Kudos, knocks trail Felabration 2018
It was a mixed bag of kudos and knocks as fans of late Afrobeat music maestro, Fela Kuti gathered at New Afrika Shrine to mark the 80th posthumous birthday of the Afro-beat maestro.
The week-long music fiesta finally ended on Sunday, 21st of October 2018 with the fans soaked in the intensity of not just good music, but also the atmosphere no thanks to marijuana and cigarette smoke that saturated the air and skoochies that flowed freely at the concert .
The sweet and sour memories will remain indelible in the minds of the ‘worshippers’ gathered at the music ‘sanctuary’.
The Afrika Shrine which is usually at the peak of its life during Felabration became electrified on Sunday as the ‘congregrants’ wanted to partake in the grand finale.
In the dead of that Sunday night, the well-lit premises of the shrine was crowded by fun seekers who wanted to catch a glimpse of what was happening inside the hallowed entertainment arena.
Svelte humour merchant, Omo Baba was the sole host of the week -long concert. It was a show of fun and razzmatazz spiced with exciting music performances from Femi Kuti, Seun Kuti, Pasuma, Omawumi, Adekunle Gold, Daddy Showkey, Oritsefemi, Davido, Simi, Wande Coal, Doyinsola, Timaya, Niniola and others.
Felabration 2018 had so many unforgettable exciting moments that will remain etched in the minds of those who attended. Below are some of those moments.
Felabration has officially become the only Nigerian concert where you would undoubtedly get entertained without breaking the bank. The kind of stage dexterity and vocal deftness exhibited was laudable. The likes of Pasuma, 2face Idibia, Sound Sultan, and Davido who are usually heavily paid for such events gave incredible performances and also performed alongside their live bands.
Osinbajo’s cameo appearance
Who would expect to see the revered Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo at the shrine? However with wild excitement from the audience and cheers, the Vice president made a cameo appearance on the stage. He was dressed in shiny black native attire, beaming with smiles.
After a warm reception led by Femi Kuti, the Vice president started his speech with ‘Arararara’ being the slang expression with which Fela used to tickle his fans. He said: “We are here to celebrate one of Africa’s public intellectuals, we are happy that his legacy has continued”.
Made Kuti’s moment of glory
Making a surprise appearance at about past 2a.m, when most people were still having a great time sipping their alcohol and smoking Marijuana, the crowd went wild with jubilation as Femi Kuti mounted the stage.
The high-point of his performance was when his son, Made played the saxophone and surprisingly sustained a note on the saxophone for over 5 minutes, just like his father does. The crowd cheered him on and his held that note with dexterity.
The Sour Moments
Life itself is a blend of sweet and sour moments. The sour moments couldn’t just be ignored at Felabration 2018.
Disregard for journalists
Though the organisers did their best to treat journalists who covered the week-long concert well, the overzealous bouncers and members of the Felabration planning committee still assaulted some journalists despite wearing their press tags. A particular journalist was manhandled by the security men despite wearing his press tag. Anyone who tried to caution or call them to order got a taste of their brutality.
The Davido stampede
Just like Wizkid’s arrival at Felabration of 2017 last year, Davido’s arrival at the Shrine can be compared to a melodrama. The Afro-pop star arrived in the company of his crew which included his security detail, personal bouncers and artistes. It took the joint effort of mobile policemen and security agents attached to the Shrine to put the crowd at bay.
Everyone who attended the grand finale of Felabration on that Sunday had something to say about the tale of discomfort as the main hall, gallery and VIP sections were filled to capacity, despite charging a gate fee of N1,000.
The temperature was too hot as sweat flowed freely on the faces of the attendees.The ceiling fans were not enough to make everyone be at ease.