On Easter weekend, the annual Homecoming festival took over Lagos to celebrate a cultural exchange between Nigeria and the rest of the world. Driven by the opportunity to put Africa on a pedestal, Skepta, his manager Grace Ladoja and Greatness Dex debuted Homecoming in 2018.
“Creatively the time is right: the music of Nigeria, and Africa as a whole has a huge presence in UK musical genres. Now more than ever African-inspired music has become the sound of the streets, not just in the UK, but globally.” - Grace Ladoja
Unlike many other festivals around the world, Homecoming is focused on igniting the cultural heritage and creative exchange through the lens of music, fashion, sport and art. This holistic experience touches on many of the pillars that define Lagos driving a new cultural conversation around a city which has been long been misrepresented by Western media.
The festival saw a mix of creatives hailing from Nigeria return home to perform and collaborate alongside local Nigerian figures like Rema, Tems, Motherlan, Vivendii and many more. Trippin community member and Lagos local Teezee told us the Homecoming performances let him witness “an exchange between communities and a new generation of artists reach a higher level.”
The importance of social sustainability is overlooked by many festivals. Talent drain is an issue that many countries without suitable infrastructure suffer from. Creative individuals who emigrate, take their specialised knowledge and skills to areas in the world where there is more support. Homecoming realises this and the ineffectiveness of repatriation. They hold a long-term aim of strengthening the creative infrastructure, starting in Nigeria, by empowering the younger generation with the knowledge and resources needed to inspire and enable future innovation and growth.
Launching an open-source creative education curriculum, supporting Waffles n Cream’s SKATEPARK BUILD, and launching a football academy in partnership with BALLOFF are only a few of the projects Homecoming are igniting to spark a movement for a young, creative African generation.
The festival also held workshops, panels and interactions across 4 days where attendees were about to develop their creative skills and network with some of the world’s most renowned creatives. Design workshops held in partnership with Nike allowed participants to remix custom football jerseys with bespoke prints.
They also held pop-up shops across three days. These acted as a retail hub where Trippin community members Vivendii and other respected streetwear brands collaborated to design limited edition products that were exclusively for sale at the pop-up.
Jimmy Ayeni of Vivendii tells us “this mix between local and global designers is important because inclusivity is most key. The platform and pop-up shop gives much leverage to explore for both types of brands and ultimately shines the spotlight on Lagos. Africa is the final frontier.”
Oluwapelumi Andikan Edwin