Afrobeat Culture Federator


Thursday 10 March 2011 by Mabinuori Idowu (aka ID)

This second part of our three part video streaming series, dedicated to the unsung heroes of our struggle in Kalakuta Republic - all those young men and women who alongside Fela were consistently brutalized and arbitrarily jailed by the Nigerian police and army, is consecrated on political movement and social movement in Nigeria the phenomenon Fela Anikulapo-Kuti.

Prior to the release of the first part of Fela Speaks, some opinion out there question the right of people like us to question the kind of image being touted of Fela when we are not members of the KUTI family. With Fela’s answer to the question: “Apart from your immediate family who is the person you hold in very high esteem” we hope, people can understand where people like us are coming from! Without no pretence and no apologies, in this second part, we present our viewers the essence of Fela’s message and struggle from a deep and authentic experience and knowledge of the man. This is a far cry from the brand name FELA portrayed as an indecisive man running to his mother for assurance and inspiration and championing polygamy - which was not the reason for his mass marriage. How can anybody imagine putting-up a comedy musical about Mandela without talking about his struggle and his political movement?

Our viewers will also have answers to how and why the social movement Young African Pioneers was formed, which social class largely dominated the YAP? Was it a formal organization that had constitution, board of officers and offices, or it was an informal movement of like-minded people who wanted to change the then Nigerian polity? Did the whole idea of YAP revolve around Fela as a person or Fela and YAP were two different institutions? What were the main issues that Fela and the YAP were protesting? What was the political situation in Nigeria then? What attitude did the Nigerian civil society have towards the political situation? What explains this type of attitudes? Why Fela chose to and was able to resist the establishment as at that time, considering the fact that he was confronting a highly ill-tempered post civil war military? Is the YAP still alive or it died when Fela died 1n 1997? Are the issues Fela protested still relevant in the Nigerian polity today?

Answers to the questions above is what we mean in the first part of Fela Speaks: “With the arrival of the year 2011, and the expectation of the REAL explosion world-wide of Fela the man and what he stood for.” To make the video less academic and more agreeable to assimilate we propose our audience extracts of Fela’s unpublished work ‘BBC’ Big Blind Country in the background – like earlier said: ‘please pass the message. Short Break!

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