At 70, Orlando Is Genius of Swagger


It is a common phenomenon that life starts at 40. From childhood, through teenage and up to 39 years, real life is experimental so goes a school of thought. At 40, with maturity and having come of age one needs to fear no foe or any future uncertainties. But in all, life begins in the real sense, according to the school of thought.

However, the legendary Afro highlife maestro Orlando Julius continues to prove otherwise. At 70, to him, living and entertaining may just be at its dawn. He was at the majestic Prince of Anthony Hotel, Anthony Village, Lagos on Friday 5th of July at a live show where he demonstrated that, life could begin, on an interesting note, at 70. Past experiences notwithstanding, a good atmosphere, serene environment, attractive audience and interactive stage-mates, may bring an unprecedented youthfulness out of old age. That was the real experience at the Prince of Anthony Hotel, when Orlando Julius entertained his numerous fans in a live concert celebrating his 53 years on stage..  

This was in the presence of his most fanatical fans, which included the likes of the ex-Green Eagles ace-scorer, the legendary ‘Mathematical’ Segun Odegbami, the eclectic songstress Yinka Davies, Nigeria’s foremost Comedienne, Mandy Uzonitsha, respected promoter of highlife music Mr. Femi Esho and notable names in the Nigerian media.

It was, indeed, a beautiful night in the Anthony Village area of  Lagos, as the living legend Orlando Julius was celebrated in his 53 years of super musicianship, at the well-appointed Prince Of Anthony Hotel. It was a night when the various components of dance, highlife performance and contemporary Nigerian music came together to create a beautiful musical pot-pourri that Lagosians will not forget in a hurry.

The readily electric night started with the Maestro himself and his band performing his well-known songs, to the delight and pleasure of early birds at the event. It was, indeed, a marvel to watch as the sexagenarian, easily rivalled much younger performers with his boundless energy and engaging stagecraft. His ever delectable and equally agile and fleet-footed wife, danced to his rhythms as the beats were dished out in quick succession.

Kayode Esho, Yinka Davies and Mandy

As the night wore on,younger acts took the stage to the delight of the mature audience. Rush, an upcoming yet very promising act, took to the stage,  strumming her guitar and crooning even to the envy of the Nightingale, leaving the audience in no doubt that  a legend was in the making. Her performance was followed by that of Femi Rocks. The handsome young man rendered his beautiful jazzy  songs which prompted the people to ask for more.

Sexy Steel, the well-known musician and designer, best known for his hit track- ‘Bebedi Alhaja’ which has been rocking the airwaves, set the set stage ablaze as he got the guests on the their feet ,swinging feverishly to his sensuous renditions.

In was indeed a night of ceaseless euphoria, as guest performers took the audience from one cloud of musical splendour to the next. The next act that performed was Jesse King the “Buga” exponent. He rocked the stage and the crowd along with it. A special tribute was also rendered to honour the late Fatai Rolling Dollar. The request segment-during which guests were asked to request for their favourite of Orlando Julius’ hits, raised the bar higher as each request was granted by Orlando Julius, much to the excitement of the guests. 

The event was, indeed, a convergence of the icons of highlife, jazz, contemporary Afro-pop music and music aficionados who recognise and love excellent music. According to a representative of the organisers of the event, Olawale Obadeyi, ‘The Prince Of Anthony decided to host the musical legend as its contribution to re-awakening a robust yet afrocentric night life in Lagos, in general and Anthony Village in particular. The hotel will continue to contribute its quota towards the growth and development of the entertainment industry in Nigeria’.


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