Monday, October 21, 2013

An Appreciation of Fela Kuti and Some Thoughts on Nigeria

I don't use this space nearly as much as I should, but I did get some writing done recently. Here's me in the Mail and Guardian blog Voices of Africa on Fela Kuti: 

Felabration, the annual two-day festival celebrating the now-late Fela Kuti, was held in Lagos this week at a time when Nigeria is in the most peculiar of situations. The country is in bad shape, to be sure, but its ruins are not the same in every home. Some of us have not had our entire worlds yanked from beneath our feet. Some among us have children who do not know a time when our walls saw a coat of paint. Others merely see the worst of pervasive lack on the streets while riding in air-conditioned cars. Our Africa is indeed rising, but with a tide that has lifted some boats and sunk many others. That so many of us are buoyed while most are sinking can distort our urgency, but it is at this time that Nigerians must find the eyes to see the bleeding body that has been dropped at our front door.

I should make a slight amendment to that part, though. Felabrations is a week-long, not a two-day, festival. Everything else, I stand by.