Fela came back to life yesterday, his spirit and presence took over the world yesterday, even the internet and we felt it that he was with us again, like he never left, though it’s been twenty years since his ancestorization but everything about the great Abami Eda is still alive and living, he was a god.
Usually for Industry Nite like Dede said is for the yoppy guys but it took a different turn last night, it was the celebration of a god, an icon that his followers did not believe he’s dead but alive, alive in the air and in everything we do, especially in our music and our confidence as Africans, many has got different experience of him, many like me never had the chance to meet him while he was alive, which that is one of many people’s dream, to meet and experience that man that has death in his pouch.
In these part of the world, rain is seen as a sign of blessing, a sign that Olodumare is pleased with us, it rained almost all through yesterday, taking short breaks though but kept on drizzling, the venue for Industry Nite changed too, to a new location, this episode of the event was tagged “The Black Power Night” it was a night to celebrate the Abami Eda, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, celebrating his twentieth year since he’s left earth, not just any artist could conjure the presence of Fela back to live, no, only few people can, not even all the ones that he trained, but one person can aside from Femi, Fela biological son, Dede Mabiaku is another person that can bring Fela to life and he did last night at the Industry Nite.
Like we all know, these people don’t just preach Nigeria or Africa or the truth, they practice it, they live by what they believe in, he has been an advocate of bettering Nigeria, he came wearing his green color dominated kente tailor made long sleeve shirt and pant that fit and an orange dominated color kente loafers. Before he came to the stage his band was already on stage, opening the stage, with chants and tunes that was setting the mood, evoking the presence of Fela to the room, while concert goers where already enjoying the tune and expecting Dede, with many not knowing what they are about to experience, he came on stage, walked in from the basement to the stage with his friends cheering for him and already the room was filled with the energy that is required to experience Dede, to experience Fela and he came to stage with his cigarette in his hand and the energy doubled.
He told the crowd that they don’t know what they are in for tonight but he’ll be bringing Fela’s Presence to life, because it’s been twenty years since he’s been gone, since his ancestorization and like he said we didn’t know what we were in for. He performed popular tunes of Fela, the first song he ever performed with Fela when he joined the band back in 1989 “Omi” Water, that was his opening rendition for the night and that was how the night kicked off, with old money in the house to enjoy Fela and Dede’s sound, at some time he’ll break to address the crowd, to talk about our economy and we as humans, how we need to fight for our right but without bloodshed and war, even he talked about how much women spend on wigs, doing a random math of the cost of their hair and if possible they could save those money they use in buying those hair, how many hospitals they could build and how many lives they could save, calling them our mothers, even about Buhari the president of Nigeria on how he has not been fair to the image he’s trying to paint about transparency and truth, talking on how if he was true he would have been able to build an hospital when he came to power to cater for the needs of its citizens and now he’s traveled abroad for weeks now to go get treatment, talking if he could have built hospitals that could function in that capacity he could have save the country money.
Executhieves, Legislathieves and the different arms of thieves of the government he sang about, at one point he brought the head of the Fela clan on stage as he played the tunes of Fela like it was Baba himself that was on the keyboard, his girls brought life to the stage as they move rhythmically to the sounds of Afro Beat, from the signature dance for the women of this culture, dancing with their “Yanch” rolling and whining to the tune and the stepping afro beat possessed movement with the hands and legs moving to the accord of what the tune dictate for the men.
Hours he performed, and fans were not tired, the spirit and energy of Fela engulfed us all. Though before Dede came on stage opening acts like The Gem Stones “Ruby and Pearl” thrill fans, Tu Burner came with the young fire of Afro Beat, he lit the stage, brought that never thought Fela energy and vibe to the house, even Adegboyega came with the spirit of Fela with his black saxophone, he got the attention of everybody, lot’s of energy at this Industry Nite “Black Power Night”
We caught up with Dede Mabiaku at the back stage after his performance and it was a lovely time with him there as we got to meet his younger sister Ese and her friend Iyabo and Oyemi, as we got to talk about our memories of Fela and where we were when we heard of his death, it was fun, and this year Felabration will be different, you don’t want to miss it I bet you.
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