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October 15, 2018 - October 21, 2018
Felabration is a funkadelic music festival that celebrates Fela Anikulapo-Kuti’s life, his enormous influence on Nigerian society, and the Afrobeat genre. It’s held annually on the week of his birthday at the colorful New Afrika Shrine in Ikeja, Lagos State. The week-long concert maintains the same infectious energy that Fela possessed decades ago, bringing a wealth of artists from all over the world to keep the rhythm pulsing. Local Nigerian artists and international acts grace the stage with notes of Afrobeat, hip-hop, R&B and jazz, among many others. The amount of talent that descends upon this West African hot spot speaks volumes about Fela’s status as a global icon.
The festivals always include various creatively diverse activities. ‘The Fela Debates’, symposium series, the secondary schools debate for schools in Lagos State, Dance Troupes, Photo Exhibitions, The Fela Street Carnival Parade with musical floats and costumed dancers The Fela Week Partners events and much more. Felabration offer an exhilarating week-long festivity celebrating the iconic status of Africa’s best known musical figure, and best of all, it remains mostly free!
2018 Theme: Overtaking, Overtake
In ‘Overtake Don Overtake Overtake’, Fela sings about the effects of usurpation of power and the degradation of fledgling African democracies. His grievance is that, in saner climes, the duty of the armed forces is to defend and support the civil government; not to overthrow it or usurp the duties of any branch of government. To do the contrary is to ‘Overtake-overtake’. Any vision of a prosperous and tranquil country with the military at the helm of power is nothing but an illusion.
The year is 2018. Persistent scandals and corruption at the highest level of power – a hallmark of successive regimes since 1960 – helps in putting Fela’s disillusionment with the military in perspective. Several civilian administrations have come and gone, yet a similar thread still runs through the fabric of the nation – overtake still dey overtake overtake. Therefore, as to celebrate Fela Anikulakpo Kuti posthumously at 80, Felabration seeks to empower the people through art, dance, music and intellectual discourse with the belief that together we shall succeed in ‘ Overtaking Overtake’. Welcome to Felabration 2018!
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Photo Courtesy of Felabration