Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Faces Backlash In Nigeria Over Fela



Nigeria just lost its opportunity to make its first appearance in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as Fela Anikulapo Kuti missed out on the class of 2021 despite garnering the second highest votes.

Nigerians, however, have expressed displeasure and even shock over the exclusion of Fela Kuti, as an inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for 2021.

This is the first time Fela is being nominated to the prestigious Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Question marks flooded social media: Wait, what just happened?

Nigerian fans could understand why the Fan Vote’s top winner, Turner, was inducted, as well as third-placers the Go-Go’s and fifth-placers Foo Fighters. Amusingly: Jay-Z, who was last, earned a spot.

The multi-instrumentalist and Afrobeat legend is one of the most prominent music industry figures in African history, which was reflected in the Fan Vote: Kuti placed second among voters with his very first nomination, ahead of the Go-Go’s, Iron Maiden, and Foo Fighters.

The question became, how did Jay-Z get inducted and Fela Kuti wasn’t?




Felabration: Gov Ambode Celebrates Legendary Fela

Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Sunday evening attended a special event tagged Lagos Jump to celebrate the legendary Nigerian artist, Fela Anikulapo Kuti.

The event which was held at the New Afrika Shrine in Ikeja, Lagos was used to round-off Felabration 2017 celebration in 79th posthumous birthday celebration of the legend.

Wale Ojo To Produce “Fela” Inspired Musical

wale ojoThe actor Wale Ojo is on the verge of producing a musical movie, Kalakuta Express, inspired by Afrobeats legend, Fela Anikulapo Kuti.

Wale Ojo gave Entertainment News on Channels Television the scoop after a jaw dropping 2 hour long musical performance of some the icon’s hits at Freedom Park, Lagos.

Wale, a hot shot in Nollywood said he couldn’t hide his love for music even though he has been an actor all his life.

“Singing good music has been my dream”, he said, adding that he is more of an entertainer by bringing his acting into his music.

“But what I do is to combine the both”.

Watch that performance here:

Falana Berates Treatment of Poor Nigerians By Law Enforcement Agencies

Femi FalanaA Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, on Wednesday berated the culture of parading suspects by Nigerian law enforcement agencies, noting that only poor citizens were treated in such ways.

Falana, who was a guest on Sunrise Daily, described the act of parading suspects who have not been pronounced guilty by the Court, as illegal.

“Apart from the EFCC and the Customs, all law enforcement agencies in Nigeria engage in the illegal parade of criminal suspects,” he said, explaining that the act is “prejudicial to the right of the accused person’s right to fair hearing.

“When you arrest a suspect, before investigation, or in the middle of investigation, or even upon conclusion of investigation, you rush to the media to parade them (suspects) and tell the whole world (that), they’ve made confessions and statements.”

The trend, he said is contrary to the provisions of the right to fair hearing guaranteed by Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution and Article 7 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights Act.

Falana went further to state that the illegal act was a “class matter” as the agencies usually parade poor individuals.

“If you look at it, it’s a class matter. You only parade the poor. I’ve never seen a situation where a former governor or a big shot in the society was paraded.”

“It’s limited to the poor. Armed robbery suspects, 419 boys (not the big ones), yahoo yahoo boys and ordinary people; but with respect to the rich, you dare not do that.”

Falana recounted an occasion when late Afrobeats icon, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, was paraded by the NDLEA, noting that, “that organisation regretted the action because we went to court and sued for colossal damages”.

“At that time (I think 1997) we were asking the NDLEA to pay a 100 million Naira for parading Fela”, who had signed an exhibit form and added “in chains” to show that he had signed under duress.

According to Falana, the prosecution team was forced to beg that the case be settled out of court, as Fela had made a mockery of the system.

The lawyer stated that the act of parading a suspect could be described as “trial by media”, noting that, upon conclusion of investigations, it may be revealed that the suspect is innocent and so he may be released, because he has not been charged to court.

The Police, or the State Security Service or any of the other agencies have no power to pronounce the guilt or otherwise of a suspect, because under our law, there is presumption of innocence which is in favour of a suspect.”

Hence, until a suspect is pronounced guilty or otherwise by a Court, after having gone through a trial, you dare not pronounce guilt, Falana noted, adding that most of the confessional statements obtained by the agencies are not admissible in court, because they are obtained by torture and all manner of illegal means.

Speaking on the Nigerian justice system, Falana talked about several laws which are not respected by security agencies, especially when poor people are concerned.

He noted that although it is not compulsory for persons taken to the Police Station to write statements, officers are known for torturing people who choose not to write them.

He also said that although the law allows an accused person to seek counsel from his lawyer before making any statement, the Police is known to bar lawyers from meeting their clients at the police station.

