Daily Champion (Lagos)

Nigeria: Madam Olufunmilayo Perspective to Fela On Broadway

Palava you go find

Palava you go find. oooooooo....

Dem kill my mam

Dem kill my mama....

Zombie o zombie......

Soja come, soja go........

Suffering and Smiling

49 sitting 99 standing

Everyday na de same thing......

Fela, the legendary Nigerian Afro-beat musician and freedom fighter is immortalized on Broadway now with a fantastic Broadway show chroncling his parentage, birth, lifestyle, his music, his international exposure, his talents, his fight against corruption and oppression, his imprisonment by the Nigerian Military government, of course, his many wives; and his death.

Fela used his music as a weapon to preach against corruption from the 70's to the end of his life in 1998. He was proud of his African heritage and he used his great talent in playing the musical instruments to dazzle people of all races in the western world during his worldwide musical tours. He had a great band full of talented artists including his dancers some of whom were among his twenty-seven wives he married one day.

An outstanding interesting part of the show is the role of his mother late Mrs. Olufunmilayo Ransome Kuti in his life and her accomplishments as a pioneer in women liberation in Africa. She was showcased as a very powerful lady, educator, community activist and in fact, the first African woman to drive a car and visit China!

Sadly, it was reported that the terrific lady died from injuries she sustained when she was pushed from the window of the second floor when the military government of Nigeria sent soldiers to raid Fela's house and arrest him for wanting to be president and smoking marijuana.

That was murder and human rights violation on the part of the military government. Every human being deserves the dignity of being tried and found guilty before any soldier dehumanizes her or him.

The show is still on Broadway and it is a pride of Africa because one of us who used his musical talents to showcase to the world the many talents in Africa is being honoured with a Broadway show.

Our society needs many Olufunmilayo Anikulapo Kuti (Fela himself changed the name Ransome-Kuti to Anikulapo-Kuti) who will stand up for justice for women whenever she sees other women being denied of justice and our women need to be empowered so that we can also continue to contribute to recent developments in Africa especially African women who are residing in the Diaspora.

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