What Is This Z! Fest Of A Thing?

August 22, 2021

Since Zikoko returned in 2018, we’ve wanted to connect with our audience, but there was always something stopping us. In 2019, it was funding. In 2020, it was Covid. This year, we finally cracked it.

Z! Fest is a community event for fun-seeking friends of Zikoko to engage with us, highlighting food, music, laughter, and drinks. Think of your favourite Detty December concert + the coolest people + best live performances.

On a breezy, clear evening in May, Tomiwa (CEO), Edwin (Editor-in-chief) and I (Ruka, the managing editor) were at an event, drinking beers and chatting with strangers when Tomiwa went: “You know, we should do a thing for our audience here — a small thing where they get together and have some fun”. I was probably on my second or third mug, which explains why I responded with: “That’s a good idea. The food and drinks are affordable, and it’s an open space. We’ll set it up in a month.”

No, we did not.

We knew that a Zikoko live event meant curating only the best experiences, so our small get-together idea grew before us. A month later, we were planning the first, limited Zikoko festival, ingeniously called Z! Fest

To plan a kick-ass Nigerian festival, we needed money. And to get money, we had to sell the event to sponsors. We wanted brands that understood the importance of reaching their audience on a personal level. So I worked with the Business Development team to create a proposal that reflected our aspirations for the event, using this to sweet-talk potential sponsors. In another month, we had gotten three of such brands: Piggyvest, Jameson and Bature. 

In the meantime, the Z! Fest team solidified the timeline and itinerary for the event. At Zikoko, we think of ourselves as the fun, smart friend who teaches you stuff by showing you people’s experiences. So we thought: How do we do organise an event that encapsulates that? The answer was:

  1. Give them access to our arsenal – the Zikoko team
  2. Games
  3. Music
  4. Zikoko merch

Meet & Greet with the Zikoko writers:

Come on down and meet the people who write the articles that are so funny, they make you say, “These guys must be on drugs!” Cosy up to Zikoko’s resident happening babe, Kunle, and ask where he gets the inspiration for his chaotically hilarious series, Interview With.” You could also trap David in a corner and force him to tell you all the Japa tips he’s learned from writing the “Abroad Life” series for so long. There will also be a Q&A and pop quiz session with the Zikoko team so get your mildly inappropriate questions ready.

Games:

We have many games proudly sponsored by Jameson and three other partners who plan to give away decks of games. Zikoko team members, Ibukun and Malakai, have put together a games night experience so epic you’ll never forget it. So come have the time of your lives but leave your naughty dares at the gate because this is not that kind of party.

Live musical performances:

To crown the evening, we’ve set up live music by Ignis Brothers, Celeste, and Mo’Believe. Before you squeeze your face and ask who these people are, keep reading:

Ignis Brothers

Consisting of Dwin the Stoic and Ruka, Ignis Brothers is a musical band experimenting with afro, folk, alternative and pop sounds. Their work covers themes on life and death — love, happiness, grief, etc. 

Their more popular release, Alien at Home, has been said to cause intense pleasure and pain to listeners. Fans of BDSM will be into these ones.

You can listen to them here to get gingered for Z! Fest. 

Celeste

When you listen to Celeste, you’re transported to days of chilling under the Udala tree, singing a call and response song with the village storyteller. Days before capitalism went full BDSM on you. Basically, Celeste is enchanting, and she will be running your senses amok by the time she gets on stage. If you’re a fan of folk, spiritual music, or good music in general, you will enjoy this. 

Mo’Believe

Mo’Believe is an urban folklore singer who likes to tell vintage stories from an urban point. His sultry Yoruba lyrics is the wave on which most of these stories ride.

His major influences include legendary Ebenezer Obey, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, and Orlando Owoh, so you know he has depth. Mo’Believe always provokes emotion with his sound. Listen to his debut EP here to be provoked.

To ensure that Z! Fest is a fun and SAFE experience for everyone, we will be implementing the latest COVID-19 safety procedures. There will be sanitisers at the gate and temperature checks taken by security. Everyone is also expected to have their masks on at all times.

We’ve put three months worth of thought and planning into making sure we give the best show on August 28th. So…

Save the date, wear your mask and show up! We can’t wait to meet you!

Ruka

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