Music, Travel

Getting Higher than the Empire State at Felabration 2017

I’d have to ask you to pardon me but anytime I hear Fela, all I think of is Weed! Weed!! Weed!!!. I was at Day 4 of this year’s Felabration, an annual one week music festival conceived by Yeni Anikulapo Kuti in memory and celebration of her father and I was not proved wrong. The air was filled with Marijuana Stench and it was being sold openly even though its illegal in the country.

Fela was the pioneer of the Afro-beat genre and a weed junkie, he played a significant role in Nigeria’s development process with his revolutionary music. He was known for his freedom songs, and opposing corruption by the government of the day through his lyrics and in the process, he gathered admirers and followers.

Fela’s albums criticized Human rights abuses during the military era. “Obasanjo dey there with big fat stomach”, “Yar’Adua dey there with neck like Ostrich,” Fela sang. He called Buhari, the current President, former Military head of state and once federal minister for petroleum under Obasanjo as “International Thief Thief”  and ‘animal in human skin’ and regarded their rule as “Army Management” after the 2.8 billion naira oil funds was reportedly missing.

I was at Felabration at the New Africa Shrine with Jadesola a friend who is down for most. We wondered why its called New as it doesn’t look new by any standard.  We were there quite early and there already a bunch of people waiting for the event which started at 8pm daily.

Felabration 2017

We decided to do a bit of moving around before the program started and took a couple of pictures in the process. It was quite a rough crowd but the security was tight.

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Someone offered to take us pictureso f us but we decided against it and took each other pictures in turn for fear of our phones been carted away with. Our fears were probably exaggerated but we were just being cautious and safe with our belongings as is expected when in a crowd.

Felabrtion 2017

Felabration

The highlight of the event for me was the performance by Adekunle Gold, urban highlife singer who also performed some of the songs by the Afrobeat legend.

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The New Africa Shrine located at at 1, NERDC road, Agindigbi Ikeja, Lagos has a reputation for being the only place where smoking weed is legal in the country so if you are headed there and do not smoke weed, be prepared to smoke passively.  The shrine is open everyday and one of the few tourist attraction sites associated with Fela.

Have you ever been to the New Africa Shrine or for Felabration? What was your experience like?

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2 Comments

  • Reply Victor October 16, 2017 at 10:41 pm

    Maybe I’ll go when next it’s held. May be my opportunity to smoke weed without really smoking.

  • Reply Hammed October 17, 2017 at 6:31 am

    Wow, fela is a strong man who never give up,, his a smoker and he slept with a lot of woman, but his one of the greater legend we have in Nigeria who always fight and sing against corruption of this country… You will always be remembered…. Keep it up Anu will love to hear another good story from you again ….

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