“All these rights are not respected, with respect to the poor but when it comes to the rich, you talk of “invitation”. You don’t invite the poor. You invade their houses and arrest them; But when the EFCC, the Police wants to have what they call interaction with a big man or a big woman, you write politely”, he said.

17 Years After Death, Fela Lives

felakutiAugust 2, 2014 makes it 17 years since the pioneer of Afro-beat music genre, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, passed away, however, his music continues to inspire millions across the world.

The prominent Nigerian multi-instrumentalist, musician, composer, died on August 2, 1997 at the age of 58.

Some of his hit songs include Open and Close, Sorrow Tears and Blood, Water No Get Enemy, Upside Down, Coffin for Head of State, International Thief Thief and Observation is no Crime.

Since his death, Fela’s music has influenced millions of fans both in Nigeria and all over the world.

Fela fearlessly criticised Nigeria’s government and religious elite over corruption, poverty, exploitation and social maladies. His struggle made him an icon of the black power movement. His songs repeatedly landed him in trouble with the authorities, including arrests and the allegedly burning of his compound, by soldiers.

Fela was married to 27 women on the same day, most of them his dancers.

In immortalising  his name, the Lagos State government provided the family with N40 million  (200,000 euros, $250,000) to set up a museum in Fela’s memory – which was opened in 2012, during “Felebration”, an annual series of events honouring Fela on his birthday

Fela’s nightclub in the Empire Hotel, first named the Afro-Spot and then the Afrika Shrine, where he both performed regularly, continues to be one of the major tourist attractions in Lagos.

His sons,Femi Kuti, who is the first son and Seun Kuti, the last son have followed in the foot-prints of the music legend. fela 2 fela 4
fela 3

Sadiq Daba and Deola Sagoe to Star in October 1

Ace broadcaster, Sadiq Daba and Nigerian fashion designer, Deola Sagoe will be starring in a new movie titled October 1st.

The $2m project which will have a collaboration of both Hollywood and Nollywood is produced and directed by renowned film maker, Kunle Afolayan.

Ms. Sagoe will be taking on the role of Funmilayo Ransom Kuti, the late mother of late Afrobeat musician Fela Anikulapo Kuti.

Fela, Tuface, Others To Be Inducted Into Broadcasting And Performing Art Hall of Fame

Members of the organising committee of the Hall of Fame for Broadcasting and Performing Arts (HFBPA) on Saturday listed the late Fela Anikulapo Kuti and Innocent Idibia popularly called Tuface among those to be inducted into the hall of fame this month.

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s weekend programme, the deputy chairman of the organising committee, Patrick Doyle said the purpose of the Hall of Fame was to recognise the work of distinguished broadcasters and performing artists.

“Annual awards where this year you win it; next year somebody else wins it, it not a true testament to the contribution of some people to either the performing art or broadcasting,” Mr Doyle said.

He added that “The idea of instituting a Hall of Fame for broadcasters and performing artists appealed to me because it is a more permanent way of recognising and celebrating their contributions to these two very important aspects of human existence.”

Africa stands up for Felabration

The 2012 edition of the annual Felabration was held at the African Shrine, an event which grew from a day’s celebration of the icon Fela Anikulapo-Kuti to a week-long of events.

Felabration has over the years been themed ‘Baba 70’, ‘the Black President’, ‘Viva Africa’, ‘Buy Africa’ and the 2012 edition was themed ‘Africa: Centre of the World’; a title of one of the masterpieces of Fela released in 1979 which featured Fela and Roy Ayers, a renowned jazz artiste and it is centered on his heartfelt call to Africans to take their place as the core of the world affairs.

It has also become an international tourist attraction, attracting music lovers all over the world.

The event started Tuesday October 16th and ended on Sunday October 22nd 2012.

Tuface Idibia, Asa, Omawumi, Mavin Crew, YQ, Burna Boy, Femi Kuti, Seun Kuti and other African artistes graced the week-long event which took place at the African Shrine, performing and paying respects to the afro-beat legend Fela Anikulapo-Kuti.

Below is the video of some performances.


Femi Kuti to perform at the Headies 2012

Afro beat singer and one of Africa’s greatest music exports, Femi Kuti, is set to perform at Nigeria’s most prestigious music awards, The Headies, scheduled for October 20, 2012 at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.

This is the first time an Afrobeat musician will be performing at the Headies.

The Headies, also known as Hip Hop World Awards, is fast becoming a blend of generational genres of music.

The Afrobeat legend and Grammy nominee, Olufela Olufemi Anikulapo Kuti, popularly known as Femi Kuti, began his international career in 1988 when he was invited by the French Cultural Centre in Lagos and Christian Mousset to perform at the Festival d’Angoulême (France), the New Morning Club in Paris and the Moers Festival in Germany.

