Two weeks ago, we dropped ‘Motherland Beckons,’ the tourism product that called on all Africans and lovers of Africans in the Diaspora to connect with the continent and we called on them, that they must heed the call,” said Otunba Wanle Akinboboye at his luxury 65 acres beach resort in Lagos, where he was welcoming guests who had come to witness the African New Year cross-over celebrations, live, at the beach front.
“So based on that,” he continued, we created ‘Ipada,’ the return after heeding the call, which expectedly, will be happening on a daily basis. We are targeting a minimum of 50 million people annually, that will be coming to the African continent through Nigeria, taking advantage of our deep sea port at lekki. We are transforming slave ships to cruise ships and then luxurious airlines celebrating in view of all the atrocities perpetuated against the continent, through the heinous era of the slave trade. Now, we are celebrating our prosperity, our resilience, our growth, our development and our contribution to the world economy.
“We believe that if Dubai with less than 4 million people-population and zero Diaspora population, could achieve so much, then the whole of the continent of Africa should be able to record a minimum of 50 million people, putting together all tourism products available throughout the continent and as the 50 million Diasporans come into the continent, we are not asking for handouts, we are asking them to come and take advantage of the vast opportunities in Africa. And we are giving them open opportunities, for them to have easy connection to the entire continent that will be championed by Nigeria. And they will be using Lagos State as the gateway, being the biggest economy in Africa, and the largest concentration spot in Africa, it is the gateway to get people of African descent and lovers of Africa to connect with the continent.
The Tourism Icon, Otunba Wanle Akinboboye posited that, with such a humongous celebration, and the experience of this return on a daily basis throughout the year, at the end of the year, there would be a huge harvest, a celebration of that Motherland Beckons call, and a huge harvest of the celebration of heeding that call, Ipada!
“In a two week major celebration that we have five major tourism products, a carnival on the beach, that will have representation of carnivals from as many African settlements all over the world, from Calabar carnival to the Brazilian carnival train, to the carnivals from the Carribeans, to different Carnival trains from different parts of Africa, Ipada Carnival shall stand out all over the world.
“We also must honour our legends, because Africa has never honoured and celebrated her heroes. So we are picking one hero each year, in what we call Ose Awards, a Yoruba word that means ‘thank you.’ We as a continent never celebrated our legends like Pele, like Mohammed Ali, like Louis Armstrong and so on. We need to correct this anormaly by picking one hero, that will be awarded with 21 chieftaincy titles, by 21 African first class kings in a mega celebration during the Ipada Carnival and will also be awarded 21 acres of land to build a structure of his or her volition and he or she will get a 21 carat gold emblem, a staff, that will represent what will be a singular award with that level of recognition in the world.
“During the Carnival also, we shall pick the Most Beautiful African woman in the world. The days of our connecting with, and waiting for Miss Universe, Miss World, is over. We are set to have our own and pick our own most beautiful African woman in the planet.
“We are not competing with Miss World, but we are discovering the most beautiful African woman on the planet, that we will endow with a plot of land in all the 54 African countries. She will also have investment opportunities in Corporations and companies throughout Africa.
That’s not all, Akinboboye goes further to reveal that part of Ipada Carnival will be the Aim festival. That is, Africa International Music Festival that will have 5 artistes from each of the 54 African countries as a central point, where people will experience African music from all over the continent in one location that will, eventually create a music encyclopedia where annually music teachers, music lovers, researchers, content seekers, tv/radio/movie producers can come and pick or choose African music from the 54 African countries.
The tourism icon reiterated that, part of Ipada Carnival will also be, a kilometre long array of African food displayed on the beach front. Along with the best of fashion and style from 54 African countries; spoken words, and a search for the African answer to why the most wealthiest continent in the world is the poorest, at a symposium!
“We will also have business unusual where Africans in Diaspora will connect with their brothers in the continent to look at different business opportunities.
“So Ipada Carnival is a powerful African renaissance that will also provide opportunities for Africans and lovers of Africa to connect, to chart a positive way forward for the continent,” Otunba Wanle Akinboboye added.
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