HOMECOMING is back again in its prime Easter weekend slot. Founded by Grace Ladoja in 2017 as “a movement; igniting new cultural conversation and creative development across Africa,” it’s a four-day cultural exchange that spotlights talents both on the continent and within the diaspora and beyond. Prior years have seen the likes of Central Cee, Tems, Skepta, John Boyega, WizKid and Paloma Elesser and Naomi Campbell in attendance. This year stood testament to the bubbling youthful energy, with up-and-coming names and talents including Zinoleesky, JayO, Smada and Victony.
“I see the opportunity to galvanise the incredible creativity of this young generation and share it with the world,” HOMECOMING founder Grace Ladoja tells Dazed. “HOMECOMING exists to ignite a celebration of cultural heritage and creative exchange, through the lens of music, fashion, sport, art and education.”
Homecoming took over Alara Lagos and announced a permanent space within the luxury concept store, which is stocked with local brands such as Dye Lab, Koma, Waf, Dencity, Free the Youth, Meji Meji and Street Souk. There were also notable international collaborations with the likes of Nike x Nocta, a pair of Nigerian flag-inspired jeans from Denim Tears, Trapstar, Stussy and Casablanca. There was also a free braid bar and food from NOK by Alara, serving contemporary African cuisine by the truckload.
THERE WAS A FOOTBALL MATCH
Native Records FC went head-to-head with the Homecoming All-Stars in a friendly match that raised the roof. Tensions were high, and the score was an even 4-4 by halftime. In the end, it was the Homecoming All-Stars who took the trophy, with Bobo Ajuga taking home man of the match.
LOTS OF WORKSHOPS, PANELS (AND PARTYING!)
Upstairs at Alara, you could try your hand at the Dye workshop where you could customise your own Nike x Nocta t-shirt behind their mirrored pop-up on the top floor balcony. One talk, titled “Building Empowered Narratives: African Creatives Taking Control Of Their Own Stories”, saw No Signal’s David Sonubi, Native Records’ Seni Saraki, Street Souk founder Ireti Zaccheus, and Tropicals founder Olamide Olowo A, come together for an inspiring conversation.
THE LINE-UP WAS STELLAR
Held at Harbour Point, Lagos, this year’s festival had a line-up of the youngest and freshest talent gracing its stages, from Seyi Vibez, Cruel Santino and Bella Shmurda, to NSG, Tiwa Savage and Odumodublvck. The genres on offer were just as diverse, too – with Alté, rap, RnB and Amapiano.