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By Prisca Sam-Duru

Every Nigerian, except perpetrators of evil and their supporters, is fed up with the state of the country. This manifested in the display of hunger for pure entertainment at the just concluded annual music and art event, Felabration.

The new Afrika Shrine Ikeja, Lagos, venue of the show was filled to the brim, with people who cut across ages, status, culture, tribe and race, rushing in before 6 pm, scheduled time for commencement of the grand finale last Sunday.

Held in honour of Nigeria’s late Afrobeat king, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti (Abami Eda), the 2021 Felabration themed, “Viva Nigeria Viva Africa” enjoyed the sponsorship of Fearless energy drink, the premium brand of Rite Foods.

The week-long annual festival of music and art featuring a line-up of captivating activities, held between October 11th and 17th 2021.

Founded in 1998 by the legend’s eldest daughter, Yeni Anikulapo-Kuti in celebration of the life and times of her father, Felabration 2021, recorded a huge success in spite of the hard times Nigerians have been subjected to by the bad government.

The festival ended in grand style, with a posthumous award of the Fearless Man of Africa by Fearless energy drink. The posthumous award to Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, as Africa’s foremost talent with positive energy, a creative genius, intentionally different and a premium quality brand that resonates the value chain of the Fearless energy brand, was proof that Fela remains an important personality in Africa as well as across the globe due to his legacy in the music space and, as an activist.

Fela was a most Fearless man; in ideas, performance, courage and leadership as well as a megastar whose style of music continues to influence talents all over the world.

The award, designed with a touch of aesthetics, portrays what the music icon represented; a fearless political activist whose major aim was to ensure a better Nigeria.

Fela fearlessly serenaded his fans with songs like “Suffering and Smiling,” “Sorrow, Tears and Blood,” and “Unknown Soldier” as a form of political resistance against oppressive and dictatorial rule. There are also songs against inhuman acts against Africans like “Colonial Mentality,” “Teacher Don’t Teach Me Nonsense,” ”Mr. Follow Follow”, among others. Through this music, he created a cultural crossroad that other parts of the world could connect with, against tyranny, for a better society.

“Late Fela deserves honour for the impact he made in the music industry, having fought a good cause for the people through his songs”, Seleem Adegunwa Managing Director of Rite Foods, began saying, during the presentation of the award to Fela.

He noted that the music legend resonates with what Fearless stands for, positive energy, courage, leadership, and can-do spirit that comes with Fela’s creativity and leadership quality, his pursuit for a better Nigeria and Africa in general.

Presenting the award amidst a standing ovation and thunderous applause to the Founder of Felabration, Yeni Anikulapo-Kuti, and  Kunle Anikulapo-Kuti, Rite Foods Brand Manager, Boluwatife Adedugbe, said the Fearless posthumous award signifies the importance attached to the life and times of the Afrobeat megastar. She affirmed that the outstanding performance by the music legend that impacted Nigeria and Africa, could not go unrecognized, hence, the ‘Fearless’ recognition award.

Receiving the award, Yeni, who was thrilled with the attractive symbol that signified his father’s greatness in his music genre and his giant stride in bringing about social change through it, expressed appreciation for the important recognition of her father’s effort, stressing that the award was the best thing that has ever happened since the inception of the Felabration.

“This award is significant because it is from a leading brand that has been promoting human and economic development, especially in the entertainment industry, which is a burgeoning sector of Nigeria’s economy”, she said.

She further eulogized the sponsor of the award for also refreshing participants at the event with its first-rate Fearless energy brands. Similarly, Femi Anikulapo-Kuti, Fela’s eldest son, an Afrobeat musician, commended “the Fearless energy drink brand of Rite Foods for sponsoring this year’s Felabration as talented artistes were energized; a condition which manifested in the electrifying performances they put up at the musical shows of the event.

While upcoming singers owned the stage at the very beginning of the entertaining fiesta anchored by one of Nigeria’s best comedians, Olufemi Fagade, popularly known as Omo baba, the mother of all performances at the grand finale, was concerted by music star, D’Banj. He brought down the roof with one of his hit songs, “Top of the World”, engaging his audience in a demonstration of diverse scintillating dance moves.

Other exciting activities included an Arts competition, Afrobics dance competition, schools’ debate with the topic “Covid 19 is a Blessing”, and a symposium themed, “The National Question Evolution or Devolution”, with Femi Falana (SAN), as the moderator/chairman.

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