(Scroll down for information about a fabulous ticket giveaway to a Nigerian Cultural Night celebration at New York's Brooklyn College on Friday night!)
This weekend, New York City gets to celebrate with the Nigerian diaspora community at the annual Nigerian Independence Day Parade on Saturday, October 8, 2011. The parade will start at noon from East 54th Street and Second Avenue in Manhattan. However, if you thought that was all the community had in store for the city, then you are sadly mistaken. Active groups from the Nigerian diaspora are planning to make sure that city gets a real taste of “Naija” this week and throughout the weekend. One such organization, Royalty Lifestyle, is hosting a number of events dubbed “Passport to Nigeria” throughout the city. I posed some questions to their CEO, Solomon Nnanna, and this is what he had to share about his team’s efforts.
What is Passport To Nigeria? Who's the team behind it and where are you based?
Passport To Nigeria is a weeklong celebration of culture, cuisine, fashion & music in New York City. It’s a Royalty Lifestyle initiative. Royalty Lifestyle is a marketing & event planning firm based in New York City with scheduled office openings in Lagos, Johannesburg & London.
What is the purpose of your organization? Do you have any partnerships or relationships with specific charities? Do you plan events in Nigeria itself?
The purpose of the Passport series is to highlight African culture & businesses outside the Diaspora. For one week we take you on a journey of our culture, our food, our art & our music. And the first of these series starts with Nigeria as our week long of events purposely coincides with the Nigerian Independence Day weekend. We currently haven't been approached by any charities but we do have great partnerships with some strong African brands like Arik Air, Ladybrille Magazine, Applause Africa & Amebor Online to name a few. We are open to partnering with charities when the opportunity presents itself. Royalty Lifestyle has hosted a few events in Nigeria. We are planning an official launch in Lagos in a few months.
Tell us about the schedule of your events this weekend. Why is Nigeria’s Independence Day important to your organization? How many visitors into NYC do you expect?
For any country, from Asia to the Americas, Independence Day signifies progress. For us celebrating Africa’s progress, successes & failures alike over the past 50 years inspires us Africans to want to do more. Passport 2 Nigeria kicked off with an art showcase @ the Brooklyn museum and an African fusion brunch at Senegalese owned, “A Bistro” also in Brooklyn. Our week concludes with a food tasting at Nigerian restaurant, Buka; A VIP reception party at Natsumi Timesquare; The Nigerian day parade hosted by OAN at Dag Hammarskjold plaza and the Independence Day after party & Passport to Nigeria finale at USB + USL (27 Union square west, Manhattan). The finale will be a massive celebration of our music & dance. We expect over 3000 people in New York over the course of these events.
Besides Independence Day, what other events do you throw during the year?
Well Royalty Lifestyle is a full service marketing & event planning firm so we handle quite a few events mostly for our corporate clients. For more information on our events and our other services, please visit www.royaltylifestyle.com
Tell us why Nigeria is amazing -- the people, the places, the sights, the sounds?
That should be another interview entirely! But what is there not to love about that country?! From Lagos to Abuja to Calabar so many diverse people and a very rich culture. Of course I might be a bit biased seeing as I am Nigerian myself.
For more information & updates on Passport To Nigeria, visit www.passport2nigeria.com. For a great deal on travellng to Nigeria, check our new sister site www.africa.com/deals. Want to win tickets to a fantastic Nigeria Independence Day event this Friday? Check out our latest ticket GIVEAWAY!
Solomon Nnanna is the Executive director of Royalty Lifestyle Group & Founder of the Passport to Nigeria Series. He is also on the board of 501c3 non-profit organization, Afrimetro.