Bole Festival 2018 Review: Is Port Harcourt beginning to Sabi the thing?

John Diidi

The 2018 Bole Festival tagged “the reunion” which held at the Obiwali Cultural Center, on Saturday the 4th of August 2018 was one event that showed that Port Harcourt as a city, appreciates creative ideas that appeal to the residents.

Well, those who missed the event has been given a second chance by the review here on

Bole is the umbrella term for a meal of roasted plantain, yam and fish with special sauce, and it is unarguably, the number one street food that a visitor would notice first upon entry into Port Harcourt.

Bole has equally refused every attempt to package it as that would distort its street credibility. The king of street foods has refused to be tamed come what may.

The meal has become so synonymous with the city that an idea like the Bole Festival became the biggest event in the city and something everyone craved for as part of the desire to create a new brand for the thriving city.

That is why I was excited to be part of the event which even though was just the second edition, has become unique and quite symbolic.

I got to the Obi Wali cultural centre at about 4 PM with my friend Vincent Thompson and I loved the fact that security was adequately beefed up and quite serious. I paid a thousand Naira to get in and was gifted with a free bottle of star lite beer on entering the venue, an act that I found to be warm and embracing.

Touring through the stands, I stopped at Tons fruithies Deluxe and got a bottle of orange fruit drink which tasted nice. Then to a Bole stand where I ate the meal which was served by a beautiful ‘slay queen’ with a complimentary Chapman drink.

Also, my Facebook friend Tekena Roberts, C.E.O of Big Kitchen gifted me a pack of Burger which was eaten by the troublesome editor of, Okenyi Kenechi.

The event which wasn’t just about the food created an avenue for networking, observation of new trends, hairstyles, clothes, body structure, and general appreciation of life.


met some friends at the event whom I hadn’t seen in a while, and also met some Facebook friends for the first time physically. Also, I observed the new dress culture among young Port Harcourt women, who are gradually eradicating the very idea of putting on braziers and allowing their breasts dangle freely.

The crowd was massive, people came out in their summer attires to have fun irrespective of their religious and political affiliation.

The attendance also laid to rest the notion that Port Harcourt people do not appreciate creative events, as the organisers definitely smiled to the bank.

It would make it easier for them to sell the business to corporate sponsors for subsequent editions.

Another spectacular thing I noticed was that despite no promise of a superstar performance, people still came all out.

That was why when SKY B, a Port Harcourt legend in his own rights, came on stage to perform his 2007 hit track ‘My Baby’, the crowd went wild in excitement and sang to the lyrics of the song.

This is a good sign for Port Harcourt. It is an assurance and equally an indicator that the city has consumers’ loyalty and patriotic ones at that. It also shows that If there are good publicity and good content, a good DJ and a great EMCEE, it can be self-sustained and it can surpass expectations.

I want to round up by saying that this is the first public event I have attended in the city where the Iceland and Deygbam cult boys behaved themselves, as there were no cases of harassment and stealing of phones.


  1. Wow! This is what we are talking about.Thanks TPCN for this coverage. I have always been fascinated by this nutritious meal that I call, King of Street foods. Very colourful indeed. Nice one DiiDi.