Easter is almost here! The holiday presents another opportunity to go somewhere and take a well-deserved break from your hectic work schedule. If you have been having the ‘where are we going to spend the holidays?’ conversation, the answer is ‘Calabar’, where the warmest welcome in Nigeria awaits you.
But, just in case you are still wondering why Calabar should be your destination of choice for Easter, here are some compelling reasons why you should be booking your flights to Calabar now or calling your travel agent.
1. Calabar International Jazz Festival returns
Calabar Jazz Festival made its debut last year and was an instant hit with lovers of great live music. The 2014 edition presents yet another unforgettable experience between April 18th – 21st, with an amazing lineup of artistes and engaging daytime fun for all the family.
2. Your favourite artistes on one incredible lineup
Over a period of 4 days, some of your all-time favourite jazz and neo-soul artists will be in Calabar performing live and joining you at after-parties that last way into the night. You are sure to get melodic goose bumps, as Asa returns after a triumphant performance at last year’s Festival. She is joined by Darey, Bez, Jimmy Dludlu and Salvador Sango’, who all thrilled audiences in 2013 and earned themselves a callback. Micasa Music, Liquideep, Yinka Davies, Kunle Ayo, Gwyn Jay Allen and the legendary South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela, complete an amazing lineup.
3. Sensational ‘Heaven Sent’ songstress, Keyshia Cole performs
Keyshia Cole will be in Nigeria for the first time and she will perform live on stage at Calabar International Jazz Festival. She will be performing hit tracks like ‘I Should Have Cheated’, ‘I Changed My Mind’, ‘Heaven Sent’, ‘Get It Right’, ‘Love’ and ‘I Remember’. Known for ‘keeping it real’ on her two reality TV shows, Cole should entertain with powerful vocals and interesting ad-libs.
4. Art Exhibition and Music Meets Photography in the mix
Artistic expression is an essential element of Calabar Jazz Festival and this time we are adding visual art to the mix, in the form of an exhibition for paintings and sculpture, and a photo competition with a difference. With Terra Kulture from Lagos curating the art exhibition in the foyer of concert venue, you can be assured of a stunning display. Music Meets Photography will give you the chance to get ‘snapped’ by one of Nigeria’s most promising photographers, while they compete to take the best picture – all against a backdrop of great live music.
5. Opportunity to explore the legend of the Calabar Kitchen
Why not spend an enjoyable afternoon attending a culinary session that shows you the secrets behind some of the most famous Calabar cuisine? You will get a taste of Edikang-Ikong, arguably Nigeria’s most sought-after dish, as well as Afia Efere soup, Editan soup, Ekpang Nkukwo and a host of exotic delicacies for you to sample.
6. Give yourself a break
It’s a holiday and you really need to make the best of it! Escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, and retreat to the peace and quiet of Calabar. Stay at a lakeside hotel, take a walk in one of our parks, cruise along the Calabar River or visit ancient Creek Town. Simply immerse yourself in a serene destination, with an ambience that cannot be replicated anywhere else in Nigeria.
7. Indulge your thirst for culture, history and sightseeing
Calabar boasts two of Nigeria’s best museums; one traces our colonial past, while the other takes you on an emotional journey through the painful history of the slave trade. Many of our historical landmarks are national treasures, as they are some of the few remnants of Nigeria’s fascinating history. As the first place that Europeans made their presence felt, Calabar contains a host of ‘firsts’, including schools, churches and the site of the first organised football match – no wonder our U.J. Esuene stadium is the current home of the Super Eagles! Take a tour and find out lots more.
8. VIP After-Parties
The nightly VIP after-parties will allow you the rare pleasure of partying and mingling with our sensational lineup of artistes in a relaxed environment, where you can meet new friends and potential future business associates.
9. Improve your post-holiday quality of life
You may not believe it, but jazz music can actually increase your productivity and boost your immune system. A paper in the UK Journal of Advanced Nursing states that listening to jazz, classical or favourite melodies can relieve chronic pain and migraines, reduce blood pressure, improve memory, boost immunity, increase energy and induce relaxation. So, wouldn’t you rather spend your holiday changing your life?
So, what will you do? Stay at home and wish you were here, or book that flight and begin the best weekend you’ve had in years? If you make the right choice, we’ll be here to welcome you.