By: Eunice Poku
FELA comes to Lagos, Nigeria, at the Expo Centre, Eko Hotel, Victoria Island. The hit Broadway musical that received rave reviews in New York returns to where it all began, Lagos, Nigeria.
My husband and I had the pleasure of seeing the show in New York City a year ago. We were highly impressed with the show’s depiction of the famed musician. We especially enjoyed the audience participation in the 12 0’clock, 3 o’clock, and 9 0’ clock waist gyrations (You have to see it to know what I am talking about).
Who was FELA? Some call him the Bob Marley of Africa as he used his music to address the political instability, corruption, and struggle of his country, Nigeria. Fela Anikulapo- Kuti was born in 1938 in Lagos, Nigeria. Anikulapo means "he who carries death in his pouch."
His music was a soulful combination of Afrobeat from all over the world. His message mostly spanned around the culture of his people and the injustices of the world. He was considered Africa’s most creative Afrobeat musician, anti military dictatorship activist, and a pan-Africanist.
FELA unfortunately died in 1997, at the tender age of 58 due to complications with AIDS but left a lasting legacy that Bill T. Jones has brought to life since November 2009 at the Eugene O’Neil theatre in New York City.
The cast consists of several African and American actors who bring to life on stage the life of FELA and the African Shrine with its live band and seductive women performers.
The production of the Tony Award winning musical, FELA, has been backed by superstars such as Jay-Z and Will and Jada Pinkett Smith. Celebrities such as First Lady, Michelle Obama, Alicia Keys, Spike Lee, and Madonna have all seen the show as well.
I am sure that Nigerians will enjoy the show as much as the people in the U.S. The FELA casts will run production from April 20 –April 25. Tickets range from N5,000.00 to N35,000.00.