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Felabration 2019… Sounds of Afrobeat ‘From Lagos With Love’


Fans Go Wild With Burnaboy
With the successful host of the first ever UK installment of Felabration, an annual festival of music and arts that commemorates the life and legacy of Nigerian’s foremost musical icon and Afrobeat progenitor, the late Fela Anikulakpo Kuti, this year’s celebration of the festival in Nigeria, which usually holds in October, no doubt has lived to its hypes as one major music and art event, particularly with array of programmes.

From the Afrobics Dance Competition to School Debate with the theme: No Person Above 70 Should Be Allowed To Contest Political Office, which held at Freedom Park, Lagos Island, the Art competition with the theme: Teacher Don’t Teach Me Nonsense, that held at the Kalakuta Museum, Ikeja and 2019 Symposium, which has as theme: Teacher Don’t Teach Me Nonsense and held at NECA House, Ikeja, the organisers of the annual week-long festivity indeed has it all planned out for the 2019 edition, which has as central theme: From Lagos With Love.

The non-stop party, which began on October 14, at the New Afrika Shrine and climaxes tomorrow, had Afrobeat sensation and BET 2019 Best International Act winner, Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu, popularly known as Burna Boy as headliner alongside other entertainers.

The New Afrika Shrine, venue of gig was packed full as the Killin Dem performed on October 15, which was Fela Anikulapo Kuti’s birth date. The highly energized atmosphere was further charged when the much-acclaimed ‘African Giant’, who by no means fell short of expectations at the musical concert, mounted the stage and thrilled fans with his electrifying performance.

As expected, Burna Boy, serenaded fans with his rave of the moment hit singles including Ye, Dangote, Tonight, Killin Dem, On The Low and Another Story, a song that recounts the events surrounding the nation’s freedom from British rule. He got the teaming crowd dancing with his remarkable Zanku dance moves while performing at the concert.

Other artistes on parade on the night include one Naija’s finest indigenous rap artiste, Sodiq Abubakar Yusuf, popularly known as CDQ, who thrilled afrobeat music lovers with some of his back to back hits from Say Baba, Onye Eze, Nawo E Soke, Flex to Were Yo among others.Rapper and 2017 winner of BBNaija Double Wahala, Efe Ejeba well known as Efe or Efemoney was also stage with his popular hit Warri, which he performed with contagious energy. There was Martinsfeels, Lyta, Bella Shmurda, Maka, Killy, Kholi, Tzay, Moxziey, FMG, Sim, Samiyo, and Steve Black among others.

Felabration, which began in 1998 and with the exception of 1999, has come to be an annual event that has grown exponentially every year, with a surge of concert goers visiting Lagos for the sole purpose of being a part of the musical jamboree.Over the years it has attracted well-known musicians from around the world, including late Hugh Masekela and Lucky Dube (South Africa), , Awilo Longomba (DRC), Baaba Maal (Senegal), Les Nubians (Chad/France), Newen Afrobeat (Chile), Sauti Sol (Kenya), King Sunny Ade, Lagbaja, Asa, 2Baba (Tuface Idibia), Wizkid, Davido and scion of the afrobeat progenitor, Femi Kuti, and his brother, Seun Kuti with the Egypt 80 band, among others.

According to Yeni Kuti, organiser of Felabration and the eldest daughter of the late Abami Eda (weird one), the school debate is efforts to sensitise young Nigerians in their teens, to the ideals of Africanism. She explained that 10 secondary schools — five privately owned and five public schools — Green Spring Schools Anthony Village, Oke Odo Senior Secondary School, Ronik Comprehensive College, Ipakodo Senior Secondary School, Vivian Fowler Memorial College, Epe Senior Secondary School, Baptist Academy Senior Secondary School, Randle Senior Secondary School, Rainbow College and Oregun Senior Secondary School, participated in the debate.

At the end of the keen contest, the Judges: Sola Mogaji, Kunle Bakare, Jumoke Alawode James, Chris Borha, Morayo Afolabi Brown, Nimaht Akashat Zibri declared Ipakodo Senior Grammar School Ikorodu winner, while Green Springs and Epe Senior Secondary School emerged as first runner-up (second position) and second runner-up (third position) respectively.

The art competition had as Judges: Prince Yemisi Shyllon, Mufu Onifade and Sarah Boulos, while legendary Fela’s albums cover designer, Lemi Ghariokwu was Special Guest of Honour. This coincided with the symposium tagged ‘The FELA Debates’.Yeni further explained that the Aerobics Dance Competition, which kicked off in May and ended on August 31, and opened to both genders, espoused the ideals of afrobeat dance, which has been described as the origin of what is today called the twerk.

Speaking on this year’s theme, she said, “We used Fela’s track, Eko Ile. You know, we are trying to draw people to Nigeria, tourists to Lagos, Abeokuta and that is how the theme came about. All of us that are in the Felabration committee, none of us lives abroad, we all live in Nigeria and nobody really wants to go and live abroad. You know that Fela’s song? Kosibiti mole gborile, kosi oo a fi eko Ile (There is no where I can put my head but Lagos). That is what inspired the theme.

This year’s Felabration symposium had Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Akala, a London based Black African musician, poet and political activist; Bobi Wine, from Uganda and Professor Akin Oyebode, while author, Sefi Atta was the moderator.So we have Pan African Orchestra coming from Ghana.Meanwhile, Felabration 2019 will also take place at Indigo at The O2 in London, UK, on 30 August, with performances from Awilo Longomba, Falz, Harrysong, A.star, Eugy, BM, Sona, Drumz with Atumpan, Mr 2Kay, Hotyce, Shiikane, Tomi Agape, Damibliz, and others.

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