The immortal Fela Kuti

From Baobab Fri Nov 9 2012, 05:51:00

FELA KUTI's electrifying performances, seismic music and defiant lifestyle gave him a worldwide following. Fearlessly confronting the Nigerian establishment through his music, he was a thorn in the flesh of every military and civilian despot that occupied Nigeria's presidential seat during his adulthood. Now, 15 years after his death, the authorities he so often railed against have helped honour the King of Afrobeat.

A new museum in Lagos opened in October at the start of a week-long annual "Felabration" to mark what would have been his 74th birthday. The three-storey building hidden in the backstreets of Lagos, now the home of the museum, grew famous as a hub of raucous dissent during his 27 years of running resistance against successive Nigerian dictators. The commune and self-declared republic housed a recording studio and many of the musicians and dancers connected to his band. The Lagos State Government, now recognising his cultural significance, has chipped in with a grant of $250,000.

Inside, album covers and murals adorn the walls, with old family photographs embellishing the staircase as you climb up to a rooftop bar. A room is devoted to Fela's eclectic wardrobe, where a collection of his vibrant shoes line an entire wall. Colourful underpants, sometimes the only thing he wore, sit on hangers, including a pair covered with a purple dancing image of "Barney the Dinosaurs". His bedroom, preserved as a shrine since he died of AIDS in 1997, contains his flamboyant shirts, a mattress and a few modest belongings. His saxophone sits alone on the floor.

Fela's creation of "Afrobeat" in the 1960s is a brew of traditional African drumming, funk and highlife, punctuated with simple shrill vocals and solo interventions from his saxophone. His irrepressible rebelliousness and determination to champion the cause of Nigeria's underdogs through his music earned him physical punishment, brutal military and police raids and numerous arrests. "He fought for the common man, for ...

[view whole blog post ]
 See More    |     Report Abuse


You might also be interested in the following news stories:

Nigeria:   New Government Paves Way for Productive U.S. Ties (guest column)
allAfrica.com
29 July 2015

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari's visit to the United States last week offered an opportunity for both countries to hit the 'reset' button in a relationship that regressed somewhat prior to his ... [read more]

Kenya:   Actors, Fans Mourn Mzee Ojwang As Burial Procession Kicks Off (news)
The Star
29 July 2015

Confusion marred final rites for Vitimbi actor Mzee Ojwang, which began at Umash funeral home along Mbagathi Way in Nairobi, on Wednesday. [read more]

South Africa:   Dragging Murder - State Witness' Credibility Questioned (news)
News24Wire
29 July 2015

The credibility of the state's second witness in the trial of nine Daveyton policemen accused of killing Mozambican taxi driver, Mido Macia, was challenged in the High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday. [read more]



blogAfrica is allAfrica.com's platform to help you keep an ear on the African blogosphere. We draw diverse voices from around the world who post regularly and insightfully about African issues. Bloggers, submit your blog's rss-feed!


Today's Featured News
Mozambique Ruling Party Faces Tough Contest

Renamo supporters: Ruling Frelimo faces a stern challenge at Wednesday's polls from...

Surge in Central African Republic Violence

African Union troops in Bangui (file photo): The UN has expressed alarm...

Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana Get Crucial Wins

Asamoah Gyan of Ghana (file photo): The Super Eagles have boosted their...