By BENJAMIN NJOKU
Ahead of flagging off this year’s Felabration,which was set up in memory of the late Afrobeat king, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Yeni Kuti alongside his brother, Femi have lined up impressive activities to make this year’s edition a memorable one.
The annual event hosted by his dynasty will kick off on Monday, October 14 through Sunday, October 20, at its traditional home of the New Afrikan Shrine, Ikeja, Lagos. The week-long event is returning to Nigeria after holding its first-ever edition in London, back in July. It’s bringing with it a new theme, ‘From Lagos With Love’, inspired by Fela’s “Eko Ile” single but also acknowledging the international relevance of the musical festival.
Between the 14th and 20th of October, concerts, a symposium, will be held in honour of the Afrobeat legend and the ideals he believed in. There will also be a ‘Dress Like Fela Day’ on the 19th of October with the winner earning a cash prize. Last month, the dance competition held at the New Afrika Shrine with the likes of judges Funke Kuti, Segun Adefila, Liadi Adebayo, Kunle Kuti and Jahman Anikulapo as judges.
According those in the know, novelist, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Bobi Wine, Professor Akin Oyebode and London-based Black African musician, poet and political activist, Akala will speak at a symposium on the opening day, 14th of October, at Neca Hall. A secondary school debate on ‘Persons above 70 should not be allowed to contest for political position’ held during the week at Freedom Park as part of activities to herald the week-long festival.
During the week, Yeni Kuti confirmed that the rave of the moment, Burna Boy will be headlining this year’s Felabration. She has also confirmed on her Instagram page that curvy Botswana singer, Lorraine Lionheart, will be making guest appearance at the event. “Coming all the way from Botswana. Lorraine with a double RR,” she wrote. WizKid, Davido, Burna Boy, Simi, Seun Kuti, Mr Eazi and other A-list Nigerian artists have graced the New Africa Shrine stage in the past. This year promises to have these A-lists and their international colleges perform on the Felabration’s stage.
Meanwhile, Femi and Senu Kuti, leader of the vintage Egypt ’80 Band of Fela Kuti are billed to perform together,at the Central Park, Abuja on the 26th of October. Tagged “A celebration of Fela Anikulapo Kuti” the joint performance will surely relive the old memories of the late Afrobeat king on stage.