On 24th November 2018, a magical event took place in Lagos, Nigeria: a humanist union between Sandra Vermuyten and Bolaji Alonge.
This combo between the photographer/actor, aka Eyes of a Lagos Boy, and Belgian, Antwerp-born human rights advocate and fashionista seems to have been made in heaven. Wearing matching outfits, Sandra in an ankara IFFIZI dress she designed herself, they moved through Ikoyi and Victoria Island with an impressive cavalcade of twenty keke’s.
Their tri-cycle rainbow moved from Falomo Ikoyi, via the Falomo Bridge, then on through Ozumba Mbadiwe Avenue to Iru Local secretariat, Victoria Island. In a move to create unity among the very diverse group of guests from several regions of Nigeria, Africa, Europe, the US, Russia and even Japan, all guests wore their aso ebi, “Bubbles of Hope” and main colours – yellow and blue! After the high-spirited civil ceremony, the wedding troops gathered at Afro-bohemian haunt Bogobiri House, that was transformed into a romantic village with flowers, lanterns and music all around.After a short opening ceremony and some moving speeches by friends and family, under the expert guidance of MCs Yeni Anikupalo-Kuti and Sandra’s brother David Vermuyten, the bride and groom danced to their father’s favorite songs, Joromi by Sir Victor Uwaifor, and Simply the Best by Tina Turner.
What ensued was a dance marathon, first to the sweet tunes of Adeh Gbolahan, followed by top Antwerp DJs Schwarzkopf and Scaldia, who are also Bolaji’s new in-laws! Deejay Brown and Dj Venom added some Nigerian pepper to this already explosive mix.In the mean time, guests were indulging in African and European yummy foods and refreshing drinks. The party went on well beyond midnight and will continue in the heads and hearts of those who attended.
While this was not a formal, traditional wedding, one of the things that stood out for some guests it that everybody was treated equally and it was a real global gathering.
A group of over 40 foreign friends of the couple came to Lagos for an extended programme of fun and culture, mixing with the local crowd and getting to know different angles of Lagos for the first time, taken to sights such as POP beach, Jazzhole, Freedom Park, Roots, Nike Art Gallery and of course One Draw Gallery, where Bolaji held his second solo exhibition themed “Urban Culture – Historical Continuity.” They also had the privilege of viewing KASALA, the latest movie by Ema Edosio Deelen, that has already gathered accolades abroad before it will be released on 7th December in Nigeria.
Many of them are now dreaming of coming back to Lagos and will never think of Africa in the same way again. Thousands of well-wishers have joined the wedding party to bless this union of two people that are very much in love and will stay that way.
Bolaji Alonge is an artist, international photographer, actor and journalist from Lagos, Nigeria. His visual language speaks of the wonders of nature and human exchange, urban culture and searches for historical continuity in a world that is sometimes heavily fractured. He is also a globetrotter who has travelled around the world during the last decade documenting exotic culture and history. In May 2017, Bolaji organized his “Eyes of a Lagos Boy” photo exhibition at the prestigious Freedom Park in Lagos.