As part of the celebrations to mark the 80th posthumous birthday of Nigerian musical icon, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, the annual festival to commemorate the life and times of the Afrobeat legend opened on Wednesday with schools debate at Freedom Park, Lagos State.
No fewer than 10 public and private secondary schools across Lagos participated in the debate, with the theme, “Should State Police be introduced in Nigeria?”
Felabration is an annual music festival conceived in 1998 by Yeni Anikulapo-Kuti in memory and celebration of her father, Fela.
The participating schools include Vivan Fowler Memorial College, Rainbow College, Baptist Academy, Epe Girls Senior Secondary School, and Herbert Macauley Senior girls High School.
Others are Ajara Senior Grammer School, Ejigbo Senior High School, Ipakodo Senior Grammer School, Aunty Ayo International School, and Dr Lucas memorial senior school, all based in Lagos.
Rainbow College came first in the debate while all the participating schools were rewarded with a complete Keyboard set.
The first, second and third winners were given, HP laptop, Samsung Galaxy tablet, Techno tablet, and an itel phone.
According to Yeni, the debate was to encourage intellectualism among young minds.
She said Fela had his intellectual side and he believed so much in intellectual debates.
Yeni also said she wanted Felebration to stand the test of time so that her father’s message will live on.
Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka, was also present at the event.
Soyinka advised the students to differentiate between rhetorics and politics. According to him whoever wants to go into politics should be prepared for the worse.
Some notable On-Air personalities like Yaw, Shola Mogaji, Olajumoke Alawode James, Morayo Afolabi Brown and Akashat Zibir Nima were present at the event.
The renowned Afrobeat legend was known for his showmanship, and his concerts were often quite outlandish and wild.
His songs were mostly sung in Nigerian Pidgin English, although he also performed a few songs in the Yoruba language.
Fela’s main instruments include the saxophone and the keyboards, but he also played the trumpet, electric guitar, and took the occasional drum solo.
He has been called “superstar, singer, musician, Panafricanist, polygamist, mystic, legend.” At the height of his popularity, he was referred to as one of Africa’s most “challenging and charismatic music performers
He referred to his stage act as the “Underground” Spiritual Game.
See some photos from the event:
Photo credit: Oluwafemi Dawodu