tagged “Candle light Memorial,“ which South Africa’s ace trumpeter, Hugh Musekela performed at the Millennium Park, the Deputy Governor of Cross River State, Mr. Efiok Cobham, said the occasion was symbolic because it was a reflection of how the world would look like without AIDS.
Cobham commended the wife of the state governor, Mrs. Obioma Liyel Imoke, who was the brain behind the concert, for ensuring that people, especially those living with HIV/AIDs get access to medicine.
He maintained that in the fight against AIDS, every body is a stakeholder.
He called on the audience to support Mrs.Imoke by contributing a token to save a life and commended those who sponsored the concert as AIDS is the highest killer disease in south Saharan Sub Region.
The Director General, SACA, Dr. (Mrs.) Irene Aniyom, urged the audience to take responsibility for the prevention of HIV, and provision of care and support to the infected.
Aniyom disclosed that a research on mode of transmission showed that everyone is at risk, especially people in seemingly stable relationships and “if we do not remember anything else, we should remember that everyone is at risk”.
The Executive Director Partnership Opportunities for Women Economic Realization (POWER) a pet project of Mrs. Imoke, Mrs. Tammie Kammonke, said the organisation has been at the forefront of educating and enlightening women who appear to be the most vulnerable to HIV/AIDS related issues.
Not even the early evening drizzle could dampen the enthusiasm of the crowd at the Millennium Park as people jumped and sang along with Buchi when he rendered popular tunes from his album, “It is well”.
Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Hon. Larry Odey and wife could not resist the moving performance as they joined in dancing and waving to the songs which were spiced with songs from an Abuja- based gospel artiste, Amara.
The choral competition, which featured 10 choirs had six namely; EPF Accapella Group, The Presbyterian Bells, St. Cecilia’s, St Paul’s, St. Bendard, Immaculate Conception, and Holy Ghost Choirs moved to the next level of the competition.


After months of planning and speculations; the official Calender of the Calabar Festival for the year 2012 has been unveiled in Calabar.
The Festival Calender provides a run down for the day to day activities lined up for the 32 days of non-stop fun spanning November 30th 2012 to Jannuary 1st 2013 for the Calabar Festival. Though the Calabar Festival is a 32 day package; there is however lack of information amongst tourists about the various activities scheduled for the entire festival period.
In other to plan your stay and movement in Calabar,here is a copy of the 2012 Calabar Festival Calendar \ for Download.