Why Fela’s Statue At Allen Roundabout Was Pulled Down
Regular commuters in the Ikeja area of Lagos state especially Allen Avenue would no doubt have seen the statue of afro-beat legend, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti.
But don’t be surprised if the next time you pass through Allen Roundabout, the statue is nowhere to be found; this is because the Lagos State government has pulled it down.
The Liberation Statue, unveiled on Fela’s 79th birthday in 2017 by Akinwunmi Ambode, was built to “celebrate a man who voluntarily turned his back on a life of comfort and privilege, and took up his saxophone as a weapon to fight for the liberation of our people from neo-colonialism and bad governance.”
The statue has now been taken down because it is located at one of the four roundabouts the administration of Babajide Sanwo-Olu identified as ‘a major cause of gridlock in Lagos State’. The other roundabouts are at Ikotun, Lekki-Epe Expressway and Maryland.
However, Gboyega Akosile, a spokesman for the governor, said the artwork will be relocated to an area where it won’t cause traffic.
Fela was born in 1938, into a family that was firmly middle class, musically inclined (thanks to his father who was a talented pianist) as well as politically active.
He later founded a communal compound-cum-recording studio and rehearsal space he called the Kalakuta Republic, and a nightclub, the Shrine; in which he releassed songs that are still reverred for as long as time permits.