By Vera Anyagafu
It was a blend of senior personalities from various sectors of the Nigerian society, as the British Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ms. Laure Beaufils, celebrated the Queen of England’s Birthday at her Ikoyi residence in Lagos.
For Ms. Laure Beaufils who was hosting her third and final Queen Birthday Party, it was a kind of bittersweet moment.
According to her, Lagos will always have a place in her heart and that of her family.
“It is a city that is so full of life and gives you so much energy. There is never a dull moment here. But I leave with the confidence that my colleague Harriet Thompson who will be taking over from me has as much of a passion for Lagos and more broadly Nigeria as I do.’
Also reflecting on her experience so far in Nigeria at the Queen’s Birthday Party, which happens to be a flagship annual event held by embassies and high commissions to commemorate the birthday of her Majesty, the Queen of England, British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing said that working in Nigeria was the job she had always wanted since joining the Foreign and Commonwealth office.
She said that the QBP was corroborated at an event recently in which she had met Queen Elizabeth who told her she had ‘the best job in the world’ representing the British Government in Nigeria.
At the ceremony however, the design and décor of the residence was the highlight of the evening as guests could not stop commenting on the transformation of the space and the various installations as they were greeted by a lounge area with Adire fabric sofas from Nigerian Furniture designers, such as Alaga collections.
There was also a live mural-in-action being painted on the wall, and an already completed mural titled ‘Mammy water’ which was a painting by public school children in Lagos, under the five cowries project by Polly Alakija.
Inside the living area of the BDHC’s residence was converted to a screening room for a video installation of the short film ‘Entitled’, a migrant fantasy film By British Nigerian filmmaker Adeyemi Michael.
The design of the space was comprised of the work of various talented Nigerians, including the black wall of ideas guests to the youth party has scribbled on.
The musical talent of Nigerians were not left out as they were represented in the form of music provided by Beejay Sax and his band, as well as Kafayat Quadri who sang both the Nigerian and British anthems.
On display were striking photographs taken by Nigerian creative artists and provided by the African Artists Foundation, as well as designs from the finalists of the British Council Creative Enterprise programme.
His words, “I’m delighted that we have been able to use this theme to showcase the talent and vibrancy that is Lagos, and I’d like to thank all the artistes and service providers that worked with me to make this happen.’
The QBP also had guests treated to delicious desserts by renowned culinary company SaltLagos.