THE 2013 Felabration featured top performances from music stars. The event which held between Tuesday, October 15 and Saturday, October 20, 2013, will for sometime be remembered for the fun and excitement that lasted a whole week.
ENCOMIUM Weekly brings you tit bits from the one week show.
Felabration 2013 kicked off on Monday, October 14, 2013, with the Fela Debate. This year, the organizers invited scholars from all over the world to discuss the topic, Movement of the People: The Fela and Bob Marley Perspectives.
The discussants Vivien Goldman, Professor John Collins, Dr. Sola Olorunyomi trashed out the similarities between the two great musical legends (Fela and Bob Marley). Nana Rita Marley, late Bob Marley’s wife, billed to attend the debate couldn’t make it.
FELA’S POST HUMOUS BIRTHDAY
If Fela Anikulapo Kuti were alive, he would have been 74 on Tuesday, October 15, 2013. The day, however, coincided with the start of the annual festival of music and arts commemorating the life and times of Fela. On hand to make the day bright and beautiful were DJ Jimmy Jatt, Sean Tizzle, Lace, Olamide and a host of others.
WARM WISHES FROM THE CHAIRMAN
The man who called the shots behind the scene, Theo Lawson (chairman, Felabration Organising Committee), welcomed guests to the festival with smiles. The architect was on his feet all through the one week event making sure things went according to plan.
In the past, Fela Kuti die-hard fans and the men of the Nigeria Police never saw eye to eye, but now things have changed. Not only did the men of the force partook in the one week fun-filled event, they also pallied with the Afrikan Shrine security network for an all round the clock security patrol around venue of the event.
FOODS AND DRINKS VENDORS SMILE TO THE BANK
The annual festival to celebrate the life and times of late Fela Kuti (Felabration) usually afforded many street hawkers the opportunity to make money. Many of them took over spots along NERDC Road, Agidingbi, Laos, where they sold their wares at little higher prices. For instance, a plate of Indomie noodles and fried egg which ordinarily sold for N200 was available during Felabration for N250, the same went for suya even recharge card sellers added something to the official prices.
A particular food vendor who spoke with us confessed coming for Felabration every year to hawk have been a blessing to him. “I make more money here than on the street.”
Top music stars like DJ Jimmy Jatt, Olamide, W4, Skales, K1 de Ultimate, Obesere, Wizkid, 2Face, MI, Ice Prince, Waje, Davido, Tiwa Savage, D’Banj, Iyanya and others are regulars at Felabration and this year’s was not an exception but they didn’t appear on stage until late in the night. The up and coming musician kept the crowd busy in the early hours of the night before the big ones arrived and most times their performance changed the course of the proceedings for the day.
WIZKID’S 10-TRACK PERFORMANCE
Popular music star, Wizkid dazzled on Thursday, October 17, 2013, with his scintillating performance. Wizkid, as he is popularly called rendered 10 out of his fans favourite tracks which included Caro.
K1 DE ULTIMATE FRESH FROM OJUDE OBA
K1 de Ultimate, who was scheduled to perform on Thursday, October 17, 2013, couldn’t make it due to his commitment at the Ojude Oba Festival in Ijebu Ode, Ogun State. He, however, made it on Saturday, October 19, 2013, with an all night full band performance.
KENNIS MUSIC STARS CAME IN BATCHES
Unlike in the past when Kennis Music acts arrived in convoy, at the 2013 Felabration which held at the New Afrikan Shrine, most of the artistes on the label came in batches. Capital F.E.M.I, who arrived earlier was in company of two people who wore a white T-shirt bearing his stage name. Kenny Saint Best actually sneaked into the arena, even Jaywon had performed two days before his other colleagues came to the show.
BOSE AJILA PARADES NEW LOOK
Bose Ajila, younger sister of fashion designer, Funmi Ajila-Ladipo and one of Femi Kuti’s dancer cum babymana, paraded a new look at the one week event. Wearing an uncommon hairstyle and sexy outfit, the beautician and mother of one child looked refreshed and contented.
YENI KUTI IN COLOURS OF THE RAINBOW
Yeni Kuti, the visioner of Felabration, in her usual dress sense of a tight pant, beautiful top, head scarf and a bogus jewelry shone brilliantly. As someone very prepared for the festival, YK Power, as she is fondly called paraded her dress in different colours all through.
WHERE IS SEUN KUTI
That was the question on the lips of everyone. Seun Anikulapo Kuti, last child of late Fela Kuti was nowhere near the event venue for five days (Monday to Friday). He was scheduled to perform on Saturday, October 19, 2013, alongside Tolu Obey, Duncan Mighty and others but he was missing in action.
INDECENT DRESSERS TALES OF WOES
Indecent dressers who thronged the venue will forever tell a sad story. Their revealing, attractive postures were feasted upon by the heavy crowd. Some of them left hurriedly when they became much uncomfortable.
STRANDED BABES EVERYWHERE
Some sweet looking ladies, who were without a partner were stranded. Most of them left in a taxi without fulfilling their mission.
SLEEPING IN THE LAWN
The lush lawn created around The New Afrikan Shrine to add beauty to the environment were converted to beds by attendees. By 3 p.m when the event is closing down many of those who couldn’t afford the high fares charged by private cab operators slept on the lawn till day break.
DAMMY KRANE GETS SOLDIER BODYGUARDS
Musician, Dammy Krane has joined the long list of entertainers who move around with armed military personnel. The Hypertek act was at the 2013 Felabration guarded by fully armed security personnel. They were around the venue till he (Dammy) signaled their departure.
MI, ICE PRINCE SHOWED UP
These two Chocolate City acts, MI and Ice Prince kept their fans waiting on Friday, October 18, 2013, and when many had thought they won’t make it, both showed up around 4 a.m and performed for hours.
HISTORY OF FELABRATION
The idea actually originated from Yeni Anikulapo Kuti in 1998 and since then, with the exception of 1999, the festival of music, dance and comedy has taken place yearly. The 2013 edition was the 15th in a row and it has turned into a big brand which many corporate organizations are jostling to be part of.
‘How I manage the crowd at Felabration’ – Comedian, OMOBABA
How does it feel to be the anchor of Felabration every year?
It feels good, this is my seventh year, and I want to thank the fans and the organizers for the opportunity given me to show what I can do.
What motivates you every year that you keep honouring the invitation?
I am a lover of good music apart from the fact that I am a comedian. The crowd, the ambience, the family, everything around here excites me.
What about the financial factor?
Yes, I get paid but I won’t discuss that with you. It is not much compared with what I earn at other shows. It’s my way of support to Fela’s legacy, as much as I am available I will surely be on stage to impress my fans.
The crowd here was much, how do you get them along with your jokes?
That is why I am a professional. This is a show. It is not a product launch. There is a different attitude to different events. The crowd is a mixture of the wealthy, the learned, the illiterates and all kinds of people. As a comedian, I know what kind of jokes is required in this kind of environment.
– FOLUSO SAMUEL