Femi Kuti, in the course of his music career, has shown strong commitment to social and political causes. In 2001, Femi collaborated on his album Fight to Win with a number of U.S. musicians, including Common, Mos Def, and Jaguar Wright. He created his own band, Positive Force in the late 1980s with Dele Sosimi (Gbedu Resurrection), former key-board player of Fela Anikulapo Kuti.

According to Femi, “My career is not based on awards. I sincerely mean what I sing about. My music is truly fighting for electricity, good healthcare service, good roads, equal education for my people and African unity. It’s neither a love song, nor commercial and it still gets headlines and good reviews. I’m especially touched when young people appreciate what I am doing,”

This will be the first time Femi Kuti will be honoured on Nigerian soil as he will be inducted into The Headies Hall Of Fame. The Afrobeat legend says “It’s a kind of privilege, its good. I mean I would drink a bottle of champagne when I get it, we will celebrate here.”

Ayo Animashaun, executive producer of The Headies is extremely excited over this year’s line-up of artistes. “Every year, our target is to surpass our very best efforts. With notable artistes such as Femi Kuti and many more gracing The Headies this year, our fans should expect to watch the most exciting awards ceremony to be held in recent times.”

The full list of artistes scheduled to perform at the award ceremony will be announced in due course by the organizers.

Other Hall Of Fame Inductees includes Dayo D1 Adeneye, Kenny Ogungbe, Phillip Trimmel, Olisa Adibua, Obi Asika, Femi Akintunde Johnson, Sir Shina Peters and DJ Jimmy Jatt.

Apologise for killing my grandmum before putting her face on naira, Seun Kuti tells FG

Popular Afrobeat singer, Seun Kuti has asked the Federal Government to apologise to his family for the death of his grandmother, Funmilayo Kuti before considering immortalising her by putting her picture on the proposed N5000 note.

Responding to questions from fans and friends on Channels Television’s hangout via Google+, Seun Kuti said his grandmother was murdered by the Federal Government.

“She was murdered by the Federal Government, her house was burnt down on that same day, two of her children were brutalised, almost killed on that same day and the family have not receive any apology or compensation, most especially justice for such atrocity,” he said.

He said that the decision to put his grandmother’s picture on the proposed N5000 note after 50 years of her death is “ludicrous to say the least.”

When asked what kind of justice his family is demanding, Seun Kuti said: “First, the Federal Government has to accept that they were the cause of her death. The official statement that they are still giving us is that she was murdered by 1, 000 unknown soldiers who stormed the Kalakuta Republic.”

My grandmum would have rejected her face on new N5000 note – Seun Kuti

Seun Kuti, grandson of Funmilayo Kuti, one of the women whose picture has been approved to appear on the proposed N5,000 note, on Monday said that his grandmother would not approve of the image if she were still alive.

Seun Kuti disclosed this at a question and answer session on the Channels Television’s Google+ Hangout.

“I do not have the power to stop the FG from printing the note but I would want the FG to remove my grandma’s face from the s0-called note,” he said.

According to him, in his own view he said the Federal Government did not officially inform the Kuti family of the intended action “It was through the radio that we got to know that her face would be used…we were not officially contacted.”

The Afro-beat musician talked about his grandmother, Funmilayo Ransome –Kuti, his legendary father Fela Anikulapo Kuti, his own music with Egypt 80 band and life.

Speaking on the money to be spent in printing out the N5000 note, Seun Kuti said “If I had N40b I will rebuild the federal government primary and secondary schools, rather than waste it on printing the N5000 note. That note cannot solve Nigeria’s problems, the government should learn to invest in people…the Kuti family is more concerned about the development of the country not the naira. If I were the FG, I would establish more schools, improve on the educational system rather than come up with N5000 note idea.

He further said “the FG’s plan to crush down the social media cannot work because it is the one way through which we curb down the FG’s excesses’.

Hangout with Seun Kuti on Google Plus

How does it feel to have your grandmother’s face on the highest currency note in Nigeria?

Join Seun Kuti, grandson of late Funmilayo Ransome Kuti-one of the women whose image has been approved to appear on the proposed N5000 notes-as he answers this question and many more on our Google Hangout today at 2pm.

Seun Kuti would talk about his grandmother, Mrs Funmilayo Ransome –Kuti, his legendary father Fela Anikulapo Kuti, his own music with Egypt 80 band and life.

You can ask questions using the hashtag #askseunkuti on either platform.

You can also watch the Hangout live on YouTube by going to Channels YouTube channel.