by RACHEL OGBU
The crowd doesn’t lie, and from the dust in the air -standing on the hill looking down at the dance procession coming, it looked like the world had descended in London. It was no surprise when the figures were released today, it showed that Nottinghill Carnival 2017 attracted over a million people and there was enough jerk chicken to feed the multitude.
Over the two day Bank Holiday weekend in the UK, the Notting Hill Carnival took place on the streets of West London in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. From steel bands and colourful floats to flamboyant costumes, dancing and street food, the carnival was in every sense of the word, LIT!
The Nigerian Corner was at ‘Turnt Up’ level all day every day. The team, brought the EKOpolitan Experience to London this year with the colours of Lagos displaying music, arts and crafts. One prominent face that stood out was Desmond Elliot, Nollywood hero and Lagos State Member of the House of Assembly.
For many, this carnival every year is a great way to send off summer and welcome the “ember” months and the chill. This year was no different as freedom of expression rained supreme from individual street themes and music vibes to floats and costumes that championed a cause including “Justice For Grenfell, awareness for dementia and advocacy for youth empowerment.
The event also celebrated diversity, community and culture with Carnival-goers pausing to observe a minute’s silence for those killed in the blaze that engulfed Grenfell building around the corner in June.
However, they say there is no good without the bad. The UK authorities say there were 313 arrests over the two days. 50 of those arrests were of people found carrying an offensive weapon, there was also an alleged acid attack on two people. Other arrests were for drug offences, sexual offences and public order offences with 28 police officers reportedly injured at the festival.
We later learnt that the council tried to minimise crime and spent about £20,000 to sponsor a group of young people aged from 13 to 17 “considered to be at risk of getting involved in crime and disorder during the Notting Hill carnival to a water sports weekend” so that they didn’t go near the carnival.
The Nottinghill CArnival has earned its name as Europes biggest carnival – it is definitely London’s biggest street party as the Notting Hill Carnival fills the streets of West London with Caribbean colours, music and flavours.
Notting Hill Carnival takes place every year on the last weekend of August and the summer bank holiday (public holiday) Monday.
In 2017, the carnival took place on 26, 27 and 28 August.
Eyes on the ground, Rachel Ogbu attended the festival to capture the some of the best and some of the worst moments on camera.
All photos by Rachel Ogbu.
Some pictures showing the Carnival’s dark side