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Offside from Felabration 2016


The 2016 Felabration, an annual celebration of the Afrobeat legend, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, may have ended but there are offside from the event as one person, whose name was not welcome at the event was Dede Mabiaku.

Mabiaku, a protégé of the Abami Eda, learnt music at the feet of the Nigerian icon, and for more than 10 years, he was an integral part of the Afrobeat progenitor’s daily life and his Egypt 80 band.

Dede as called by all, opened all Fela’s local and international shows, performing on vocals and playing the saxophone. However, findings showed that since Fela’s death and Felabration was birth 18 years ago, he has never performed at the annual festival despite his close ties with the late Afrobeat master.

At this year’s Felabration, precisely on October 15, which was the climax, his name came up at the concert, and rather than elicit joy, it drew anger from the Afrobeat icon, Femi Kuti.

Femi was enjoying a performance with ghetto soldier singer and commander, Daddy Showkey, and the duo performed a number of Showkey’s hit songs, including ‘Diana’. And Showkey, in the spirit of the event, asked that Mabiaku be invited to Felabration, but Femi’s countenance was changed immediately upon the sound of the name Dede Mabiaku and took out time to respond to the request.

In his words: “he claims he is Fela’s son, but anytime we do anything for Fela, he never shows up. We don’t pay anybody to come for Felabration; we just mention Fela’s name and artiste turn up because of their love for Fela. So anybody wey wan shakara us make he go die.”

Femi spoke more about Dede’s lack of support to Felabration, and how he has not contributed to the movement.

In an interview granted to Global Excellence September 2016. Dede had claimed that he had not been invited by the Kutis to come perform at Felabration, adding that he doesn’t have any issue with Femi or Yeni. He, however, stated that he has not been invited by them to perform at Felabration.

But the founder of the Global Entertainment Festival, organisers of the Felabration, Yeni Anikulapo-Kuti, had in 2015, said that there is no rift between her and Dede Mabiaku, and neither was there problem between Dede and her family. “I am not fighting Dede. When we meet we greet and we talk,” she said.

This year’s edition of the music festival had the finest of Nigeria acts country, come forward to pay their respects via performances and stories about the greatness of Fela Anikulakpo Kuti.

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