October 15th marks the day when Afrobeat was born. When the struggle for an independent Kalakuta Republic began. When the 'Black President' took his oath to yab all those who oppressed and continue to oppress the masses as well as expose corruption. Much of this month (mostly this week though) fans in Nigeria and all over the world will be celebrating the birthday of the great and legendary(words cannot express) 'Baba 70' Fela Anikulapo-Kuti who is also known as Abami Eda, Omo Iyaaje and so on and so forth. This is called FELABRATION and the party has already started with the mini concert Africa Unite having been on September 23rd. Contrary to ome news reports, Felabration is not over. The grand part of the event which leads up to Fela's birthday on the 15th actually kicked off this Sunday night at the New African Shrine in Ikeja, Lagos. It will go on all week. In August, Mona blogged about another event called FELAVERSATION which was held to discuss Fela's legacy as part of a tribute. Fela's children Femi, Yeni and Seun along with the Egypt 80 band are the headliners at the Felabration performances. Lucky Dube known for crooning the hit song 'I'm A Slave' will be performing along with a host of others. This event is an effort to bring awareness to the menacing disease called AIDS which cut Fela's life short in 1997. Those of you in Nigeria need to check it out and let 'us' know how it all went down. We all know it would be 'wicked' because the Kuti's don't play when it comes time to perform their music and signature gyration dance. For those in Los Angeles, KPFK's Dj Nnamdi will be hosting Fela Day at Leimert Park on October 28th from noon to 6pm. It is free and Addy will be there possibly with white dots on face and blue eyeshadow to gyrate to the funk. Might even bust out my 'jigida beads' to really get the groove on. I'll be practicing my 'Fela Girl' moves in front of my mirror. For events in your neighborhood, see your local indy paper or cook some rice and stew and have your own Felabration. For those on college campuses a la African Student Unions/OASIS, this could be an opportunity to put an important part of African music culture on display on your campus. Take your boom box to the center of campus (like the PIT) and get your Felabration on. Otherwise mark the date on your calendar so that next year you can go all out. Anyways I am doing to online research for your 'enjoyment pleasure'. For those of you who are just being introduced to Fela and can't comprehend, think of it in this way Fela is to Africa what Michael Jackson of the 80's is to America.
Let's Get Interactive: For those of you who grew up listening to Fela, chanced upon the music genre or were witnesses to his legacy, what does Fela, his music and his legacy mean to you? What are your opinions about his personae, the controversy surrounding him, his message, his lifestyle,his use of marijuana, his religion, Kalakuta Republic, his followers, his death etc. Basically share with everyone what FELA/ Afrobeat culture means to you.
Here's a video selection of Fela doing what he does best
Sunday, October 08, 2006
SPECIAL ALL WEEK PRESENTATION
An Addy, Google and YouTube Collabo