Bits, pieces of 2018 Felabration… overtaking overtake
This year’s edition of Felabration, an annual music festival conceived in 1988 in memory and celebration of late Afrobeat pioneer, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, may have ended but the frills and thrills will last longer with those that experience the event.
With Tuface Idibia and Davido as headline acts, the impressive artiste line up for the event, which was themed: Overtaking Overtake, had the opening day of this year’s event delivered some energetic performances, hence signaling what was to be expected in the weeklong festival.
This year’s event, which began on Monday, October 15 at the New Afrikan Shrine, marked the 80th post-humous birthday of the one referred and revered as the Abami Eda, and played host to artistes like Koker, Qdot, Project Fame alumni Olawale and Klever Jay.
Indeed a night of real fun, exciting performances and memorable highlights. It began with a command performance from the Positive Force led by the new Afrobeat king and scion of the progenitor of the genre, Femi Kuti, as they rendered songs like Overtake Don Overtake.
There was also an Afrobics competition, which was won by young dancer Onome Utogo, as the night witnessed a large turnout of fans, including regular visitors and first timers to the festival.
The fun continued on Tuesday, October 16, with Ric Hassani and Made Kuti’s performances. Other artistes on parade on the night included YQ, Artquake, Dapo Turbuna, Airboy and Fuji singer, Remi Aluko.
Day three, Wednesday, October 17, saw dancehall star, Timaya blowing fans away with melodious tunes. The self-style Egberi Papa 1 of Bayelsa, who is known for his magical stage performances, as usual engaged the fans with some of his hit songs.
Apart from Timaya, Illbliss, Simi, Dammy Krane and the recently unveiled member of the Positive Force Band, Made Kuti, were among those who got the fans dancing all night.
Just like the other acts, Afrobeat maestro and patriarch of the Kuti dynasty, Femi Kuti was also on hand to thrill the fans who couldn’t wait for his performance with his band, The Positive Force.
For the fourth day, Fuji artiste and Orobokibo master, Wasiu Ajibola Alabi well known as Pasuma Wonder, Mavin Record star, Reekado Banks and the recently unveiled Lifebouy Nigeria ambassador, Omawumi made the festival a memorable event with their performances.
Pasuma as usual thrilled guests, dishing out a full dose of his Fuji music to the excited fans. Reekado Banks not letting down his guard was also on fire with so much energy as he thrilled fans with his hit songs. In the same vein, Omawumi came on stage with high-level energy and didn’t leave without a word to the youths against vote buying.
Also, Blackmagic brought his magic to this year’s event and impressed the crowd who sang along to his tunes. The night also had the Positive Force opening performances with Femi Kuti leading the band and his son, Made showing what he’s made of. As usual, the night witnessed a large turnout of fans, including regular visitors, foreigners and first timers to the festival.
Jagaban crooner, Ycee and self-styled Alaga Ibile, Reminisce kept the energy up on Friday, October 19, when they took the stage to mark the fifth day of Felabration 2018. Ycee put the crowd on synchronised control when he began his song Omo Alhaji, and they could not help it when they started to chant in chorus ‘Jagaban’. Reminisce turned up more relaxed in appearance but still kept it 100 with cool flows and witty hood slangs in Yoruba.
The week-long music fiesta climaxed on Sunday, October 21, with fans soaked in the intensity of not just good music, but also the atmosphere no thanks to marijuana and cigarette smoke that saturated the air and skoochies that flowed freely at the concert.
The Shrine, which is usually at its peak during Felabration, became electrified on Sunday as ardent followers of the weird one and lovers of Afrobeat music turned up on the night to partake in the grand finale of the festival.
A walk round the well-lit premises of the shrine in the wee hours of the night, it was parked full of fun seekers who were out to catch a glimpse of what was happening inside the entertainment sanctuary.
Going by what happens at the shrine, no one expected to see Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo at the venue but amid wild excitement and cheers from the audience the VP dressed in trademark native attire made a cameo appearance on the stage, beaming with smiles.
After a warm reception led by Femi Kuti, Osinbajo started his speech with ‘Arararara’ being the slang expression, which Fela used to tickle his fans. “We are here to celebrate one of Africa’s public intellectuals, we are happy that his legacy has continued,” he said.
The festival ended on a high note with Davido shutting down the musical event with his performance. Just like Wizkid’s arrival at 2017 Felabration, Davido’s arrival at the Shrine was somewhat a melodrama.
The 30 billion and Assurance singer arrived in the company of his crew, which included artistes on his Davido Music World (DMW) label — Mayorkun, Peruzzi, DMO, security detail, and personal bouncers. It took the joint effort of mobile policemen and security agents attached to the Shrine to put the crowd at bay.
The self-proclaimed Omo Baba Olowo (O.B.O) dished out several tracks from his musical works leaving the crowd high on a full dose of his Afropop music. He proclaimed his uncle, Senator Ademola Adeleke, the standard of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the recently held Osun State governorship election as governor, whilst showcasing the sign of the Neo Black Movement (NBM), and this was greeted with shouts of Aye.
For a first timer to Felabration, the high temperature in the main hall, gallery and VIP sections is enough to discourage future attendance. Sweat flowed freely on the faces of the attendees, while the ceiling fans were not enough to make everyone be at ease.
Over the years, Felabration has been widely celebrated by fans both within and outside the country and has attracted a wide pool of superstars from all over the world including the late South African Jazz musician, Hugh Masakela, Raggae superstar, Lucky Dube Wizkid, Awilo Longomba, Baba Maal, Les Nubians, King Sunny Ade, Burna Boy, Lagbaja, Asa and Tuface Idibia to name a few.