Fela Kuti was one of the most influential artists in Nigeria during his time, his music challenged corruption, police brutality and the political sins committed by the government. He was a mouthpiece for the ordinary Nigerian, unapologetic in his lyrics and lifestyle, disliked by authority but loved by the people.
Fela first began performing at The Afrika Shrine in 1971. The Shrine was not only a gig venue for the Afrobeat's founder but was also a space for Fela to speak on political matters, pay homage to the ancestors and gods, unite people from all walks of life and challenge the social norms expected of people at the time.
It gained a notorious reputation as the militarised government were greatly opposed to Fela and had been engaged in a number of violent incidents involving Fela and his family around this time. In 1977 it was raided by police and soldiers attacked and burnt it down. Although the majority of Nigerians were proud supporters of Fela and his Kalakuta republic, there were people that sided with the government.
Nowadays it's been renamed the 'New Afrika Shrine' and hosts the annual Felabration festival in honour of it's original founder Fela Kuti. Celebrating his legacy and reminded us of his legend.
By: Ade B. ︎