What is Felabration?
Felabration is an annual music festival held in Lagos, Nigeria, to celebrate and honour the late Nigerian musical and political maverick, Fela Anikulapo Kuti who during his days fought for Nigeria and Africa to become a better place and a land without polio and political shenanigans.
Felabration was birthed in 1998 by Yeni Anikulapo-Kuti, the first child and daughter of Fela Anikulapo Kuti. The music festival holds at the New Afrika Shrine in Ikeja which was a replacement of the old Afrika Shrine established by Fela in 1970 before it was razed in 1977 by some ‘unidentified’ military men.
Felabration is a one week festival that comes alive during the birthday week of Fela Kuti with so many thrilling and educating activities which include parades, photo exhibitions, art competition, afrobeat dance contest, debate and musical performances from top Nigerian music artists and internationally recognized musicians.
It has never failed to be such a colourful, lustrous and bonding festival as music and art lovers from different parts of the world attend since its inception in 1988, and one might wonder how much the entry ticket to the music festival cost, surprisingly, Felabration is free!
“Felabration is more than a music festival; the same goes for Fela Kuti who pioneered Afrobeats, he was more than a musician. Fela is now an idea that can never die, a legacy that stands not to crumble at anytime and a voice that ignites the spirit of true nationalism and liberation”.
– Teslim Opemipo Omipidan, CEO, OldNaija.com
Who was Fela Anikulapo Kuti?
Olufela Olusegun Oludotun Anikulapo Kuti simply called Fela Kuti or Fela was born in Abeokuta, the capital of present-day Ogun State on the 15th of October, 1938 to the family of Ransome-Kuti.
He attended Abeokuta Grammar School and then Trinity College of Music, London, in 1958 where he was supposed to study medicine but studied music instead. Fela followed his music path till he became an internationally recognized musician and human rights activist.
He tackled corruption riddled governments as well as ideas and policies inimical to the good people of Nigeria and Africa with his only weapon, music, till his death on the 2nd August, 1997.
Thanks for reading, OldNaija.com
- Grass, Randall F. (1 January 1986). “Fela Anikulapo-Kuti: The Art of an Afrobeat Rebel”. The Drama Review: TDR. 30
- Omipidan, Teslim; OldNaija.com “Five Rare And Pitiable Photos Of Fela Kuti After The Attack On His House, Kalakuta Republic In 1977”
- Fela Kuti: Music is the Weapon. Directors Jean-Jacques Flori and Stephane Tchalgadjieff. 1982. Universal Import. March 2004.
- Omipidan, Teslim; OldNaija.com “How and Why ‘Unknown Soldiers’ Invaded Fela’s Home (Kalakuta Republic) in 1977”
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