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Why Fela’s Statue At Allen Roundabout Was Pulled Down

Fela Kuti Headless Statue around Allen avenue

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 demolished statue of Fela and ongoing construction | Photo: TheCable

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.

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