The theme of this year’s Lagos Black Heritage Festival is indigenous music. With so many Euro-American pop influences in Nigerian music, the festival organisers hope putting the focus squarely on traditional music forms will help spread enthusiasm in the African film and music industry.

Celebrating indigenous music

This year’s Black Heritage Festival will be held at Freedom Park, Lagos, from April 14 to 21, 2014. Many of the musical events will focus on a revival of ‘folk opera’, a form that was once hugely popular in Nigeria but which has all but died out in recent years. The festival also aims to provide a warm welcome or ‘homecoming’ for many native composers who have been recognised internationally but are almost unknown in their own country, including Steve Rhodes, who won the gold medal in folk dance at Eisteddfod in Wales, among his many accolades.

On the hunt for new talent

If you think you’ve got what it takes to make it on stage, then why not head down to the Do Your Own Thing talent hunt? They are looking for singers, dancers, comedians or anyone with a talent they want to show off to take part. Admission is free and elimination rounds take place on the 14th and 15th of April at Freedom Park, Broad Street, Lagos Island. There will be prizes for the most popular performers, and even a few talent scouts looking for the next big act. If you are in town to take part in the festival, then nearby accommodation is available at the Radisson Blu Anchorage Hotel, Lagos, V.I., just a 10-minute drive or 40-minute walk from the Freedom Park venue.

Vision of the Child Competition

This year sees the return of this popular art competition for kids as part of the Black Heritage Festival. The theme of this year’s Vision of the Child competition is ‘the rule of law and the law of impunity’. This might seem a pretty complicated theme, but the competition is designed to stretch the children’s creativity and they can express their ideas in both painting and their chosen literary form.

The competition begins with a creative writing section where the participants will enter a poem, short story or essay of 300-500 words. The winners from this round will then go forward to the art round, where they will be asked to illustrate their work with a painting. The competition is open to children aged from 9 to 12. You can warm up for the event by attending an exhibition from last year’s finalists titled ‘The Thousand Faces of Corruption’.

Who is your favourite Nigerian music act?