Monday, August 3, 2009

a violation of the spirit of Fela Kuti

In the Vanguard, Femi Kuti, son of the famed Nigerian afro-beat rocker Fela Kuti, speaks his mind on the Lagos government's shut-down of the great music hall founded by his father, the Afrika Shrine:

“It was opened one week after it was closed. We were given 48 hours to address some issues and after they were served papers. Before the time they were given to address those issues passed, the government swooped in and closed Shrine down.”

According to Femi, the government held his management responsible for the profusion of street traders who sell to music-loving revelers. Femi’s answer: "It is left for them [the government] to clear the street traders and not a job for Afrika Shrine."

The government also said it closed the Shrine for noise pollution violations and creating traffic jams. To this, Femi responded that "Fashola [Babatunde Fashola, governor of Lagos State] should close down all Churches and Mosques. The security men placed there by Fashola should do their job and control traffic effectively.”

Femi was particularly irked that "Fashola banned street parties one week before Felabration," the annual celebration of Fela's birthday. Fela would have turned 70 this year.

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