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Fela: The noise of advancing ideas

THE first time I watched Fela perform was in the mid-1970s at the Enugu Campus of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Then, he was lusty and nimble. He sprang across the stage, as he danced, sang and played both the piano and tenor saxophone. Every move he made was mirrored in the sound of the music, as the drummer and the other percussionists followed his every move with their beat. His band members were decked out in pink “Crepelin” outfits.

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