By Anthony Turner

Special To News Americas

News Americas, GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Sat. May 4, 2024: Event promoters had promised patrons an unforgettable experience at Burna Boy’s first live performance in Georgetown, Guyana on May 1st, the Labour Day holiday there. When the curtain fell at 2:20 a.m. the next day, most felt they delivered a lot more.

Burna-Boy-performing-in-guyana
Burna Boy performing in Guyana. (Anthony Turner image)

To enhance the overall vibe, patrons were offered not just US$250 front row VIP access, but a premium hassle-free vantage point experience where VVIP guests like Guyana’s President Irfaan Ali and Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo, enjoyed complimentary food and top shelf drinks for the duration of the concert.

Guyana Veep Bharat Jagdeo, l, with rising Jamaican born dancehall star, Nigy Boy. (Anthony Turner image)

Jamaican born rising dancehall sensation, visually impaired, Nigy Boy, who accepted his first invitation to perform at Mashramani in Guyana in February, delivered the first spark of the concert with a scintillating rendition of ‘Goodness of God,’ that brought out the lighters and a harmonic singalong from the 18,000 plus fans who were jammed inside the National Stadium in Providence, East Bank Demerara. More fireworks were to come as the visually impaired singer continued the musical onslaught, delivering hits songs ‘Judgement,’ ‘Nomad,’ and ‘Continent,’ that featured two scantily clad dancers, who thrilled fans with their onstage antics.

Jamaica’s reggae star Tanya Stephens was also on the bill and delivered a barrage of unending hits including  ‘It’s A Pity,’ ‘These Streets,’ ‘Yu Nuh Ready Fi Dis,’ ‘Handle The Ride,’ ‘Boom Wuk’ and ‘Goggle’ while Busy Signal entertained with ‘Bad Up Who,’ ‘Full Clip,’ ‘Unknown Number,’ ‘Nah Go a Jail Again,’ ‘Bedroom Bully,’ ‘Stamma,’ ‘Hustling,’ ‘Happy Birthday’ and ‘Stay So.’

The only blemish to his 20-minute performance came early in his set when he fell off the stage. Was it an accidental fall or part of the theatrics? Without missing a beat, he got back on his feet and on stage where he continued the hit parade.

After a brief intermission, the final act, Grammy-winning Nigerian star, Burna Boy, waltzed onto the stage. 

“Guyana…If you ready, say Guyana,” were his first words to the crowd which had swelled to over 20,000.

Burna Boy has been creating unforgettable moments wherever he performs. He brought Afrobeat to the 2024 Grammy awards, starting his performance with “On Form,” before inviting 12-time Grammy nominee Brandy and Savage 21 down to the main stage for a medley performance of “Sittin’ on Top of the World.” At the Billboard Music Awards (BBMA) last year, the Nigerian sensation was named Afrobeat artist of the Year. Earlier this month he etched his name in the history books again, this time becoming the African artiste with the highest-grossing US arena concert ticket sales, surpassing his numbers at Madison Square Garden in 2022. He created memories in Guyana (Gal-ana) with ‘Last Last,’ ‘City Boys,’ ‘For My Hand,’ ‘On the Low,’ ‘Gbona,’ ‘Alone’ and ‘It’s Plenty.

“I had to be here for this performance,” declared 26 year old Jennifer Singh, who made the 5-hour trek from New York to see the African Giant. “I know I will remember this moment for many years to come.”

Tamika Marshall (Anthony Turner image)

 Sholunge ‘Shelly’ Grenada had a fantastic time as well. “It was a great performance from Burna Boy although some of the songs I really did not know,” she confessed.

L – r.: Skeng, Chronic Law, Nigy Boy, Jiggy D and DJ Skipp backstage in Guyana. (Anthony Turner image)

Not all ‘Unforgettable’ concert goers however felt Burna Boy’s heat. Nesta, a local Georgetown artist, was enthralled by Jamaican stars Busy Signal, Nigy Boy and Tanya Stephens. Burna Boy she felt did not deliver as expected.

“Yuh burn me out then make me feel sleepy,” Nesta said of the Nigerian superstar.

“When you come to the south and the Caribbean, you have to bring a whole lot of vibes and energy. Guyana is an English speaking country. We are familiar with English, patois and even French but not with Yoruba or Igbo so that may have been where the gap came in,” she added.

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