Carnival Calabar 2016: ‘I relished the old school live band’, visitor confesses

Simon Utsu is smiling from ear to ear behind the two beauties —Didi Etta (L) and Joan (R) 
Efio-Ita Nyok|28 December 2016
Simon Utsu is one cerebral Cross Riverian whose sense of history is intriguing. As a social commentator, you enjoy his commentary because of his unique blend of history into the subject he is dissecting at the time.
Seagull band in green and white 
Utsu is live in Cross River State capital city as I write obviously to relish what the climate-themed Africa’s largest party has to offer this year. While feeding his eyes with the varieties there is today from dance steps, exotic costumes, band displays, etc the Obudu-born public affairs analyst didn’t fail to listen as well, but this time around to the high-life performing band.
Masta Blaster band
As usual, the social commentator narrates his experience dotting his narrative with that historical touch that only him can do justice to in that fashion. Excerpt:
‘I’m seated somewhere along the Calabar carnival route and there’s a live band playing. The lead vocalist is doing a medley of old school songs. He starts with Bongos Ikwes “Still Searching” and went on to “What’s Gonna be is Gonna be” by same Bongos Ikwe. I’m nodding my head in rhythm by this time. And then he jumps into a third track by same Bongos Ikwe titled “Mariama” and I get irritated.
Governor’s band
‘It’s a song (true life story) where Bongos was crying about his lost love, Miriam who was ‘snatched’ from him by Babangida. ‘Legend’ has it that she used to be his lover and back up singer before he ‘foolishly’ took her to perform at the Nigerian Defence Academy during the military era and a lecturer by name Ibrahim Babandiga saw her and fell in love.
‘Well, I don’t need to tell you that our IBB went ahead to snatch her and…put a ring on her finger. The rest like the say is history. And our Idoma playboy musician went ahead to wax a single titled Mariama where he was lamenting about his lost love…”Oh Mariama, my darling Mariama”….
This biker was wow! 
‘Abeg park well! So you expected our fomer first lady to keep singing and dancing behind you when you had no concrete plans for her?… Abeg change track MC…I don’t wanna vex!
‘Live band playing where I’m chilling just switched to “Jolly papa”. Jolly Papa is a highlife song waxed by my favourite highlife musician, Rex Lawson. By listening to him over the years, I’ve been able to appreciate Ijaw (Kalabari) culture. I struggle to choose between Rex Lawson and Sir Warrior (and his oriental brothers) when it comes to picking my best highlife musicians.’, he continues.
Former governor of Cross River, Donald Duke in his dragon bike with his wife
‘After these two, I can come back to Calabar and pick Inyang Henshaw as my next best before I move to midwestern Nigeria to pick Benin maestro, Victor Uwaifo as number 4. I doubt if what the likes of Sunny Ade and Ebenezer Obey did back in the day could be termed as highlife, it was too low tempo. I think they called it Juju music.
Gov Ayade (3rd from L) in army camouflage and wife (3rd from R) about to flag of Carnival Calabar 2016 
‘Well, back to the Calabar carnival… I learnt 15 Nigerian governors are in town…hmmm…‎’, Utsu concludes.
How did you enjoy the Carnival Calabar 2016? It must have been fun, I guess. But, if you weren’t in Calabar especially during this yuletide, then I wonder where in the world you were? 
Dep. Gov. Ivara Ejemot Esu OFR during the Carnival Calabar 2016 
Efio-Ita Nyok
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